The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has entered 2014 determined to continue defending and building socialism, and to continue the anti-imperialist struggle for peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula.
These and other themes were highlighted in the New Year address of the country’s leader, Comrade Kim Jong Un, who declared that: “we are seeing in the New Year 2014 filled with confidence in the future and revolutionary self-respect …
“Last year was a proud year, in which the entire party, the whole army and all the people waged an all-out offensive in support of the party’s new line of developing the two fronts simultaneously [of nuclear defence and developing the economy – Ed] and thus achieved brilliant successes in building a thriving socialist country and defending socialism.”
Comrade Kim Jong Un referred to the tense situation that prevailed earlier in 2013, when US and south Korean war exercises simulated an invasion and nuclear attack on the north, and made a bold appeal to the authorities in south Korea and all sections of the Korean nation to once again take the road of national reconciliation, saying:
“To resolve the reunification issue in keeping with the aspirations and desires of our fellow countrymen, we should reject foreign forces and hold fast to the standpoint of ‘By our nation itself’.
“The driving force for national reunification is all the members of the Korean nation in the north, in the south and abroad; only when we remain steadfast in this standpoint can we reunify the country independently in line with our nation’s interests and demands. To go on a tour around foreign countries touting for ‘international cooperation’ in resolving the inter-Korean relations issue, the one related with our nation, is a humiliating treachery of leaving its destiny in the hands of outside forces.” [Here Comrade Kim Jong Un refers to the public statements made by the south Korean president last year in the course of her state visits to a number of countries, including Britain – Ed.]
Comrade Kim Jong Un made clear that his proposals for peace and reconciliation were made against a background of the danger of imperialist war – a threat to which the DPRK will not bow, but rather will militantly resist:
“The US and south Korean war maniacs have deployed legions of equipment for a nuclear war in and around the Korean peninsula and are going frantic in their military exercises for a nuclear war against the north; this precipitates a critical situation where any accidental military skirmish may lead to an all-out war.
“Should another war break out on this land, it will result in a deadly nuclear catastrophe and the United States will never be safe. All the Korean people must not tolerate the manoeuvres for war and confrontation by the bellicose forces at home and abroad but stoutly resist and frustrate them …
“It is heartrending to see our nation partitioned by foreign forces, and it is more intolerable to see one side slinging mud at and showing hostility to the other. This will serve merely as an occasion for the forces that are undesirous of seeing one Korea to fish in troubled waters.
“It is high time to put an end to such slander and calumny that bring no good to both sides, and they should desist from doing anything detrimental to national unity and reconciliation. The south Korean authorities should discontinue the reckless confrontation with their compatriots and the racket against the ‘followers of the north’, and choose to promote inter-Korean relations in response to the call of the nation for independence, democracy and national reunification.
“We will join hands with anyone who opts to give priority to the nation and wishes for its reunification, regardless of his or her past, and continue to strive for better inter-Korean relations …
“Last year, in the international arena, the imperialists persisted in interference and war moves threatening the independence of other sovereign states and the right of mankind to existence.
“Especially the Korean peninsula, the hottest spot in the world, was in a hair-trigger situation due to the hostile forces’ manoeuvres for a nuclear war against the DPRK, which posed a serious threat to peace and security in the region and the rest of the world.
“Nothing is more precious for our people than peace, but it is not something that can be achieved if we simply crave and beg for it. We can never just sit back with folded arms and see the dark clouds of a nuclear war against us hovering over the Korean peninsula. We will defend our country’s sovereignty, peace and dignity by relying on our powerful self-defensive strength.”
Following the New Year address of Comrade Kim Jong Un, the DPRK has advanced a number of further proposals to ease the situation, including for reunion meetings of members of families separated by the partition of the country.
But as a statement issued by the DPRK’s National Defence Commission (NDC) on 17 January noted, the United States and south Korea are once again planning to stage massive military exercises simulating and rehearsing a war on the north from the end of February. It is reported that this year the exercises will be among the biggest for several decades and will specifically rehearse an attack on the DPRK’s capital, Pyongyang.
Proposing that exercises explicitly targeting the DPRK be called off, the NDC statement suggests to the south Korean side:
“If the ‘coordination’ and ‘cooperation’ with the US are so precious and valuable, they should rather hold the exercises in a secluded area or in the US, far away from the territorial land, sea and air of the Korean peninsula.”
The statement continues:
“The denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula is a goal common to the nation …
The possession of nuclear weapons and the pursuance of the line on simultaneously pushing forward economic construction and the build-up of a nuclear force are a treasured sword common to the nation and the most just option for self-defence which aims at ending the nuclear threat and blackmail against all Koreans by the US and envisages the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and the rest of the world alike.
“Our nuclear force serves as a means for deterring the US from posing a nuclear threat. It will never be a means for blackmailing the fellow countrymen and doing harm to them.
“We courteously propose to the south side not to resort to reckless acts of bringing dangerous nuclear strike means of the US to south Korea and to areas around it …
“It is the stand of the DPRK to resolutely break with the double-dealing stand of tolerating the nuclear weapons of outsiders which are harmful to the fellow countrymen while denying the nuclear weapons of fellow countrymen which protect the nation.”
The DPRK’s proposals for peace, reconciliation and reunification need and deserve the support and solidarity of the working-class movement and all anti-imperialists.
They will certainly meet with opposition and resistance from imperialist and reactionary forces. Besides the planned aggressive military exercises, in a coordinated pincer movement, a report of a so-called ‘commission of enquiry’ into human rights in the DPRK, set up by the United Nations Human Rights Council, and fronted by an Australian judge, Justice Kirby, is due to present its supposed findings on the internet in mid-February, with a formal launch in Geneva on 17 March.
Consisting solely of uncorroborated and unsubstantiated assertions made by politically hostile defectors and renegades, and ignoring the consistent and stalwart efforts of the DPRK since its foundation to defend and promote the most vital human rights – such as those to food, clothing and shelter – for all of its people and in the teeth of more than six decades of sanctions and blockades, and the threat of nuclear war, it is widely reported that the imperialist powers will seek referral of the report to both the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court.
The lurid fairy tales about a brainwashed and terrorised people who were forced to cry when their leader Kim Jong Il died two years ago is just an example of the kind of black propaganda and lies that Kirby’s report will unleash.
Faced with such a barrage of lies and war propaganda, progressive people must keep in mind that it is but a variation of a theme habitually used against any force in history that stands for progress and the promotion of human liberation, from the bourgeois French revolution of 1789 to the great proletarian revolution of October 1917 and right through to the specious justifications for contemporary predatory wars of aggression against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea must be resolutely supported and defended come what may.
Hands off Korea!