I would like, first of all, to express my sincere gratitude to the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Belgium for inviting us to this seminar and to convey our friendly greetings to all comrade delegates attending the seminar.
The mankind that has just entered the 21st century is faced with a new challenge, the challenge posed by “globalization”. At the present time when the imperialist move for “globalization” is getting more undisguised, it is important to have a correct understanding of the reactionary nature of “globalization” and to conduct a vigorous anti-imperialist class struggle against it.
Imperialism intends to conquer the entire world and to subordinate all nations. Therefore, the struggle against “globalization” becomes inevitably an anti-imperialist struggle, and the anti-imperialist struggle is, in essence, a serious class struggle.
A clear anti-imperialist class-consciousness is a powerful weapon, which enables one to display a boundless loyalty to the revolution. No enemy can conquer a people who are strong in their revolutionary integrity and class-consciousness and prepared to defend their ideology and political system at the cost of their lives.
A high sense of anti-imperialist class-consciousness is formed and displayed through a continuous education in the principles and essence of class struggle. This is the condition for the revolution to advance, no matter how time passes and how the conditions and environment for the revolution change. To abandon education in class-consciousness when the class struggle is continuing with no signs of letting up is like disarming oneself.
The Workers’ Party of Korea has defined class education as an important task of the party’s ideological work. It has continuously broadened and deepened its work among the party membership and working people. As a result, the revolutionary character and class-consciousness have increased immeasurably, and the class base of our own style of socialism has been cemented as never before.
The complex events that led to the collapse of socialism in some countries at the end of the 20th century did little to make the Korean people hesitate or waver in their conviction. Class-conscious and mindful of their obligation, the Korean people have overcome the vicious anti-D.P.R.K. campaign of the imperialists with a revolutionary offensive and firmly defended the socialist banner, reaffirming their socialist conviction.
Our socialism went through harsh ordeals. At the end of the 90s, when our people experienced the worst difficulties, the imperialists were shouting loudly that the socialist system of North Korea was about to collapse. Our socialist system survived and the attempts by the imperialists to destroy our land have failed. And this in spite of the disappearance of the socialist market at the beginning of the 90s, a market on which the DPR of Korea was depending for the majority of its trade exchanges.
Today, after six very difficult years, where floods and droughts followed one after the other, North Korea got its best harvest for six years. It owes it to its incredible efforts and especially to its unity in the “arduous March”.
Today, the revolutionary unity of the people has reached a high level, and the Korean revolution is vigorously advancing to an ambitious target of building a prosperous power braving the political and military presence of the imperialists.
Our party is firm in its stand that the revolution and socialist construction move forward in stages, by strengthening education in anti-imperialist class-consciousness.
Comrade Kim Jong Il, the great leader of our party and people, has said: ” Today, it is even more pressing than ever to bring the working class and other working masses to a revolutionary awareness.”
This is an era of a fierce confrontation with imperialism. In the new century, the imperialists are getting even haughtier in their arm-twisting policy. The U.S. imperialists are adopting military attacks at will against the countries they don’t like, thereby killing innocent people. The American atrocities are causing concern and indignation among the world’s peoples who aspire for independence and justice.
Under the pretext to widen the struggle against terrorism, the United States want to impose on the world their proceedings of thuggery. They exert pressures and military threats against all countries that they consider as obstacles to their interests. The project of anti-missile shields destroys the existing world balance of power and gives a new impetus to the arms race. It largely threats the peace and the security in the world. It is the reason why many countries in the world oppose the American project.
The century has changed, but what has not changed are the principles and targets of our struggle. Today, as the new generation that has not experienced the trials of revolutionary wars and class struggle, forms the mainstay of our revolutionary ranks, a letup in the education of class-consciousness cannot be allowed. We can never allow the ideological indolence and depravity that may occur from the confrontation with imperialism. Education in class awareness should not be stopped even for a moment as long as the imperialists remain on this planet.
Today, the Korean people are redoubling their efforts to build a prosperous socialist power with a high sense of class awareness and revolutionary enthusiasm. These values are being put into practice with a fierce determination to fight the U.S. imperialists to the bitter end. Historically, they have imposed untold suffering and misfortunes on the Korean people. They are resorting to every possible vicious means to stifle socialism in our country.
The struggle to defend socialism is at the same time a sharp class struggle. Our Party is deepening education of class awareness among all Party members and working people so that they see everything from a class viewpoint and stand, and do not tolerate, but resolutely fight against all practices contrary to the interests of the Party, the revolution and the socialist ideology and principles.
We see to it that the new generations are properly informed about the killings and atrocities committed by the U.S. imperialists during the last Fatherland Liberation War, as well as of the deep-seated enmity of the Korean people toward U.S. imperialism. By doing so, we make sure that the new generation never forget the misfortunes and suffering inflicted by the U.S. imperialists on the Korean people and harbour unquenchable hatred and determination for revenge against the U.S. imperialists.
