It is routine for the various imperialist powers to label any country which develops nuclear energy and weapons without their approval as a threat to world peace and to raise a hue and cry against them. North Korea was peacefully developing a nuclear industry in order to meet its most basic energy needs, only to be threatened with war by the United States if it did not destroy its nuclear plants which the United States undertook, upon North Korea decommissioning its nuclear facilities, to replace with light water reactors which were not capable of being turned to military use in an accord signed by both countries in 1994. While the DPRK stuck to its part of the bargain, the US could not resist the temptation to try and use energy starvation to bring about the regime change in North Korea that it has been longing for ever since the people of Korea set up their own communist regime following the end of the second world war and the defeat of the Japanese colonisers of their country. Late deliveries of substitute fuel and failure to put in place the light water reactors caused immense problems for the North Korean economy which with adequate fuel supplies would have recovered much more quickly from the ravages of flood and drought that afflicted the country for 4 consecutive years during the late 1990’s. Crying crocodile tears over the resulting hardships being faced by the people of the DPRK, and wildly exaggerating them, the US has even tried to use these hardships as a justification for the US to intervene in North Korea to bring about the regime change that the US has never ceased to pine for.
But the people of Korea did not sacrifice millions of lives in the war to free their country from Japan, and in the subsequent victorious war to defend their People’s Republic from the military aggression of the invading forces of the US, Britain and their allies, simply to crumble in the face of imperialist economic aggression, on the one hand, and its blood-curdling threats on the other. The overwhelming majority of people of North Korea treasure their independence and sovereignty that the Korean people have fought so hard to achieve and will defend it to the last whatever the hardships that they have to endure in the process. It is only that determination, born of generations of suffering, that enabled a tiny country no bigger than Wales, to fight off the imperialist aggressors who considered they had a right to annex it at will.
Philip Stephens in the Financial Times of 13 May (‘A breakdown in the nuclear family’) reminds us that originally the 5 countries who had nuclear weapons undertook to pursue disarmament in return for all other signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty abjuring their right to develop such weapons. He admits, however, that “there was never a realistic prospect that the US or, as it then was, the Soviet Union would dismantle their nuclear arsenals”. (Obviously the Soviet Union, bearing in mind imperialism’s desire to bring about ‘regime change’ in their country too, could hardly give up its weapons if the imperialist powers did not. What Mr Stephens in effect was saying was that there was no way the imperialist powers would give up their weapons, and the treaty was all about making sure that their potential victims would not develop them). He admits “Double standards were later evident in the west’s almost casual response to the nuclear activities of Israel, India and Pakistan”. He points out that “US repudiation of commitments made at the 2000 NPT review conference, American research into smaller and ‘cleaner’ atomic weapons and a continued refusal to disavow their first use against non-nuclear states have raised more troubling doubts.
“Washington’s attitude seems to be that the NPT’s provisions apply to everyone else. Nuclear weapons are ever more deeply embedded in the Pentagon’s strategic posture. How can others be expected to respect the NPT when its most powerful signatory scorns the treaty’s long term ambitions?”
If one considers that the US has 10,600 nuclear warheads, Russia has 8,600, the UK has 200, France has 350 and China 400 (2002 figures), it is self-evident that the NPT means nothing at all if the big powers refuse to foreswear first use.
In response to US imperialism’s aggressive stance, its open admission that it seeks to effect regime change in North Korea, branding it a ‘rogue state’ (along with Iraq, which was invaded precisely because it had no weapons of mass destruction with which to defend itself), even Quentin Peel of the Financial Times, a true hater of communism, has to admit that “Like it or not, North Korea’s bloody-minded determination to go nuclear is a logical response to the US invasion of Iraq in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein was overthrown because he had none. Kim Jong-Il is not going to be caught the same way”. (12 May 2005, ‘America needs a coherent policy on Asia’).
This is in spite of the fact that Quentin Peel positively foams at the mouth at the thought that North Korea is able to defy the imperialist world: “Satellite evidence revealed by the US Pentagon last week suggests that this miserable, vicious dictatorship is preparing to test a nuclear device…”
Kim Yu Gyong in the Pyongyang Times of 21 May 2005 very correctly exposes US hypocrisy on the matter of nuclear arms:
“The US which has poured a colossal amount of money into mass development and production of nuclear weapons is stockpiling more than 5,400 ICBM warheads and over 1,750 A-bombs and warheads of cruise missiles, a total of approximately 20,000 atomic weapons.
“In May last year the US conducted a subcritical nuclear test, the 21st of its kind since 1997 and the eighth since the Bush administration.
“The US Defence Department decided in its 2002 nuclear posture review to restart research into nuclear weapons that had been stopped for a decade since 1992, and allocated to the project US$ 6.3 billion in the fiscal year of 2004, US$ 303 million more than that in the previous fiscal year.
“Meanwhile, the US abrogated the ABM (anti-ballistic missile) treaty, cornerstone of the global strategic stability, and has stepped up the establishment of the MD system.
“The US move to develop outer space, an object of peaceful use for the humankind, into a nuclear base and turn it into a nuclear battlefield started during the term of Ronald Reagan and passed through the term of Bush Senior and reached the high-water mark in the reign of Bush Junior.
“The Reagan administration spent US$ 26 billion in the Star Wars project in five years. Bush Senior who succeeded Reagan invented a new nuclear war plan in the face of the international protest against the Star Wars plan. According to the new plan 10,000 to 100,000 pieces of comparatively small, cheap and capable ABMs were to intercept the enemy missiles. It was a new kind of space nuclear war plan aimed at fighting down the enemy by dealing a nuclear strike and achieving the world supremacy.
