September 9 marks the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1948.
Although of course Korea was freed of its Japanese occupation on 15 August 1945 at the end of the second world war, US imperialism seized military control of the country south of the 38th parallel. The US entered the southern part of Korea under a pact which also provided for the Soviet Union to enter their north, but the mandate of both these powers was purely to disarm Japanese troops who were still in the country. US imperialism, however, set itself up as an occupying power. It immediately interfered in the affairs of the Korean people, which was beyond its remit, and dissolved all the organs of self-government the Korean people had set up for themselves in the areas in question and re-established all the laws enacted under Japanese rule. In the north, however, the Soviet Union, respected the reorganisation of society being effected by the liberated Korean people, and was to depart from the north of Korea at the agreed time. When it became clear that US imperialism had no intention whatsoever of abandoning its military occupation of the southern part, and had even gone to the length of organising elections for the purpose of setting up a separate puppet government for the south, the Korean people, with participation of the masses in both the north and the south, set up the DPRK as their own state. The programme of the new government was announced on 9 September 1948 by Comrade Kim Il Sung. Its main points were:
To unite all Korean people, mobilise them for the struggle for national reunification and realise the withdrawal of all foreign armed forces from Korea;
To eliminate the evil effects of Japanese imperial domination, punish pro-Japanese elements and traitors to the nation and expose and frustrate the traitorous acts and subversive machinations of the reactionaries;
To declare invalid the laws of the Japanese imperialists and of the south Korean puppet regime and enforce democratic reform on an all-Korea scale;
To build an independent national economy guaranteeing the independence and prosperity of the country;
To develop education, culture and public health services;
To consolidate and develop organs of people’s power at all levels and restore them in the south;
To enter into friendly relations with freedom-loving nations on an equal basis;
To strengthen the People’s Army to defend the country and safeguard the achievements of the democratic reforms.
US imperialism throughout the 65 years of the DPRK’s existence has not for a minute given up its determination to impose its reactionary will on the Korean people, doing everything in its not inconsiderable power to prevent democratic Korea from achieving its aims. It waged war to try to extinguish it between 1950-53, a war in which it was defeated. It has attempted through sanctions to bring the DPRK to its knees, hoping that by visiting hardship on the Korean masses it could make them give up their freedom and independence. But the Korean people are made of stern stuff, If they could not be defeated by the combined forces of US imperialism and its satellites in the Korean War of 1950-1953, they were certainly not going to be robbed of their freedom and power by the deprivations that the sanctions regime has from time to time caused. Indeed, despite sanctions, the DPRK has stunningly proved the superiority of its social system by the spectacular technological progress it has been able to make, through its manpower, ingenuity and resources, that has enabled them to arm itself with nuclear weapons for defensive purposes and build a rocket that can put a satellite into space.
This determination in the face of imperialist hostility is primarily based on the advantages that democracy and freedom have brought to the Korean people of the north of the country. They have first class and free education and medical services; there is ample access to all kinds of cultural activity, with free training given in music, arts, intellectual pursuits and sports to enable people to take their interests to the highest level. There are no worries about unemployment or homelessness, or about care in old age. There is no drug problem, no gang warfare, and virtually no crime. This is why the Korean people defend their society and refuse to succumb to imperialist bullying, whatever form it takes. Some things are just too precious to forfeit.
All this is a far cry from the grim picture of the DPRK which is presented to the world by imperialism, which has for so long tried to suppress the people of the DPRK but has always failed. The imperialist image is repeated so often, in so many directions and in so many ways, that it has gained the appearance of truth through sheer repetition. A single visit to the DPRK by anybody capable of opening their eyes to the truth will explode the imperialist myth for them in a single instant.
We send our heartfelt greetings to the Workers’ Party of Korea, to the government of Korea and through them to the people of Korea and their supreme leader, Comrade Kim Jong Un, and wish them well in the period ahead.