THE government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) [North Korea] announced yesterday that it would ‘no longer be bound’ by the armistice that brought fighting in the Korean War to an end in 1953 and that ‘the Korean peninsula will go back to a state of war’.
This followed Tuesday’s decision by the South Korean regime to join the Proliferation Security Initiative, organised by United States imperialism. The US has declared that it will impose a naval blockade on North Korea, stopping and searching DPRK vessels.
Refusing to be put under siege in this way, the DPRK declared: ‘Any tiny hostile acts against our peaceful vessels, including search and seizure, will be considered an unpardonable infringement of our sovereignty. We will immediately respond with a powerful military strike.’
The DPRK pointed out, even prior to its nuclear weapon’s test on Monday and the trials of short-range rockets, that the US had already escalated its military threat to North Korea.
The government in Pyongyang said: ‘The US warlike forces are now contemplating forward-deploying two squadrons of F-22 in Japan and Guam . . . The aim sought by the US imperialists through the deployment of F-22s is to carry out its blitz strategy based on a surprise pre-emptive attack upon any target.
‘The present US administration is talking about what it called a “change” and “bilateral dialogue” but it is, in actuality, pursuing the same reckless policy as followed by the former Bush administration to stifle North Korea by force of arms.’
The US is lining up the United Nations Security Council to tighten the screws on the DPRK through trade and financial sanctions. Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN has said her government wants the Security Council to impose ‘strong measures’ against North Korea.
The US already has huge military bases in South Korea and Japan, and its Pacific fleet is always not far off the Korean coast.
When reporting the DPRK nuclear tests on Monday, the media stated that the explosion was up to 20 kilotons, making it comparable with the atomic bombs dropped by the US on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Inadvertently, this is a useful reminder that only US imperialism has ever used nuclear weapons in a war, that was to control the Pacific region. No other country has dropped nuclear bombs on hundreds of thousands of civilians.
In view of this history, and the fact that US imperialism has invaded and occupied countries like Afghanistan and Iraq over recent years, the threat to the DPRK from US imperialism is clear.
The DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s Stalinist regime is also aware that nuclear weapons have provided a deterrent to imperialist attacks from the US and its NATO allies on the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.
The DPRK has every right to develop the weaponry necessary to defend itself against imperialism, including nuclear weapons and rockets.
The main threat to workers of the region – North and South Korea, Japan, Russia and China – comes from the nuclear forces of US imperialism and the collapsing world capitalist system, which it is defending. It does not come from the DPRK.
Workers in South Korea and Japan, who are suffering mass unemployment and cuts in living standards as a result of the deepening slump, must reject the militarist and chauvinist propaganda of the governments in Seoul and Tokyo.
The working class of the whole region must come to the defence of the DPRK and the workers of North Korea, and shut down the US bases, through mass political and industrial action.
The regime in Pyongyang, because of its counter-revolutionary Stalinist politics, is opposed to such a revolutionary mobilisation of the working class in the region.
The unification of Korea will be achieved only through the struggle for workers’ power in countries like Japan and the extension of the World Socialist Revolution, under the leadership of the Fourth International.