The Society for Friendship with Korea held a public meeting to mark the 48th anniversary of the ending of the war of aggression waged by US-led imperialism against the DPRK. Harpal Brar, the chairman of the SFK, Ella Rule its secretary, Dermot Hudson its Vice-Chair, Keith Bennett and Carlos Rule in their speeches exposed the brutality and barbaric crimes of US imperialism, both during and preceding this war, which claimed the lives of 4 million Korean people. For instance, in 1950, in Sinchon county alone the US forces killed 35,383 people, constituting 25% of the county’s population. The US imperialists destroyed 5,484 dwellings, 618 factories, public buildings and irrigation works.
Between 1945 and 48, over 300,000 communists, socialists and anti-imperialist patriots were put to death by US imperialism and its puppets. The US-led forces made liberal use of bacteriological and germ warfare weapons – weapons that carried cholera and anthrax. The US military used 20 times as much napalm in Korea as it had used during the second world war. The US was bent upon total destruction, boasting it would bomb the DPRK back into the stone age. The US pilots often complained that there were no targets left to bomb.
Notwithstanding their massive superiority in fire power, the US imperialist forces were defeated. The people of the DPRK, under the wise and brilliant leadership of the late Marshal Kim Il Sung, and with the help of the Chinese people’s volunteers and generous material help from the USSR, fought the imperialist forces to a standstill and forced them to sign an armistice agreement on 27 July 1953. Since then US imperialism has refused to sign a peace treaty with the DPRK and continues to occupy South Korean and rule the latter through a puppet regime. The US will not sign a peace treaty because it does not want peace. And it does not want peace because peace would deprive the US of the pretext and opportunity for meddling in the affairs of the Korean peninsula, the Southern part of which it occupies with 40,000 troops and 1,000 Nuclear weapons.
All along, since the end of the Korean war, US imperialism has maintained a tight economic blockade against the DPRK. In the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR, thanks to the ravages of Khruschevite revisionism, the US further strengthened this blockade in the hope of causing the collapse of the regime of the DPRK. Having failed singularly in that nefarious aim, the Clinton administration entered into negotiations, and signed agreements, with the Government of the DPRK. Under these agreements, the US was to have delivered oil, foodstuffs and lightwater reactors in return for the DPRK not proceeding with the production of nuclear weapons. The present Bush administration has gone back on these undertakings. All the speakers condemned the US policy towards the DPRK and demanded that the US sign a peace treaty with the DPRK, that the US forces of occupation vacate the Korean peninsula, and let the two Koreas grapple with the question of re-unification of their country, unhindered by US interference.
The SFK meeting was fortunate in having the presence of the DPRK representative, Cde Jong Sun Won, who spoke with great joy about the victory of the Korean people over US imperialist aggressors.
It also had Cde Keith Bennett, President of the Society for Friendship and Solidarity with Korea on the platform. It is to be hoped that in the future the two societies can co-operate with each other and in time become one, thus avoiding duplication of effort, and in the process strengthening the work of building a movement of solidarity with the Korean people among the British proletariat.
The meeting was followed by an extremely convivial and enjoyable social evening with food and drinks, during which those present at the meeting were able to exchange views with each other.