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North Korea Has The Right To Self Defense!
by Steven Argue
Saturday Oct 14th, 2006 3:02 PM
While the whole world has suffered as a result of the murderous policies of U.S. imperialism, the Korean people have, like a number of other peoples including the American Indians, faced a U.S. imposed holocaust. In what Americans call the “Korean War” more than thee million people died as a result of the U.S. invasion and war against the Korean people from 1950 to 1953.
North Korea Has The Right To Self Defense!
Liberation News statement on North Korea’s Nuclear Test

By Steven Argue

In the 1950’s the U.S. led UN aggression against the people of Korea murdered well over three million Koreans. Likewise it was the U.S. that carried out the atrocities at Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

And let us not forget that the U.S. invaded Iraq not because they had weapons of mass destruction, but because they did not. That invasion has caused the deaths of 655,000 Iraqis, set up an Islamic government that has functioning death squads and torture chambers, taken away women's rights, shoots protesters down in the streets, and cannot meet the most basic needs of the Iraqi people.

Another war on the Korean Peninsula would be a disaster for the people of Korea and the people of the entire region. Kim Jung Il and the North Korean government have done the responsible thing in keeping North Korea's defenses strong.

U.S. Hands Off North Korea!

While the U.S. government carries out its wars against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, they have called North Korea part of the “axis of evil” and are arrogantly asserting that North Korea does not have the right to defend themselves from U.S. attack with nuclear weapons even as members of the Bush administration have spoken openly of war against North Korea.

In response to the aggressive nature of U.S. imperialism and its threats aimed at North Korea, North Korean President Kim Jung Il has paraded the capabilities of the North Korean armed forces and declared that their million-person army is prepared to fight a U.S. invasion. In addition, in January 2003. North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty with the Korean Central News Agency stating, “We have realized that as long as the United States does not abandon its hostile policy against the North, efforts to keep the Korean Peninsula nuclear free [are] nothing more than an illusion. We will further boost our already mighty military power.”

The U.S. never allowed independent inspections of whether or not the U.S. actually withdrew Nuclear weapons in 1992 anyway, and they have kept nuclear bombers and submarines within striking distance of North Korea as well.

Socialists defend and support the right of North Korea to possess nuclear weapons for their own defense against the arrogant militarism of U.S. imperialism.

While the whole world has suffered as a result of the murderous policies of U.S. imperialism, the Korean people have, like a number of other peoples including the American Indians, faced a U.S. imposed holocaust. In what Americans call the “Korean War” more than thee million people died as a result of the U.S. invasion and war against the Korean people from 1950 to 1953.

Japan had been the colonial occupiers of the Korean peninsula for 35 years prior to their defeat in World War Two. Anti-colonial resistance to the Japanese occupation succeeded in establishing the communist government in North Korea in 1945. In the south of Korea the U.S. moved in and set up a capitalist police state. The repressive police of the Japanese occupation of Korea were then recruited by the U.S. occupiers into this puppet government in attempt to keep the South Korean people down for U.S. imperialism.

In 1950 a massive peasant revolt against the U.S. puppet government swept South Korea. North Korea responded to the peasant uprising and the intolerable puppet government in the south by sending in troops in to reunify their country. In the South the North Korean armed forces were greeted as liberators.

The U.S. responded to the Korean people with the saturation bombings of Korean cities, the use of napalm, attacks on irrigation dams in order to cause flooding, and the slaughter of countless unarmed civilians. Over three million people were killed in this U.S. attempt to prevent the Korean people from deciding their own government. In addition, U.S. troops were quickly driven out of China as the U.S. attempted to expand the war from Korea into China in order to try to destroy the 1949 Chinese communist revolution led by Mao Tse-tung.

Due to the U.S. attack on China and the Chinese entry into the “Korean War”, the war ended in a stalemate. North of the 38th parallel the Communist government led by Kim Il Sung was established under the military encirclement of the U.S. imperialists and a starvation embargo. South of the 38th parallel the U.S. set up a capitalist dictatorship backed by the continuing presence 37,000 U.S. troops.

