Lalkar is proud to publish the following article by the Society for Friendship with Korea (SFK) written on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of the victorious Fatherland Liberation war of the Korean people against the US-led imperialist war of aggression.
This July 2003 marks the 50th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. During the three years of this war, US-led imperialist forces rained death and destruction on the Korean people and killed 4 million Korean patriots. But notwithstanding this, the people of Korea under the leadership of the Workers Party of Korea (WPK) and the late Comrade Kim Il Sung, and with fraternal support from the USSR and the Peoples Republic of China, delivered powerful counter blows against the imperialist aggressors and inflicted upon them a humiliating defeat. Progressive people all over the world cherish and celebrate this historic victory of the Korean people against imperialism. We too in the SFK join the whole of progressive humanity and send our greetings on the 50th anniversary of this great victory to the people of Korea; the Korean Peoples Army and to their Commander-in-Chief Comrade Kim Jong Il.
Once again, American imperialism is attempting to create war hysteria as a prelude to a new war on the Korean peninsula. We very much hope that US imperialism will never actually dare to launch the aggression against the DPRK that some sections of its ruling elite would undoubtedly like to see. Were they to do so, however, it should not be assumed that just because Korea is a small country and the USA a huge one the result of such a war would be victory for the United States. On the contrary, victory would go to the DPRK and the Korean people.
Three things are required to defeat an enemy in war: (1) Good leadership; (2) the will to win; and (3) military capability, and we will say something about each of these in the case of the DPRK.
The question of leadership
As far as leadership is concerned, we have nothing to fear. US imperialism has already received a serious disappointment. Knowing how hard it is to find leaders of the requisite calibre, it was hoping that on Comrade Kim Il Sung’s death, the DPRK would find it impossible to find anybody able to offer leadership of the same calibre. The Workers’ Party of Korea, however, was well able to identify the person best suited to take over the leadership of the Korean nation, namely Comrade Kim Jong Il. Since he took over, he has proved his great ability in leading his country through the most difficult times, facing and overcoming problems of an unprecedented nature. We can be certain that his leadership in the event of war would be equally inspired.
The will to win
Were US imperialism mad enough to attack Korea again – as it did in 1950-1953 – nobody has any doubt that the Korean people would have the will to defeat them. Even in 1950-1953 before the Korean people had with their own hands built their beautiful socialist society, they fought relentlessly simply to safeguard the national independence which is so dear to them. Today they would be fighting not only to safeguard their national independence but also the socialist motherland which looks after everybody and ensures a truly cultured life worthy of a human being to every person. Who would not fight to the death to defend a country where all human beings live in such dignity and where there are none of the signs of human distress that we witness even in the rich capitalist countries – prostitution, AIDS, crime, drugs, unemployment, homelessness and war. Of course, it is possible to take one’s happy life for granted and imagine that it could be even better if only the wonders of capitalism were introduced to bring a McDonalds in every town; but if the Korean people were ever tempted by such a nightmare vision, the terrible fate of the masses of the people in the countries that have had their socialist system snatched away from them has certainly been observed, reinforcing the Korean people’s traditional determination to defend and safeguard their independence at all costs.
No serious person therefore doubts the willingness of the mass of the Korean people to win. There are perhaps some people who doubt the Korean people’s loyalty to their government, especially since natural disasters and the need to devote such a high proportion of the country’s resources to military defence have led of late to a temporary decline in people’s standard of living. There can, however, not be the slightest doubt of the loyalty of the people of the DPRK to their government – for one thing, not only are Korean citizens armed, but they are all trained in the use of these arms. No government which had any doubt as to its people’s loyalty would allow this. Bourgeois governments do not dare to arm their populations as they know they would not last very long if they did. The DPRK government, on the other hand is secure in the support of the people of the DPRK, and can therefore afford to arm the masses and train them in the use of this weaponry. The Iraqi regime armed the masses only at the last moment, and there was no time to give them extensive training. The Korean people, therefore, have a considerable advantage over the Iraqis when it comes to fighting off any occupying force. I have not the slightest doubt that the Iraqi people will make good use of their weapons in fighting off the US occupation, but there is no doubt that they have a long way to go before they catch up with the people of the DPRK, whose military training makes it virtually impossible for any alien occupying power to take over the DPRK.
This brings me to the question of the DPRK’s military preparedness. The imperialists are fond of consoling themselves with the thought that they are the ones with the most advanced military technology – technology which they have deployed with devastating effect in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan. With this terrible weaponry they think they can defeat anybody and like the Spanish Armada they believe themselves to be invincible.
The big advantage that the DPRK has, however, is that it manufactures its own weaponry. It does not acquire it from imperialism and therefore is able both to preserve its military secrets and also to design weaponry that will be effective in combating the vicious American arsenal.
For example, the DPRK has about 15,000 shoulder-fired anti-air missiles (called Who Sung) which would be very effective against the US Apache attack helicopters sent to destroy North Korean tanks. At the same time, North Korean tanks are rated the best in the world, with skins 700 mm thick which only the US Tow II missile can penetrate. Whereas US tanks can only operate on flattish terrains, North Korea’s Chun-ma-ho tanks can navigate steep slopes and cross rivers more than 15 feet deep. North Korea’s T62 tanks can travel at 60 m.p.h., while no US tank can travel more than 55 m.p.h.
