By J. Sul

It has been recently discovered that the U.S.A. shipped living anthrax to its Air force base stationed in Osan city of South Korea[1]. Questions and suspicions obviously arose in regards to the shipment. The U.S.A. officials addressed that it was just a shipment “accident”. They accordingly made an apology to South Korean officials after acknowledging that the incident can foment anti-american sentiment among South Koreans[2].

An investigation on the incident has revealed that the anthrax was sent from a military research institute in Utah[3]. Out of ten anthrax shipments, nine were sent to different military research facilities of the U.S.A. Yet the last remaining one was sent to South Korea. The investigation has further revealed that the U.S.A. had an anthrax laboratory operated in its Air force base stationed in Osan city since 1998[4].

So, this begs us the question: was it really an “accident” to ship anthrax to the military base where it had a laboratory established for specifically experimenting anthrax?

Let us assume that it was really an accident. However, is it an incident that can be simply forgiven because the high officials of the U.S.A. made an ‘apology’ about it? Is shipping biological weapon of mass destruction that can potentially wipe out the entire population of South Korea an incident that can be just forgiven? Let the U.S.A. wear the shoes of South Korea. What would the U.S.A. do if it received living anthrax from South Korea? Would they even bother to accept our apology? They might, after carpet bombing South Korea.

This anthrax shipment conundrum reveals the power dynamic between the U.S.A. and South Korea. The U.S.A. acts as the master state of South Korea and the South Korean government acts as its slave state whose independence and sovereignty are limited to exploiting its working class, helping chaebol (business conglomerates in South Korea) to accumulate their capital, and supporting the political and economic system that has been built for the U.S.A.

This power dynamic is possible because the U.S.A. has established an imperialist-neo colonial state relation with the South Korean government since Korea was liberated from Japanese imperialists. After the colonial period, the U.S.A. stationed its military in South Korea and “supported” the economic system of South Korea [5]. The economic aid from the U.S.A. was at the cost of building the export based economic system in South Korea for the U.S.A. [6] Hence, the dominant feature of South Korea’s economic system up to this point has been reliant on exports to imperialist states for the mere reproduction of its own existence on a global setting.

So long as the contradiction between neo-colonial state and imperialist state is not resolved and so long as the contradiction is not burst asunder by the most exploited portion of the working class of South Korea, South Korea will constantly hang from the paternalist puppet-strings of the USA.


  4. ibid
  6. ibid

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Live anthrax was also shipped from the same US facility to Australia in 2008. At first it was reported that it was meant to have been an inactive sample and that no-one knew to which facility it had been sent. Then several days later, the Australian Department of Agriculture admitted it had issued a permit for the importation of live anthrax in 2008, and that the recipient was the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation. DSTO has not said to which city or facility the anthrax was sent and claims it was needed only for “research purposes”. The whole thing is very suspicious. Australia is a branch office of predatory US imperialism.


Leave a Reply, Comment or Question

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Imperialism, Korea