Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Making Ideology a Priority

 by New Worker correspondent

NEW COMMUNIST Party leader Andy Brooks welcomed comrades and friends to the Party Centre on Thursday 18th June for the fourth in a series of seminars, called by the NCP and the Juché Idea Study Group, on the Juché and Songun politics that are the basis of Korean-style socialism.
            Following the counter-revolutions in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe mass communist parties and whole sections of the world-wide movement wavered in the early 1990s. But the Workers Party of Korea remained steadfast.

Great leader Kim Il Sung rallied the communist movement and progressive forces at a conference that adopted the Pyongyang Declaration, Let Us Defend and Advance the Cause of Socialism, that was signed by a number of parties, including the NCP, on  20th April 1992.
 And dear leader Kim Jong Il made powerful contributions to the development of the Juché idea that looked at the root causes of the revisionism that paved the way to the outright treachery that led to the downfall of the Soviet Union. One of them was Giving Priority to Ideological Work is Essential for accomplishing Socialism – a keynote paper first published in 1995 – which was the theme of the openings by Dermot Hudson of the Juché Idea Study Group of England  and David Munoz, a Spanish member of the Korean Friendship Association working in London.
Everyone took part in the round-table discussion that followed which also marked the 51st anniversary of the start of work of the comrade Kim Jong Il at the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

Fighting for Socialism

 By New Worker  correspondent
LAST WEEK the Korean people marked the 51st anniversary of the start of work by Kim Jong Il at the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, at meetings and ceremonies across the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. They were joined by communists and Korean friendship activists at solidarity events throughout the world and on Friday June 19th  many of them paid tribute to the Korean communist leader at the John Buckle Centre in south London.
The commencement of Kim Jong Il’s work at the Central Committee of the WPK, on 19th June 1964, has significance in marking the period of the consolidation of the WPK as a truly leading Party whose authority is recognised by the Korean people and is fully at one with their interests and aspirations.
            Andy Brooks of the Friends of Korea committee, which organised the meeting, chaired the panel that included Michael Chant of the RCPB (ML), Dermot Hudson of the Korean Friendship Association, John McLeod of the SLP and DPRK Ambassador Hyong Hak Bong.
The speakers summarised how the revolutionary direction of the Korean people, their successes and their construction of a human-centred society were inseparably linked to Juché, the kernel of Korean-style socialism. During the lively discussion that followed many took advantage of the golden opportunity to ask the DPRK ambassador about the current situation and the prospects for peace on the Korean peninsula.
            This was followed by informal discussions over drinks and the screening of the latest news review from DPRK TV.
The Friends of Korea committee brings together all the major movements active in Korean friendship and solidarity work in Britain today. The committee includes the New Communist Party, Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (ML), Socialist Labour Party, Juché Idea Study Group and the UK Korean Friendship Association.  It is chaired by Andy Brooks and the secretary is Michael Chant. The committee organises meetings throughout the year, which are publicised by the supporting movements and on the Friends of Korea blog.

