Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Day of the Sun in London

Chris Coleman (RCPB-ML) adding his tribute

 by New Worker correspondent

FRIENDS and supporters of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) were invited to the DPRK’s embassy last Friday evening, 15th April, to mark Korea’s Day of the Sun, which coincides with the birthday of Kim Il Sung 100 years ago.
Many of those attending brought flowers to lay in front of a portrait of Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il.
The DPRK ambassador Hyon Hak Bong made a brief speech outlining the life and achievements of Kim Il Sung, who began his revolutionary work against the Japanese occupation of Korea at just 14 years old.
Kim Il Sung went on to lead the Korean people to two great victories against foreign invaders: first the Japanese and then the United States in the 1950–53 war.
Invited guests then added their tributes to the Great Leader and his role in forging the Juche philosophy, uniting the communist movement when it was split between the Beijing and Moscow camps.
And then, after the revisionist Soviet leadership collapsed and communist parties all around the world were collapsing, Kim Il Sung and the Workers’ Party of Korea pulled the global communist movement back together at a conference in Pyongyang and gave communists confidence to fight on – now stronger because the revisionists had departed.
The New Communist Party was represented by Daphne Liddle who delivered flowers, respect and congratulations to the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Comrades mark Kim Il Sung anniversary

by New Worker correspondent
Comrade Thae holding up the New Worker!

AT THE HEIGHT of the Cold War NATO forces staged an intimidating war exercise along the length of the border between eastern and western Europe involving 120,000 troops from assorted NATO countries.
This year NATO forces, along with Japanese and south Korean troops, staged an aggressive war exercise, including practising the use of  nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, in the much smaller space of the south of the Korean peninsula involving 300,000 troops.
The exercise included goals entitled: “behead the leader” and involved practising invasive beach landings. And they wonder why the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has been motivated to develop its own nuclear weapons!
This information was delivered by Comrade Thae Yongho, a representative of the DPRK embassy in London, to a meeting of the Korean Friendship Association (KFA) and the Juche Idea Study Group of England in central London on Saturday 2nd April  to celebrate the 104th anniversary of Korean revolutionary leader Kim Il Sung and the DPRK Day of the Sun.
Dermot Hudson outlined the life of Kim Il Sung and the contributions he made to communist unity throughout the world, especially at a time when there was an ideological war between Moscow and Beijing that led to sectarian divisions and even violence between the different factions throughout communist parties across the world.
Kim Il Sung, and his son and successor Kim Jong Il, developed the Juche idea, which is based on the principle that human society is the master of its own destiny; that communist parties in different countries should work out their own path to socialism according to their circumstances; that they should respect each other but not rely on each other for protection nor to set out what political line they should take. Each party and its membership must be responsible for its political line and actions.
They went on to develop the Songun, or Army First, policy, which does not mean a military dictatorship but that the army should be engaged in civil construction and other work, creating a better standard of living for the people and creating a long-lasting bond between the people and the army.
And so the country has raised itself up and, despite United States imposed sanctions and natural disasters like flooding, has steadily raised the standard of living so that people in the DPRK now enjoy a life well balanced between work and leisure that their grandparents could hardly have dreamed of – where there is respect and affection between the generations, guaranteed housing, free healthcare and education. and a life with much less stress and anxiety than in our society.
Other speeches were made by Sean Pickford, Nick Shakespeare, Alex Meads and Daniel Braggins, and there was a film shown of DPRK defence exercises.