“The US real image as the world number one nuclear fanatic is fully reflected in its post-September 11 effort to define the nuclear strike as its key strategy for domination of the world, include some countries in its nuclear hit list and use A-bombs like conventional weapons.
“After the September 11 incident the Americans came up with the strategy of war on terror. It aims at enlarging the nuclear war strategy so as to turn war on terror into a nuclear war.
“To this end, they intend to make nuclear weapons smaller and conventional. In 2002 they organized a team to develop a new-type nuclear warhead and advanced warhead and set to research into a nuclear-tipped bunker buster. It has already reached the experimental stage. Today they are stepping up the development of a new kind of a mini-nuke with an eye to destroying the underground military facilities and objects.
“The major target of their pre-emptive nuclear strike is the DPRK.
“Having shipped into south Korea more than 1,000 nuclear weapons, they have openly talked about the use of nuclear weapons in case of contingency on the Korean peninsula, and incessantly waged nuclear war exercises against the DPRK. They have worked out a nuclear war scenario for using 30 atomic bombs in case of contingency on the Korean peninsula and even conducted mock nuclear bombing exercises.
“As to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons they have applied dual standard, rather encouraging their proliferation.
“While conniving at and helping their lackeys’ development and possession of nuclear weapons, they get crazy over the nuclear issue of those countries which have the guts to stand against them. They used “depleted uranium shells, a kind of nuclear weapon, in Gulf and Balkan wars.
“The facts show that the US does not deserve nor has any face to talk about other countries’ “nuclear threat” and “abandonment of nuclear programme” or nuclear non-proliferation.”
Compare the aggression of the US to the stance of the DPRK, as explained by Mun Tae Hun in the Pyongyang Times of 14 May:
“The DPRK is a peace-loving state that takes peace as the basic ideal in its foreign policy.
“Socialism is peaceful by nature.
“Socialist construction and the building of a prosperous nation in the DPRK require peaceful climate. That is why peace constitutes an important component of its foreign policy. But the DPRK does not ask for peace. Although it loves peace and hates war, the country is hardening its resolve to exercise its sovereignty and react determinedly to war by force of arms if any country tries to conquer it.
“Peace is guaranteed by military strength.
“Today the US is intensifying aggressive moves against sovereign states under the pretext of combating terrorism and the dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction, seriously threatening global peace and security.
“To foil the US arrogant moves to hold a grip of the world and make the world unipolar, all the countries should have power to counter them. In other words, without powerful physical deterrent, they can neither face any outrageous US challenge nor defend national sovereignty and peace.
“The DPRK has been in military confrontation with the US for decades. If it had not strengthened its defence capabilities, another war would have broken out on the Korean peninsula.
“The US has constantly worsened the situation on the peninsula, which it sees as a link in the chain of the strategy for world domination, through massive arms build-up, large-scale war rehearsals and making of war scenarios.
“Over half of the arms build-up plan worth US$ 11 billion intended for US troops in south Korea has been carried out. War scenarios based on simulated “threat” from the DPRK have turned into war-oriented plans and war exercises are held by involving the troops that participated in Iraqi war.
“This testifies to the fact that the DPRK’s efforts to build up its defence capacity and possession of nuclear deterrent are valid for peace and security in the world as well as on the Korean peninsula.
“Peace on the peninsula leads to global peace.
“The DPRK will further increase its self-defensive military strength to safeguard national sovereignty and peace.”
Against this background Lalkar would like to endorse the following resolution passed unanimously by the Second Annual Congress of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) on 2 July 2005:
“This Congress congratulates the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for the steadfast stand that it is taking to safeguard the independence and wellbeing of the Korean people. In the 52 years since US imperialism and its allies were driven out of the northern part of Korea, they have not let up on their aggressive stance towards the DPRK. They have at all times maintained an incessant campaign of lying propaganda against the north, they have never ceased to conduct provocative military exercises, frequently making incursions into DPRK territory, and they have maintained an economic blockade to try to effect ‘regime change’ in the DPRK by so-called ‘peaceful’ means. Raising a hue and cry about ‘nuclear weapons proliferation’, they have tried, since the collapse of the Soviet Union deprived the DPRK of its most reliable supplies of fuel, to prevent the DPRK from developing its own independent, nuclear, energy production programme, with a view to stifling the DPRK economy by starving it of energy. This too is all part of imperialism’s campaign to bring about ‘regime change’ ‘peacefully’ in the DPRK, and to create the false illusion among the people of the world, who suffer desperately from the ill effects of imperialism and who will in due course be its gravediggers, that communism leads only to economic disaster.
“This Congress not only supports the DPRK’s striving to produce nuclear fuel if it should so wish but also its use of nuclear by-products to produce atomic weapons for its self defence. By its invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in particular, US imperialism has proved that it cares not one jot for the norms of international law, and that therefore it is only fear that will prevent it from invading whichever country it wishes to invade. In the hands of the DPRK, therefore, nuclear weapons are a safeguard for peace on the Korean peninsula. In any event, it ill behoves US imperialism, which maintains more than 1000 nuclear warheads in South Korea, to try to tell the DPRK that it cannot have a single one.
“This Congress conveys to the government and people of the DPRK, and to the Workers’ Party of Korea, its support for their untiring efforts to reunite their country peacefully so that the Korean people may be able to build their own future free from outside interference – a demand overwhelmingly supported by all Korean people, be they from the north or the south or the diaspora. Korea is one”.