Friday, 12 June 2015

US-led exercises in Korea threaten nuclear catastrophe in East Asia

By George Cockburn
ONE OF the world’s largest military drills, involving almost a quarter of a million personnel, the United States Seventh Fleet’s “battle force” Task Force 70, B-54 and stealth bombers, amphibious beach landings, hundreds of tanks, artillery pieces and “nuclear-powered attack submarines” is coming to an end as this newspaper goes to press.
These exercises are taking place in one of most likely flashpoints on the planet for a major war to break out, in a divided country with one of the largest concentrations of armed forces in the world along the Military Demarcation Line (an artificial line drawn by US imperialism to divide Korea) – and yet they are virtually ignored by the western mass media.
In 2013 the Pentagon declared that the exercises included “long-range nuclear-capable B-2 (stealth) bomber flights over the Korean peninsula in a show of force,” in other words dummy nuclear bombing runs, yet in the same breath claimed they were of a "non-provocative nature"!
And this month Washington announced a plans to deploy missile defence forces in Korea, clearly intended to make a pre-emptive first nuclear strike against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) possible.
No wonder the Pyongyang daily Rodong Sinmun (Daily Worker) recently declared that inter-Korean relations were "inching close to a catastrophe". Viewed from Pyongyang such exercises can easily be seen as a cover for an actual invasion.
The Foal Eagle-Key Resolve exercises led by the US occupation forces in south Korea started 18 years ago this and year are taking place from 2nd March to 24th April.
Korean patriots and supporters of national re-unification and liberation in south Korea have held many protests at US bases and command centres in recent years calling for an end to the exercises.
They have been supported by many organisations, all of them risking arrest, police raids and prison sentences under south Korea’s infamous National Security Law and they include the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, one of the two largest trade union centres in south Korea with almost 700,000 members.
The Korean people need peace!
The Korean peninsula is one of the most dangerous flashpoints in the world, where war could break out at any time. The Korean War ended 1953 with a simple armistice signed by the US, DPRK and Chinese military commanders, but not by the puppet south Korean forces.
This means the DPRK and south Korea are technically still at war 62 years later, despite repeated proposals by the DPRK to normalise the situation and reduce tensions.
The true reason for the refusal by Washington and the puppet south Korean regime to negotiate a genuine peace is that the Korean peninsula is one of the world’s most strategic locations, from which the US can threaten the DPRK, China and Russia, and if the need arose Japan as well. In Washington’s eyes it is the key to its domination of East of Asia and the Pacific.
This policy treats the people of Korea, north and south, with contempt, as pawns in US imperialism’s drive for world domination. It is underpins Washington’s determination not to leave Korea and its ceaseless of lies and propaganda about the DPRK.
The bogus human rights allegations against the DPRK constantly churned out by the Washington-Seoul-Tokyo-Canberra propaganda machine are merely a smokescreen designed to hide US imperialism’s true intensions in Korea.
As the Foreign Ministry of the DPRK recently said: "These exercises are intolerable aggression moves pursuant to the US-Korea strategy designed to ‘bring down’ the socialist system chosen by the Korean people.”
In other words, they are yet another attempt at “regime change” by Washington.
Because of the ongoing state of war, the DPRK has no choice but to maintain large military forces and advanced weapons, and to be prepared for war, which could be unleashed at any time.
In this way the US hopes to prevent the DPRK from developing its economy and improving the living standards of its people but this policy, like the 55 year-long attempt to isolate Cuba, has failed spectacularly.
Danger: nuclear holocaust!
The danger of a US nuclear strike in Korea is very real. In 2011 Wikileaks revealed that the Pentagon had drafted plans for “pre-emptive” nuclear strikes against several states, and the US-Russian nuclear arms reduction talks have now completely broken down as a result of Washington’s mounting provocations against Russia.
Indications that US imperialism, in its desperate drive for world hegemony, is inching towards a new world war, even a nuclear war, are growing by the day.
This month Washington has announced a new shift in the military balance in Korea which, like the plans for a missile defence complex in Poland, are a new threat to the whole of East Asia.
The deployment of the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) anti-ballistic missile system in south Korea has been condemned by the Korean National Peace Committee, and is clearly intended to enable a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the DPRK.
But it also opens the way for “first strikes” against Russia and China, and follows the setting up of similar systems in Hawaii, Guam, Israel and Turkey, and is part of US imperialism’s plans for pre-emptive nuclear strikes against several countries.
Meanwhile Washington is giving the green light to Japan to end its constitutional ban on using force in international disputes. And plans for Japanese troops to be sent to Korea in the event of a military crisis are likely to be announced during Shinzo Abe’s imminent visit to Washington.
A history of US nuclear threats
During the Korean War President Truman ordered the transfer of nine Mark 4 nuclear bombs to Korea, and in November 1950 he said using nuclear weapons had "always been under active consideration".
This prompted British Prime Minister Clement Attlee to hurry to Washington, to be told by Truman him that the US had "no intention" of using atomic weapons in Korea except to prevent a "major military disaster”.
But soon after the end of the Korean War it was the US that unilaterally broke the 1953 armistice commitment not to bring new military systems into Korea, when President Eisenhower decided to deploy nuclear missiles and artillery in Korea. By 1967 the US had 950 nuclear warheads which threatened the DPRK, China and the Soviet Union.
By 1991 these nuclear weapons had been withdrawn, but the Korean peninsula is still under the US “nuclear umbrella” provided from the many US bases in the region.
Even without nuclear weapons, the north was utterly devastated in the 1950-1953 war, in which two million civilians died and more bombs were dropped than during the entire Pacific War.
As US Air Force General Curtis LeMay recalled: "We eventually burned down every town in north Korea... and some in south Korea too. We even burned down Pusan – an accident, but we burned it down anyway".
Napalm was widely used, including against Pyongyang. The world was shocked by the indiscriminate bombing of civilians, and Winston Churchill (in his second term as prime minister) declared he would not take responsibility “for napalm being splashed about all over the civilian population”. Many others protested, including the Archbishop of New York and the Free Church of Scotland. 
The DPRK has extended the hand of peace
In view of this history, it is little wonder the DPRK feels the necessity to have nuclear weapons of its own to defend its revolution and its sovereignty. In recent years Pyongyang has witnessed the spectacles of Iraq and Libya, having agreed to renounce their advanced weapons programmes, being swiftly and mercilessly crushed at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, their once high living standards now but a distant memory.
The DPRK’s leaders and people are not afraid of war to defend their national sovereignty, but their greatest desire is peace and reunification. For over 40 years the DPRK has set out proposals to consolidate peace, reduce tensions and move towards Korean reunification.
In 1972 DPRK President Kim Il Sung put forward the Three Principles of Reunification, plans for a Confederal Republic of Koryo in 1973, followed by the Five Point Policy for National Reunification in 1975.
On June 15 2000 the historic North-South Declaration was signed by DPRK Dear Leader Kim Jong Il and south Korean President Kim Dae Jung, opening the way for family visits, economic and transport links.
But all these efforts were sunk when George W Bush took office in 2003, declared the DPRK part of an “Axis of Evil”, and scrapped the 1994 Agreed Framework, the closest the DPRK and US have ever come to a peace settlement and normalisation of relations.
In his 2015 New Year Address DPRK First Chairman Kim Jong Un once again called for the north and south to avoid confrontation and resolve their differences, free of foreign interference, “By Our Nation Itself”.
End the exercises, withdraw US forces, negotiate peace!
Here in Britain the Korean Friendship Association, supported by the New Communist Party and other parties and progressive organisations, calls on the United States to pull its military forces out of Korea, end its nuclear strike threat against the DPRK, and agree to a genuine peace settlement.
Rather than being side-tracked by bogus allegations about human rights in the DPRK, the world should unite and call for an end to America’s sabre-rattling exercises, a peace agreement followed by the withdrawal of all US personnel, the reunification of north and south Korea after 60 years of sacrifices and humiliation, and the final national liberation of the Korean nation.
That would be a great achievement for the entire world peace movement.