In 1980 U.S. forces orchestrated the bloody Kwangju massacre where an insurrectionary revolt of the working class was put down by the U.S. backed South Korean dictatorship with tanks and the lives of 2,000 people.

In fact, the South Korean government was an open military dictatorship from the time the U.S. established it up until 1987, when the militant labor movement forced reforms that began to free some political prisoners and forced the capitalists to hold elections. Still, the U.S. backed government of South Korea is one that presently jails socialists for publishing banned books and for their participation in the union movement.

Aware of the role played by the U.S. occupiers in their country, hundreds of thousands of South Koreans protested in December 2002 demanding U.S. troops get out. Protesters have also shown sympathy for the North. A December 28th, 2002 New York Times article quotes a protester saying, “If North Korea would be threatened by the United States with nuclear weapons, North Korea can also have them.”

While the pro-war Democrat Party of the U.S. points out the supposed danger of North Korea, socialists support the right of Korean self-determination and self-defense. The concept of self-defense is a basic understanding for survival against a cruel and inhumane enemy such as the United States and should be understood as a basic right for North Korea. Socialist revolutionaries stand with the heroic resistance of the Korean people to U.S. imperialism and point out that the Korean people are better off for it.

The collectivized planned economy of North Korea has benefited the people. The socialist planning in North Korea built up a modern industrial base that out-performed the south up until the mid 1970s. The inability of U.S. imperialism to conquer the North Korean revolution also strengthened the hand of the workers movements throughout Asia and the world.

Today the economies of both North and South Korea are in bad shape.

During the cold war the U.S. and Japan aided the South Korean economy in order keep it afloat and to try to prevent conditions that may have led to the revolutionary reunification of Korea. That has now changed. The Asian financial crisis of 1997 hit the South Korean economy hard, but when the South Korean capitalist class turned to the U.S. and Japan asking for a bailout they were denied. With the Soviet Union gone priorities have shifted and the U.S. and Japan no longer want to prop up the South Korean capitalists because they also see them as economic competitors.

North Korea’s economy is even more desperate. While facing an economic blockade from U.S. and Japanese imperialism, North Korea lost its biggest trading partner with the capitalist counter-revolution that took place in the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1992 China betrayed the North Korean working class by cutting off shipments of cheap oil as a concession to South Korea in order to gain trade and diplomatic relations. The lack of cheap fuel oil has disrupted the production of electricity. As a result much of the North Korean economy has collapsed including steel production because of the lack of electricity. In 1995 North Korea began to be hit extremely hard by a series of natural disasters that have caused extreme famine.

The Chinese Communist Party’s betrayal of the North Korean working class in exchange for trade with South Korea flows directly from their adherence to Stalin’s Theory of Socialism in One Country. This was a theory in which Stalin broke from the earlier policy of revolutionary internationalism held by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky in order for Stalin to gain trade relations with the capitalist countries. This policy of betrayal of the workers for trade with capitalist countries, a policy also adopted by Mao and Fidel Castro, was the thinking behind many betrayals. These ranged from the Chinese attempted invasion of Communist Vietnam to Castro’s support for the capitalist Mexican government when it gunned down leftist students in 1968, to Stalin’s betrayals of the Spanish, German, Greek, and Chinese revolutions as well as his misdirection of the U.S. Communist Party, getting them to support the capitalist Democrat Party as the supposed “lesser of two evils” rather than supporting the building of an independent party of the working class.

While some may consider such policies pragmatic in a world dominated by the capitalist market, the short-term gains of these betrayals, and others, destroyed potential trade with new revolutionary nations through a policy of leading the world revolution.

It says much about the superiority of the socialist economic model that the poor and isolated Soviet Union was able to build up a strong economy that met the people’s needs. This was true despite the Soviet economy being twice destroyed, first by the invasion of the U.S. and many other imperialist countries directly after the 1917 revolution, and secondly with the Nazi invasion of World War Two. More impressive, is that an industrial economy was built without the economic imperialism that created the wealth of the advanced capitalist nations of the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan. Many forget that the wealth and obscene consumption of the world’s resources that the U.S. likes to parade and pretend was ordained by god has arisen largely from the super exploitation and miserable poverty imperialism has inflicted on the people of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and elsewhere in the so-called third world. While the advanced capitalist countries do not meet the needs of the people, the full failure of capitalism can be seen in the “third world” colonies run by the IMF and World Bank, bullied by the U.S. military and by the armed forces of the smaller local capitalist classes.