Besides Who Sung missiles, North Korea has a large number of ground-to-air missiles. It has SA-2 and SA-3 missiles against low-flying enemy planes, and SA-5 missiles for high-altitude planes. SA-5 missiles have an effective range of 250 km and can hit enemy planes flying over the middle of South Korea. In addition to the missiles, North Korea has 12,000 anti-aircraft guns, including 37mm twin-barrel guns, 23mm automatics, 57mm, 87mm and 100mm heavy guns. These are mostly manually operated and thus not subject to electronic warfare.
Because the DPRK produces its own weapons and is not dependent on imperialism’s or anybody else’s supplies, it is able to produce as many as it needs. It has a production capacity of 100 missiles a year, which it stockpiles in arsenals deep underground. Launching pads are deep underground also. These missiles will have no problem in reaching the US troops stationed in South Korea and obliterating them. Although the US has the Patriot anti-missile missile, these are far from 100% effective and it only takes one missile to get through to cause utter devastation. More than one missile would definitely get through the defences, and US imperialism knows it.
Besides armaments preparation, the DPRK is also prepared in the sense of having a huge underground tunnel system that, among other things, could enable large numbers of troops to be transported into South Korea behind enemy lines within a very short space of time. Arsenals, command headquarters and other vital facilities have been created deep underground where even the most powerful of American bunker busters cannot penetrate. The latest GBU-28 laser-guided bunker buster can penetrate to 30m, but North Korean bunkers have at least 80m of top cover of solid rock.
North Korea is also exceptionally well equipped to counter US sea power. For example, it has developed a high-speed ground to ship missile with a range of 60 km, which it test fired on 1 April 2003. It is confident of being able to penetrate the defences of US aircraft carriers which carry 6,000 men and 70 planes, and cost $4.5 billion each.
In the imperialist heartlands too aggressive war plans must be countered
Notwithstanding its excellent defence capabilities, it is not right that the DPRK should be expected to take on the might of US imperialism all on its own, and we must therefore work hard to ensure that we do everything we can to frustrate imperialism’s war plans in our own countries. The UK is host to vital facilities in Yorkshire, at Fylingdales and Menwith Hill, for US satellite spying and war co-ordination. Every effort must be made to prevent them using it.
At the same time, it is a matter of great urgency that we should remove the deadly hand of social democracy on the resistance movement that opposes US imperialism’s bellicose activity. In the UK, for instance, opinion polls showed that 80% of the population opposed the UK’s involvement in the war against Iraq. This was confirmed by the massive demonstrations, the largest of which was 2 million strong, which took place against the war – the largest demonstrations Britain has ever seen. Yet Blair went to war and virtually nothing was done physically to prevent him doing so. Why were the 2 million people who demonstrated so powerless? The answer lies in the fact that social democracy has control of the protest movement. It is impossible to even appear on the platform of the demonstrations unless you are a member of the imperialist Labour Party or a member of some other imperialist party or one belongs to any of the groups of Trotskyist and revisionist outfits who are extensions of social democracy outside the Labour Party. In other words, one has to have close connections with the very party waging the war. These people make sure that protest is limited to “exercising one’s democratic right” to go on a demonstration and write a letter to one’s MP. Any activity which could actually physically hinder or prevent the commission of war crimes by our government, such as refusing to transport armaments, etc. is ruled entirely out of order, illegal and terroristic, by these imperialist agents in our movement.
In order to break their stranglehold over our movement, it is necessary to go on the offensive against them in the union movement. It will undoubtedly be a long, hard struggle, but it is a good time to start it now since the imperialists are now busy attacking the working class at home. In Britain the Labour Party, representing the interests of imperialism and the privileged sections of the working class, is busy attacking the most disadvantaged section of the working class. The top trade-union leadership, also representing the interests of the privileged sections of the working class and of imperialism, is under the political control of the Labour Party. Obviously, a union controlled by the party in government that is waging war against the oppressed people of the world is not going to be able to do much to frustrate imperialism’s war efforts, any more than it can defend the interests of its own members. It is necessary to propose resolutions in the unions outlawing co-operation with our government’s war crimes, and it is necessary to stand candidates for election to positions in the union on an anti-war programme, in opposition to members of the Labour Party, which engages in imperialist wars of aggression. As the war against Iraq was so universally opposed, it is an excellent opportunity to loosen the grip of our enemies on the unions and on the working-class movement in general.
The Society for Friendship with Korea conveys its greetings to the Workers’ Party of Korea, the government of the DPRK and Comrade Kim Jong Il for their principled and courageous struggle against our common enemy, which stands as an example to us all. We in the SFK wish them every success in our mutual struggle for a future of dignity, wellbeing and peace for the whole of humanity.
Society for Friendship with Korea
To support and defend socialism against imperialist attacks, join Society for Friendship with Korea, PO Box 9135, London W3 6DG