Aijaz Ahmad: Ever since this young man [Kim Jong-un] became the president, the head of state, of North Korea . . . the West has been testing his will, to see whether he can be stared down. . . . Every year these very provocative war games take place, involving South Korea and the United States, very near, very, very close to the DMZ, the ceasefire line so to speak, between South and North Korea, but this time these war games have been of a completely different kind. And, before that, there were war games involving South Korea, the United States, and Australia. Those games were the first to simulate an attack on North Korea. Now, these new games have done it on a much bigger scale. These are simulating the kind of attack in which even tactical nuclear weapons may be used, in which North Korea may be occupied by the US, and so on and so forth. . . . So, there is a very distinct escalation [on the part of the United States government]. . . . In my opinion, it is in their [the USG’s] interest to whip up this kind of war hysteria in order to create a climate, which is by now already created in South Korea, for a popular demand for the return of the US tactical nuclear weapons to South Korean soil which were withdrawn in 1991 as a part of a bilateral agreement with North Korea. The United States clearly wants to position those in [the Korean peninsula] . . . which is part of the containment of China.
Aijaz Ahmad is a Marxist critic in India. Prabir Purkayastha is a member of the Delhi Science Forum. Video by NewsClick (11 April 2013). The text above is an edited partial transcript of the interview.