NORTH Korea has said it may pull out of a summit with US President Donald Trump that was due to take place on June 12 if the US insists it gives up its nuclear weapons, and continues with military exercises around the Korean peninsula.
In its statement, North Korea’s vice-foreign minister Kim Kye-gwan said that if the US ‘corners us and unilaterally demands we give up nuclear weapons we will no longer have an interest in talks’ and ‘will have to reconsider’ attending the 12 June summit in Singapore. He pointed the finger of blame at US National Security Adviser John Bolton. Bolton supported and still supports the Anglo-US attack on Iraq in 2003 based on the lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
In 2016, when he was mulling a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, Bolton said: ‘If you knew everything you do today, of course you’d make different choices, but I’d still overthrow Saddam Hussein, who was a threat to peace and stability in the region.’
More to the point, Bolton said of North Korea: ‘Given the gaps in US intelligence about North Korea, we should not wait until the very last minute,’ he wrote in the Wall Street Journal in February. He added: ‘It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current “necessity” posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first.’ In March 2015, a few months before the nuclear deal with Iran was agreed, he argued in the New York Times that only military action would suffice.
‘Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed,’ he said, advocating Israeli action specifically. ‘Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.’
‘We do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him,’ said Kim Kye-gwan, in his statement.
The groundbreaking agreement for Kim Jong-un and Trump to meet came about as North Korea said it was committed to denuclearising the Korean peninsula, and went as far as inviting foreign media to witness the dismantling of its main nuclear test site later this month.
Bolton threw a big spanner into the works with his most recent statement. Over the weekend, he said North Korea could follow a Libyan model of nuclear disarmament – Libya gave up its weapons programmes in the early 2000s to secure economic aid and normalised relations with the US. Everybody knows that Libya was disarmed of its wmds and that the country was then destroyed and its leader was murdered after the UK and France, supported by the US, aided an Islamic uprising that murdered the country’s leader Gadaffi, and destroyed the country.
Kim Kye-gwan said in his statement that Bolton’s position was ‘not an expression of intention to address the issue through dialogue. It is essentially a manifestation of awfully sinister moves to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq which had been collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers.’
Kim also warned Trump that if he ‘follows in the footsteps of his predecessors he will be recorded as a more tragic and unsuccessful president than his predecessors, far from his initial ambition to make unprecedented success’. North Korea is wisely stepping back at a time when unprecedented US Naval forces are in the Gulf getting ready for action against Iran, alongside Israel.
The US Navy is closely monitoring Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf and expects a ‘period of uncertainty’ and increased level of alertness, according to Admiral John Richardson, chief of US Naval Operations.
North Korea must maintain its nuclear armament in order to defend itself, and it must stand with Iran and other anti-imperialist states as the surest way of defending itself. For workers in the West the issue is also crystal clear. The time has come when they must organise socialist revolutions to disarm imperialism by overthrowing the imperialist powers to lay the basis for world socialism.