YESTERDAY the British Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, condemned North Korea’s testing of an intercontinental missile that when developed will have the capacity to deliver a nuclear bomb to the western seacoast of the United States.
Hers is the usual ruling class standard position at work, since Beckett’s government stands for the replacement of the Trident missile programme, at a cost of some £25 billion, in order to be able to wreak British nuclear devastation onto any part of the planet, including North Korea, China and Russia.
Maintaining and being prepared to use this capacity to inflict nuclear annihilation has been Britain’s position as long as it has had nuclear weaponry.
As was revealed a fortnight ago, Harold Macmillan, the British Prime Minister, after the 1956 Suez debacle, sought to get the US to support his position of warning China that if it attempted to reclaim its then lost territory of Hong Kong it would be attacked by the US and UK using nuclear weapons.
However, the Americans were not keen to use their nuclear power to defend the last remnants of the British Empire, and Macmillan found that he was on his own.
Britain’s position has not changed since that period.
It cannot do anything about the nuclear weapons that have been developed by China and Russia, but it seeks to stop all the remaining states that it deems are opposing its interests from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, the US has nuclear weaponry available for immediate use just off the North Korean coast and in the southern part of the Korean peninsula.
It wants the North Koreans to give up the nuclear weapon that it has got, while it refuses to end its occupation of South Korea, and refuses to sign a peace treaty with North Korea guaranteeing, as far as a treaty can, that the north will not be invaded.
Quite simply it is opposed to a nuclear weapon being in the hands of North Korea, because at some stage in the future it intends to invade North Korea and restore capitalism.
It has the same attitude to Iran.
But Israel, India, Pakistan and all of the allies of the US can have as many nuclear devices as they like (Israel has over 200) and all of the means of delivery that are required.
Britain and the United States will now be seeking to take action against North Korea through the UN Security Council, where they hope to persuade China and Russia not to use their veto against proposals to impose sanctions on North Korea, to try to starve the country into submission.
Prime Minister Blair’s official spokesman said yesterday that ‘It is important the United Nations Security Council leaves North Korea in no doubt about the strength of international concern over their actions.’
A closed UN session was requested by Japan, the US’ strategic ally in the Pacific region, which plans to co-ordinate its response to the missile tests with the US and other countries.
The US is hoping that China in particular will be angry with North Korea and drop its UN veto.
The Chinese Stalinist leadership will be making a serious mistake if they play this role, since the US looks at eliminating the North Korean regime as a stepping stone to overthrowing the Chinese government and restoring capitalism in China.
The US and the UK have made it perfectly clear that they will never give up their nuclear weaponry or stop expanding, refining and developing it.
North Korea however maintains that it is willing to give up what nuclear weaponry it has if the US will guarantee that it will not be attacked. This the US will not do since its ambitions are much greater than just restoring capitalism to North Korea.
The only way forward to a real nuclear disarmament, is through the working class of the world disarming the imperialist powers with socialist revolutions that expropriate the imperialist bourgeoisie replacing them with workers states and socialism.
Crucial to this development is the building of sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in all of the major countries to lead this world socialist revolution to its victory.