Solidarity Meeting: Standing as one with North Korea against Imperialism
On Saturday 7 October the Preparatory Committee for Celebrating the Anniversaries of the WPK and the DIU held a successful meeting at Saklatvala Hall, Southall, timed to mark the anniversaries of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) on 10 October 1945 and of the Down with Imperialism Union (DIU) on 17 October 1926.
A film of the Pueblo Incident began the meeting, following which came contributions from the two main speakers: Andy Brooks (NCP) on behalf of the Preparatory Committee, and Comrade Jong In Song on behalf of the Embassy of the DPRK – excerpts of which we reproduce below, together with the Resolution passed unanimously by the meeting and other contributions.
It is a great pleasure to join other friends of the Korean people at this celebration of two of the most important landmarks in modern Korean history. The formation of the Down with Imperialism Union on 17 October 1926 marked the beginning of the struggle to free Korea from the brutal yoke of Japanese colonialism. The foundation of the Workers Party of Korea on 10 October 1945 was culmination of 19 years of struggle against the might of the Japanese Empire that ended in victory in August 1945. It also heralded the new era for the working people of Korea who were breaking the chains of feudalism and capitalist exploitation in the north of the peninsula.
Both dates inseparably linked with great leader comrade Kim Il Sung – one of the giants of communism – the man who led the people in a war of liberation from Japanese occupation and then defended that victory against invasion by the United States and its allies in 1950, using the fledgling United Nations as a puppet.
He then went on to lead his country in building its own, independent socialism, steering a careful path during the period of Sino-Soviet ideological conflict and managing to remain on good terms with both parties.
And after the demise of the Soviet Union and the loss of the eastern European socialist countries, an enormous setback for communism globally, when parties were becoming demoralised and failing around the world, Kim Il Sung stopped the rot by summoning a global conference of communist and workers parties in Pyongyang in 1993.
When Kim Il Sung formed the Down with Imperialism Union at the age of 14 no one, least of all the Japanese imperialists, could have dreamt that within 20 years Korea would be free.
When Kim Il Sung saw the hopelessness of the sectarians, flunkeyists, dogmatists and factionalists who called themselves communists in the 1920s and decided to form a communist movement from the youth and the grass-roots of the villages and factories no-one would have expected the emergence of the mighty Korean communist movement that led the people to victory in 1945.
When Kim Il Sung gathered a small band of heroes to form the first guerrilla units to take on the Japanese Army no one could have imagined that this would become the People’s Army that brought the American imperialists to their knees begging for an armistice in 1953.
Kim Il Sung not only grasped Marxism-Leninism but he applied it to the concrete conditions of the Korean people. He knew that the masses were unstoppable once they realised their own strength. He knew that serving the people was the be-all and end-all for the Korean communists and the WPK that he launched in 1945 and he developed Korean style socialism into the Juche theory – which elevates the philosophical principles of Marxism-Leninism as well as its economic theories – and focuses on the development of each individual worker, who can only be truly free as part of the collective will of the masses.
Kim Il Sung was born in a world of oppression and exploitation. He lived and fought to end that rotten system and he lived to see the construction of a modern socialist system in the north of Korea. But he wasn’t just a Korean communist. He was a great internationalist.
The leader of the DPRK championed the struggle for colonial freedom, non-alignment and Third World co-operation. He pioneered the call for south-south co-operation which is now bearing fruit today. He sent technical and military assistance to the African and Arab peoples struggling for independence and he constantly strived to strengthen the world communist movement.
Some of us here today, including myself, had the honour of meeting Kim Il Sung. All of us know him as a great friend and teacher. The President of the NCP, Eric Trevett, met Kim Il Sung on a number of occasions because Kim was very interested in the British communist movement. Kim drew parallels with the problems the Korean communists faced in the 1920s but always maintained that communists had to resolve their problems in their own way based on their own conditions – like the Koreans themselves.
Today, the WPK, with Kim Jong Il at the helm, is relentlessly advancing into the future to fulfil the dream of all Koreans, the peaceful re-unification of the country.
Kim Il Sung worked tirelessly all his life to end the cruel partition of Korea but all his efforts were rebuffed by American imperialism. Six years ago, on 15 June, Kim Jong Il signed the historic joint declaration with south Korean leader Kim Dae Jung that outlined the way forward to achieve this goal. But the forces of US imperialism have moved to stall progress and prevent the Korean people from achieving their undeniable and inalienable right to the end of partition and the reunification of their country.