In Defence of Songun


 by George Cockburn

 In Defence of Songun by Dermot Hudson (Lulu Press, 2015)

THE IDEAS of Juche and Songun are two of the major developments of Marxist thinking that have emerged from the Korean revolution, and added to the theoretical armoury of the world socialist and communist movements.
In particular Juché and Songun have offered a valuable path for many small, developing countries to emulate. They are a valued contribution to the struggles for national independence and socialism in our times, and have attracted followers around the world.
Virtually nothing has been written in the West on the subject of Songun and what little has been written has been from a hostile position to the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Korean revolution. Moreover, while the Juché and Songun ideas are the twin pillars of defending the DPR Korea's cherished independence and sovereignty, fewer people in the West are aware of the Songun policy than about the Juché idea.
For these reasons Dermot Hudson's new book, In Defence of Songun, is a valuable and timely contribution to the available material in the English language on this topic, particularly for the many people around the world engaged in studying the ideological aspects of the Korean revolution.
The founding of the Songun policy (also known as the Army First policy) began on 25th August 1960 when Kim Jong Il, then Chair of the National Defence Commission, inspected the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division of the Korean People’s Army.
Hudson describes Songun as: “The main socialist mode of politics, as it is the mode of politics that gives top priority to military affairs and defends the country, the revolution and socialism with the People’s Army as the core and the main force, and dynamically pushes ahead with overall socialist construction.”
The book looks at specific aspects of the Songun policy, including its relation to revisionist theories, economic classes, and to world politics – and emphasises that the Army First policy in no way implies a form of military dictatorship: “Of course this does not mean that the army takes over society nor that Songun politics advocates a military government nor is a deviation from the socialist idea as some reactionaries and opportunists have tried to suggest.
“Military government is the one in which the reactionary ruling class militarise all fields of the state and social life and subordinate them to the building up of the military strength for aggressive war,” adding: “This is done on behalf of the monopoly capitalist ruling class.”
Hudson also stresses the role of the Korean People's Army (KPA) under the Songun policy as one of serving the Korean people and the economy, not only in war but also in peacetime, actively contributing to economic construction.
“In the DPRK”, he says, “the People’s Army undertakes at the highest level the construction of monumental edifices, power stations, factories, cultural and welfare facilities and housing across the country.
“In 2015 alone, numerous projects including historic sites associated with the Fatherland Liberation War Museum, the Sinchon Museum, the Automation Institute of the Kim Chaek University of Technology, the Satellite Control Centre of the National Aerospace Development Administration, the Wonsan Orphanage, the Pyongyang Rest Home and the new Pyongyang International Airport terminal have been newly built or refurbished thanks to the devoted efforts of the People’s Army.”
An example of how the KPA serves the masses was when flash floods struck the area around the city of Rajin near the Russian and Chinese border last August, in which according to the International Red Cross 40 people lost their lives and more than 11,000 people were left homeless.
Units of the KPA were on the spot within 24 hours, and within three to four weeks new housing, roads and bridges had been built or repaired.
Perhaps the residents of towns hit by devastating floods in northern England last year, who have had to wait weeks and months for insurance and “emergency” Government pay-outs and for local councils to repair local infrastructure, might be envious of such a rapid and effective response!
In these ways Songun has contributed to the remarkable achievements of the DPR Korea in maintaining strong and technologically advanced defence forces, under constant threat of war from US imperialism, while still managing rapidly to develop the economy, embark on dozens of construction projects from housing to tourist resorts, and greatly improve the standards of life and culture for its people year by year.
In recent times the 2003 invasion of Iraq has become symbolic of the lies and aggression of US imperialism that have caused so much death and suffering around the world. As Hudson writes: “The US imperialists have recorded in their bloody history more than 200 wars against small and developing countries since 1945. After the Cold War some people thought that their ambitions of aggression would be weak. But the reality was contrary to them.”
Shortly after George W Bush declared “mission accomplished” in that war, Kim Jong Il wrote: “The bloody lesson of the war in Iraq for the world is that only when a country has physical deterrent forces and massive military deterrent forces that are capable of overwhelmingly defeating any attack by state-of-the-art weapons, can it prevent war and defend its independence and national security.”
This was a lesson to all small, developing countries that to disarm in the face of imperialism meant to lay their country open to attack, and was confirmed yet again with horrific consequences by the regime change in Libya after Muammar Gaddafi agreed to cancel the development of nuclear weapons.
Dermot Hudson's book looks in detail at all these aspects of the Songun idea, and is recommended to all readers of the New Worker as a new and useful resource in studying and understanding contributions of the Korean revolution and its leaders.