Campaigning for Democratic Korea

by New Worker correspondent
   THE UK Korean Friendship Association held a highly successful annual general meeting last Saturday in central London, at which UK KFA members, including a local councillor, were joined by members of the Spanish KFA and comrade Kwang Song Yu from the DPRK Embassy.
Messages of support were received from the worldwide KFA President, Alejandro Cao De Benos, and international KFA branches and sections including US, Belgium, Switzerland,  Austria, Poland, Singapore and Spain.
In his message Cao De Benos recalled that the KFA-UK “is our very first international branch”, and said: “Each person helping, even a little, is worth 100 who just remain idle. I want to encourage you to assist and suggest projects and action, to reach the biggest awareness in the general population.”
He said 2015 was a very important year for both the DPRK and the KFA itself, and invited comrades to join the Spanish KFA’s 15th Anniversary celebration at the DPRK Embassy in Madrid in November.
Dermot Hudson, the UK KFA official delegate and chairperson, reported on the activities of the past year, which included protests at the US and puppet south Korean embassies, a public meeting in Liverpool, and a skype conference on the chemical weapons issue.
Theo Russell, UK KFA communications secretary, gave a report of work which highlighted several leaflets prepared for particular campaigns designed to provide information and education on Korea, and be used as a future resource.
He also delivered a message of solidarity from the New Communist Party in which he said that apart from general campaigns on Korea: “The Korean Friendship Association, and our party also work on a higher political level to encourage and help people in Britain to learn about and understand the teachings of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un, and the Juché philosophy”. He said the KFA faced an enormous task in Britain: “But the hope is to convince people of all political persuasions in Britain of the justice of Korea’s struggle for complete independence, reunification and peace, and to build the strongest possible friendship between our countries.”
The meeting discussed a number of important campaign priorities. The 27th June is  the start of the Month of Solidarity with the People of Korea, a tradition begun in 1960 by the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organisation, for which the UK KFA will hold a picket of the US embassy on June 25th.
Those present were also in agreement on the need to step up support and publicity on the work of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front of south Korea, which is little known in Britain. A letter to dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un was adopted, along with a resolution condemning the US stockpiling of anthrax toxins in south Korea.