Democratic Korea began to develop its nuclear industry in the 1990s but agreed to suspend its programme following an agreement with the United States that was to have led to the construction of two light water reactors in the DPRK. This agreement was never honoured and it was virtually torn up by the Bush administration. The American diplomatic and economic blockade on the north since the end of the Korean War was maintained. The DPRK was branded by the American imperialists as part of the “axis of evil” that includes Cuba, Syria and Iran and was topped by Iraq until that country was invaded by US-led imperialism in 2003. The US army and its south Korean puppets rehearse the invasion of the north in annual war-games and the south Koreans have developed a cruise missile of their own targeted on the DPRK.
In the face of these renewed threats the DPRK has had no alternative but to develop a nuclear deterrent to defend its socialist system. At the same time it has pledged that it will never use nuclear weapons first, and it had also vowed never to threaten the use of nuclear weapons or allow the transfer of nuclear technology to other countries.
These are the circumstances that forced the DPRK to resume its nuclear programme and the development of its own long-range missiles. These are the reasons why Democratic Korea announced this week that it would test its first nuclear weapon in the near future. It was as inevitable as it was justifiable.
We believe that the will of the Korean masses, expressed in concrete terms by their vanguard party, the WPK, will overcome all obstacles to fulfil the revolutionary tasks that faced the Korean people when they began their long march to socialism in the struggle against Japanese imperialism.
Comrade Jong In Song
Brothers and sisters, the history of our revolution has been dealt with already, but I wish to emphasise that the Workers’ Party of Korea is the vanguard of the Korean revolution which is leading the entire Korean people, government and infrastructure with the aim of building socialism and communism, where everyone enjoys an equal and happy life. We call it the party of President Kim Il Sung because it was founded by him in 1945 and all the successes and experience of the party are closely linked with him. Everyone in Korea identifies with our party and feels confident about the future because of the strength of its leadership. Comrade Kim Jong Il, our General Secretary, also emphasises that we should continue to follow the teachings and ideas of President Kim Il Sung.
Everyone in Korea will be happy that here in Britain we have very good friends and comrades. Our Party has always emphasised comradeship. We say our history is the history of comrades. The starting point of our revolution was to find comrades, increase their number, educate them and then form a political organisation. Having comrades here in Britain that makes us very happy. Although the mass media talk in so many ways against the DPRK and the WPK, what is important to us is that we have communists here.
I will convey your solidarity message to Korea from this meeting, from communists and progressive parties in Britain. We will continue to support each other, struggle together against our enemies and we will win in close collaboration and in comradeship.
The Americans and the reactionary forces in the world are combining together to attack our Republic, but we do not feel isolated, afraid or worried about that. Everyone in Korea is very united. Our Party emphasises the single-hearted unity between the Party, the popular masses and the leader. Now we also emphasise the role of the Army since it is a very organised and disciplined force with which we can protect our society. The single-minded unity of all these four is stronger than our opponents’ weapons. Relying on this unity, we will fight and win against imperialism. In fact this unity of purpose and self-reliance also enables us to strengthen our defences and produce nuclear weapons.
In conclusion comrades I am pleased that we have here tonight comrades who have visited my country recently and will be able to explain in their own words, with their own analysis, what they have seen with their own eyes in Korea and so help all of you to understand more about what we are fighting to defend.
Dermot Hudson (Juche Study Group) pointed out that by declaring that it will carry out a nuclear test the DPRK had delivered a telling blow to US imperialism. All must realise that you can only defend your country by use of force as the history of the Korean War, the Vietnamese War and many other struggles have demonstrated.
Ella Rule (CPGB-ML) urged that we should learn from the Korean experience to create anti-imperialist unity between different organisations.
Godfrey Cremer reported on the recent inspiring visit made by a CPGB-ML delegation to DPRK, of which he was a member.
This meeting expressed its full support for the DPRK’s decision and its sovereign right to engage in nuclear testing.
We resolutely condemn the outrageous behaviour of US imperialism that has forced the DPRK to divert its precious resources into building up its defence capability recognising that the DPRK is a peace-loving country with no other desire than to use these resources further to improve the lives of its citizens and not for military purposes.
Regrettably, US imperialism and its allies ever since the DPRK came into existence have wanted to destroy the DPRK and its socialist system and to replace its regime with a puppet regime compliant to the wishes and demands of imperialism. In recent years efforts by US imperialism forcibly to stamp out the DPRK have redoubled in intensity, with the US aggressive policy of economic sanctions, military threats, diplomatic bullying and build up of nuclear warheads in the south and the seas around the Korean peninsula.
Furthermore, the wars of aggression waged by US imperialism and its allies, especially against Iraq and Afghanistan, have proved beyond a doubt that to have only weak defences against an imperialist enemy is to invite war.
We recognise therefore that in the hands of a socialist country, or any country seeking to assert its independence of imperialism, nuclear weapons are an instrument not of war but of peace.
We call upon the imperialist powers, and in particular US imperialism, to destroy all their nuclear arsenal and commit to a total nuclear ban in order to start the process of global denuclearisation.