IN HIS New Year speech North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un warned US imperialism not to start a nuclear war against the country saying that a nuclear launch button is ‘always on my table’.
Jong-un said: ‘We achieved the goal of completing our state nuclear force in 2017. We need to mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles and accelerate their deployment.’ He added: ‘The US should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my desk. This is not blackmail but reality.’
While making it clear that North Korea was prepared to use its nuclear capabilities, Jong-un also made it perfectly clear that that the country’s nuclear arsenal played purely a deterrent role, insisting that: ‘The entire area of the US mainland is within our nuclear strike range’ which meant ‘The US can never start a war against me and our country.’ But that ‘These weapons will be used only if our security is threatened.’
In the same speech, Jong-un stressed that North Korea was seeking closer ties with South Korea saying that it was imperative to lower military tensions on the Korean peninsula and improve ties with the South, adding that the path to dialogue was open and that North Korea is considering taking part in the Winter Olympic Games to be held in South Korea next month. He said that the Olympics ‘will serve as a good chance to display our Korean people’s grace towards the world and we sincerely hope the Games will be a success.’
Jong-un’s speech was greeted with enthusiasm by South Korean leaders who told a news conference that the South ‘welcomes Chairman Kim Jong-un raising the necessity to improve the South-North Korean relationship’, a programme that would open the door for uniting the Korean Peninsula. They also want an end to the military build up to war by the US, a war that would result in the deaths of millions of Koreans for the benefit of the imperialists.
US imperialism certainly doesn’t welcome the prospect for a peaceful improvement of relations and the possibility of reunification. The New Year’s message from Jong-un follows hard on the heels of a warning delivered recently by a former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff that the US has never been closer to a nuclear war with North Korea.
The North Korean leadership has an absolute right to legitimately defend the country by whatever means necessary against the threat of nuclear war from US imperialism. It has learnt the lessons of Iraq and Libya, that disarming in the face of threats and promises from the imperialist powers opens the door to invasion and the destruction of entire countries.
If the North Korean government has learnt that submission will not save it, the same cannot be said of the Stalinist bureaucracy in Russia and China. In December they voted on the UN Security Council for the most draconian US-proposed sanctions against North Korea, sanctions designed to destroy the country and starve its people into submission.
The Stalinist bureaucracies of Russia and China ignore the lessons of the Stalin-Hitler pact which saw Stalin, blinded by his counter-revolutionary belief in ‘peaceful coexistence with imperialism’, entered into a peace pact with Hitler’s Germany and disarmed the Soviet Union. Stalin’s treachery almost lost the Soviet Union when Hitler carried out what he always intended, to invade the USSR and destroy Bolshevism. The same treacherous belief that it is possible to peacefully co-exist with imperialism today threatens the workers of China and Russia.
US imperialism will not stop at destroying North Korea; its ultimate goal is to dominate the entire region, bringing its military forces right up to the borders of China and Russia in preparation for a war against both these threats to the economic survival of bankrupt capitalism. There can be no peaceful coexistence with capitalism in its most barbaric imperialist stage.
The Stalinist bureaucracies must end all sanctions against North Korea and the working class throughout the world must support the right of North Korea to defend itself with nuclear weapons against imperialist war. The lessons of history are clear – the only way to secure world peace is to destroy imperialism through the victory of the world socialist revolution.