Any illusion about imperialism means death. No matter how the situation may change, imperialism must be confronted with a high degree of class awareness and in a hard-line and high-handed manner. The class struggle is a live-or-die confrontation. If you cannot properly tell friend from foe, you can’t beat the enemy.
We see to it that we have a sharp class approach to all problems, and thoroughly apply revolutionary principles and class character. Particular emphasis is given to teaching the people the lessons from the collapse of socialism in some countries so that they always keep in mind the fact that there can be no mercy for class enemies.
Today, the Workers’ Party of Korea is carrying out an army-first policy, as the embodiment of the idea of giving priority to the military affairs. Our party’s army-first policy is an original mode of politics created by the great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il, who is leading the socialist cause in our own way, based on the principles of Juche. The army-first politics aim to strengthen the revolutionary ranks with the army as their nucleus; to rely on the army in defending socialism and making breakthroughs in socialist construction; and to remodel the whole of society on the model of the revolutionary army.
When the Korean people are faced with a stark choice between living as slaves once more, or keeping their honour and dignity as an independent nation, the great leader Kim Jong Il resolved the problem with his army-based revolutionary leadership.
As the proverb goes, politics is power, and if you unwrap politics, it boils down to military affairs. The present era is one of a forceful struggle between the anti-imperialist forces and the hegemonic forces. When imperialism is getting more tyrannical in its attempt for global hegemony, it is no easy job for a small country with a small population to confront the imperialists head-on and to follow an independent line.
In the past, the situation in our country has been brought to the brink of a war on more than one occasion. The fact that the imperialists, who have been engaged in power politics for the last ten years since the end of the Cold War, could not ignite a war of aggression against our country is a clear manifestation of the validity of the army-first policy of our party.
This situation confirms how right was our policy of constant vigilance, which has allowed us to be equipped with powerful means of defence. Our country is forced to dedicate about 14% of its budget to national defence. We can not stand idle while the United States, the only world superpower, which militarily occupies South Korea, is constantly threatening us.
The United States reorganise their troops in South Korea, reinforce their command, their manoeuvres and their implantation. These new measures show, on the one hand, their intention to preserve their military presence in South Korea. But first of all, they show their preparations to provoke a new Korean War. By sharpening the tensions in the Korean peninsula, the United States are looking for a pretext to embark on a new war.
As soon as it came to power, the Bush administration pointed at the DPR of Korea as its enemy Number 1. It invoked a so-called nuclear threat, a missile threat, and even demanded the reduction of our conventional weapons. It was in fact a unilateral disarmament. Howeve, we have several times declared that we don’t possess nuclear weapons, that we neither intend, nor are able to develop and produce them.
In 1994, our country has concluded a joint agreement with the United States to solve the nuclear question. The stake was the following: the United States engage themselves to donate to the DPR of Korea two nuclear reactors, with a capacity of a million kW each, by 2003, in exchange for the freezing of our current nuclear reactors. The DPR of Korea has indeed frozen its nuclear installations. But there was no progress in the installation of new reactors, apart from the construction works of their foundations. The United States, which are not at all exempt from their obligations, demand constantly “inspections”. They continuously delay the application of the agreement, with the inclusion of the delivery of oil to compensate the loss of electricity due to the cooling down of the nuclear power plant. The United States are thus largely responsible for the shortage of electricity, which strikes our country, already struck by several years of natural catastrophes. If this situation lasts, our country will be forced to reopen its out of date nuclear facilities.
Today, the entire population is firmly equipped with the party’s idea of giving priority to military affairs, and always maintains a vigilant posture.
Giving priority to military affairs serves as a powerful weapon in defending the sovereignty of the fatherland and the destiny of the nation against the imperialist schemes of aggression and war. Under a hair-trigger situation like the one that prevails today, precedence of military affairs over anything else and making the country’s defence impregnable is the highest expression of defending the class principles. This year, we just celebrated the 90th birthday of the father of socialist Korea, Comrade Kim Il Sung, and also the 70th anniversary of the People’s Army of Korea. Our Party and our people have brandished this slogan: “Let’s make of this year, which marks the 90th birthday of Comrade Kim Il Sung, Great Leader, the year of a new impulse in the construction of a powerful nation”.
Big efforts will be made in the development of the mining industry. We will particularly encourage the production of energy, coal, iron industry and railway transportation.
In all the country, the development of science, technology and education will be encouraged. Particular attention will be given to the development of computer science. For the first time, our country has just opened an international exhibition in China of more than a hundred original computer programmes, from translation programmes to video games.
The Workers’ Party of Korea and the Korean people, firmly united under the leadership of Comrade Kim Jong Il, will achieve the cause of building a prosperous socialist power and an independent reunification of the country without fail.
As in the past, our Party will continue to do all it can to strengthen friendship and co-operation with the world’s revolutionary parties, including communist and workers’ parties and fighting organisations that aspire for justice and progress, under the banner of anti-imperialism and socialism.
I take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to the representatives of political parties and fighting organisations who have extended full support and solidarity to our Party and people in our just struggle.