Likewise the current situation in the former Soviet Union is a lesson in the negative. Since Yeltsin’s capitalist counter-revolution in 1991 all indicators of a decent standard of living have dropped. These indicators include life expectancy, infant mortality, income, and literacy.

In the face of the current economic crisis the North Korean leadership has, however, made important mistakes by introducing market reforms that have negated some of the advantages of the socialist economy. Despite facing famine, food rationing has been eliminated. Such food rationing prevented famine from occurring in Cuba in their worst days of economic crisis in the mid 1990s following the fall of the Soviet Union. In addition profiteering off of speculation has been legalized in North Korea with a 550 percent rise in the price of rice. Housing rents and utility charges have also been introduced.

The North Korean government is also promoting two Chinese style free trade zones where foreign capitalists are free to invest and exploit workers. While some may argue that these free trade zones are a necessary act of desperation on the part of the North Korean government, they are also a major step towards the destruction of the socialist economy. Cuba, facing a similar situation as North Korea with the destruction of the Soviet Union, has been able to gain foreign investment for projects that have helped the Cuban economy, but they have done it with strict controls on worker’s exploitation coupled with the controlling ownership of the projects remaining in Cuban hands.

Ultimately an essential ingredient needed for Cuba and North Korea to break out of their economic isolation is the world socialist revolution. Possibilities that would have a major impact include a socialist revolution in a more advanced capitalist country and/or a political revolution in China that preserves the Chinese socialist system built out of the 1949 revolution. Today preserving socialism in China includes extending it into the free trade zones with the nationalization of foreign capitalists and bringing back socialist agricultural policies destroyed by the privatization of agriculture carried out by Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s, a policy that has devastated most of the peasantry and only enriched a few. In addition a national health care plan would have to be implemented to respond to the fact that the earlier socialist health care system was tied to work units such as factories, schools, and people's communes and has disintegrated with China’s market reforms. To carry out these revolutionary socialist changes will mean breaking the power of the brutal Chinese Communist Party and instituting worker’s democracy combined with instituting an internationalist policy of world socialist revolution.

As with North Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam the program for political revolution in China to bring about real worker’s democracy and better policies for the promotion of international socialism also includes the defense of these revolutions in the face of imperialist attack and their defense against internal capitalist counter-revolution.

Adding to North Korea’s economic problems has been their understandable fear of a U.S. attack. George Bush’s statements about North Korea being part of the “axis of evil” and the Bush administration’ s bold statements discussing the possibilities of war with North Korea have, as has the presence of 37,000 U.S. troops in South Korea, forced President Kim Jong Il to continue to put a large amount of North Korea’s resources into the military. Blame for this rests on the shoulders of U.S. imperialism, not with Kim Jung Il.

Another potential U.S. war on the Korean peninsula is a war that must be stopped. It should be the right of the Korean people to decide their own government without U.S. intervention, as it should be the right of the people of Afghanistan and Iraq to decide their own future as well.

While many who have participated in the anti-war movement in the streets are looking towards electing Democrats as the solution to the latest rash of imperialist wars, the Democrats do not support immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan and have an even harder line on North Korea than Bush. In fact Clinton’s former Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, counter-posed an attack on North Korea to the planned U.S. attack on Iraq stating, “The threats from North Korea and from international terrorism are more imminent”. This has been the line of other Democrats as well.

Resist imperialism in the streets, in the barracks, in the factories, and on the docks!
U.S. Troops Out Of Korea! U.S. Hands Off The North!
U.S. and British Troops Out Of Iraq and Afghanistan!
For Korean Reunification and Socialist Democracy Through Political Revolution In The North, Socialist Revolution In The South!
End U.S. and British imperialism through socialist revolution!

