Korea had been left divided after the Second World War and the defeat of Japanese imperialism which had occupied the peninsula since 1910. The north had been liberated by the Korean people, led by Comrade Kim Il Sung and supported by the Soviet Red Army, while US forces occupied the south. This was meant to be a temporary arrangement.
The Americans attacked the DPRK but failed to defeat it. The invasion that was supposed to be over in a day lasted for three years before the US forces were fought to a standstill. What the Koreans lacked in weapons and technology they made up for in sheer courage and commitment to defend their homeland.
The war ended in 1953 with an armistice, not a peace treaty, signed between the DPRK and the United States. This has left the country divided by the continuing American occupation. The terms of the armistice were that there should be a peace conference established within three months to negotiate the terms of a peaceful reunification for Korea. The Americans reneged on this commitment and instead built a huge wall across Korea.
Since then the people of southern Korea have had to put up with US military occupation and puppet governments hostile to the DPRK, while the people of the DPRK have had to live under the constant threat of attack, under anti-communist hostility and under trade and economic embargoes. The people of the DPRK never asked to be isolated – the Americans forced it upon them.
Not surprisingly they have always paid great attention to their defences. The Clinton government in Washington brought a little thawing in the hostility. Fears that the DPRK would develop its own nuclear weapons prompted a pledge by the American to provide nuclear power generators in return for the DPRK dropping its nuclear programme.
But that agreement was torn up by George W Bush, who declared that the DPRK was one of four countries – along with Iraq, Iran and Syria – he dubbed the “axis of evil”, making threats of attack on all of them.
The Saddam Hussein government in Iraq complied with US and United Nations demands to get rid of all “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs), hoping this would avert an invasion. It did the opposite. Once Iraq had effectively disarmed itself the US, backed by Britain, invaded, claiming that Iraq still had WMDs in spite of UN inspectors’ reports to the contrary. The lesson is clear: disarm and face invasion. The DPRK, Iran and Syria have noted it well.
Now the DPRK has proudly produced its own nuclear weapons programme. This has been roundly condemned in all the western imperialist media and by Tony Blair – who just a few weeks ago decided to renew Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system without any parliamentary debate.
Many on the Left who should know better have also taken up the imperialists’ cries of horror and outrage. But in the Third World and other countries threatened by imperialism, there is joy and solidarity that the tiny DPRK is standing firm against US bullying and defying the warmongers.
The people of the DPRK are peaceful people. They have no imperialist traditions or ambitions. They do not seek to impose anything on anyone. They just want to secure the socialist society that they are building against invasion and destruction. They are entitled to our support and solidarity.
The imperialists are rattling their sabres but they are now a lot less likely to actually attack the DPRK than they were a week ago.
From the New Communist Party of Britain