Liberation News:

Cuban statement, as part of the Non-Aligned Movement, on North Korea’s Nuclear Test

[Translator' s note: Ever since I joined the YSA as a sophomore in college back in the sixties, I have been a supporter of the Cuban Revolution. I greatly regret not having visited Cuba in the past, and I deplore the draconian penalties, threatened fines of over $6,000, against those US citizens who visit Cuba now without US government permission. That said, I have to report that Cuba's statement on the North Korean nuclear test in Granma, the Cuban CP daily paper, never
once mentions imperialism and is bereft of even a scintilla of Marxism. The Cuban statement makes it clear why Trotsky despised pacifism: it is a profound disservice to working people to imply that the US government will ever "exercise moderation," or possesses any concern about "the threat posed for humanity by the permanent existence of nuclear weapons." On the contrary, this threat is a major component in continuing US efforts to bend other governments to its will. Like Venezuela's statement on North Korea, the Cuban position reflects a mincing, flaccid, illusionary pacifism lacking a single point of contact with the real world of class conflict and popular struggles. -- Yosef M]

From Granma [Havana] 10-14-2006

At noon on Friday, October 13, 2006, the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, with Cuba presiding, approved the following declaration on the nuclear test carried out on October 9 by the Korean People's Democratic Republic.

Declaration by the Non-Aligned Movement on the nuclear test in the Korean Peoples' Democratic Republic:

1. The Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement expressed its concern when it recognized the complexities coming from the nuclear test on the Korean Peninsula, which underscores the need to work even more vigorously to achieve the Movement's objectives of disarmament, including the elimination of nuclear weapons. The Movement exhorts the parties involved in the region to exercise moderation, which contributes to regional security; to discontinue nuclear tests and not to transfer materials, equipment [or] technology related to nuclear weapons.

2. The Movement expresses its desire that the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula may be accomplished and continues to support the resumption of Six-Party Talks as soon as possible. The Movement firmly believes that diplomacy and dialogue through peaceful means must continue with a view to achieving a long-range solution on the Korean nuclear question.

3. In light of this action, the Movement reaffirms its positions of principle with respect to nuclear disarmament, which continues to be its highest priority, and on the questions connected to nuclear non-proliferation in all its aspects, and emphasizes its concernat the threat posed for humanity by the permanent existence of nuclear weapons, and their possible use or threatened use. It also reiterates its deep concern at the slow advance toward nuclear disarmament and the lack of progress by states possessing nuclear weapons in the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. It stresses the need for states possessing nuclear weapons to fulfill the unequivocal commitment that they incurred in the year 2000 to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons and, in this sense, it underscores the urgent necessity of beginning negotiations without delay.

4. The Movement emphasizes its principles and priorities in the matter of disarmament and international security, as adopted in the 14th Conference of the Heads of State or Government of the Non-Alinged Movement, held in Havana, Cuba, September 11-26, 2006.

Liberation News:
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
1950: 100,000 Executed by Imperialism's Korean DictatorshipSteven ArgueSaturday Sep 20th, 2008 9:48 PM
U.S. Imperialism Started the So-Called "Korean War"Steven ArgueSaturday Oct 21st, 2006 8:48 AM
Report about my trip to the North Korea (DPRK) in May 2004.Aleksey NovikovskyThursday Oct 19th, 2006 6:25 PM
Is The Mass Murder Of US Imperialism Justified?Steven ArgueThursday Oct 19th, 2006 6:19 AM
I disagree plentyMike KmetzWednesday Oct 18th, 2006 10:59 AM
Dangerous Nations should not possess arms like thisMike KmetzWednesday Oct 18th, 2006 10:51 AM
RE: Pro-Zionist "I love Imperialism and Capitalism" MagonSteven ArgueSunday Oct 15th, 2006 2:33 PM
US hypocracyPINWORMSunday Oct 15th, 2006 2:22 PM
So what's your point Magon?Steven ArgueSunday Oct 15th, 2006 2:07 PM
The U.S. will never initiate (hopefully) a war with N. KoreaMikeSunday Oct 15th, 2006 1:52 PM
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