Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 48 Number 3, February 17, 2018 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Friends of Korea (Britain) Pays Tribute to Kim Jong Il
and Hails the "Peace Olympics"

Kim Song Gi, Minister at the Embassy of the DPRK in London speaking at the Tribute meeting

On February 9, the day of the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics, a meeting was organised by the co-ordinating committee of Friends of Korea at the John Buckle Centre by invitation. The meeting had been organised to mark the 76th anniversary of the late Korean leader Kim Jong Il, which falls on February 16.

The proceedings were presided over by Andy Brooks, Chair of Friends of Korea, and guest of honour was Kim Song Gi, Minister at the Embassy of the DPRK in London. Kim Song Gi gave two informative presentations on the life and work of Comrade Kim Jong Il, and on the significance of the founding of the Korean People's Army as a regular army on February 8, 1948.

Michael Chant, as Secretary of Friends of Korea, in addressing the meeting focused mainly on the issue of safeguarding peace and security of the Korean peninsula, as well as regionally and globally. For instance, he said, Songun politics, which is inseparably linked with the name of Kim Jong Il, is at essence the development of the revolutionary spirit of the armed forces and the necessity for the state to give priority to military affairs, while combining this development with dynamically pushing forward socialist construction according to the principle of self­-reliance. This politics is the aim and guarantor of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and is a factor for peace on the world stage. The warmongers are those who are the enemies of sovereignty and an empowered people deciding their own fate and in control of their own destinies. The US-­led imperialist system of states has made regime change its way of existence; this is no less true today, particularly as the US tries to divert from civil war at home and seeks to destroy what it cannot control.

It can be said to have been one of the great pillars of the life of Kim Jong Il that he worked to  provide concrete solutions and effective means to prevent war on the Korean Peninsula and to ensure a durable system of peace. The DPRK's access to nuclear weapons is an inevitable outcome of the hostile policy of the US toward the DPRK pursued for a long time. It is the stand of the DPRK not to  make any concession in bolstering up its capability for self­-defence. The US is sadly mistaken if it thinks the nuclear deterrence of the DPRK is a matter for political bargaining and economic deals after putting it on the negotiating table. The DPRK's bolstering of its nuclear force is the exercise of the right to self­-defence to counter the US, the world's biggest nuclear weapons state, which is bringing the danger of nuclear war to the Korean peninsula.

The speaker referred to the meeting of the "Vancouver Group", comprised of the states which made war against the Korean people in 1950-53, including Britain, which had taken place on January 16 in Vancouver. He said that this "Vancouver Group" seeks to circumvent the UN Security Council, which is still regarded as the organisation entrusted to safeguard world peace, and the UN General Assembly, which is said to represent all the countries of the world.

The stands and performance of Foreign Minister Boris Johnson at this meeting were unacceptable, the speaker said. Boris Johnson had explicitly emphasised that the meeting should send a message of intensifying the pressure against the DPRK, accusing the leader of the DPRK of provocations, and praising the alleged achievements of south Korea.

This is not representative of the anti-war stands of the British people, Michael Chant declared, who saw through and opposed Tony Blair's warmongering in support of George W Bush's so-called "war on terror". Indeed, this Thursday, February 15, is the 15th anniversary of the massive two-million strong anti-war demonstration through the streets of London, advancing on all fronts to Hyde Park to demand that Blair not back Bush's lies and warmongering and invade and destroy Iraq. The massive lie was that Iraq was the aggressor and had weapons of mass destruction that could be deployed within 45 minutes. This is known to be a lie but it did not stop, indeed provided the pretext for, the criminal invasion and destruction of Iraq. The lesson in regard to the DPRK is clear. It is that the Anglo-US absurd claim as to who is the aggressor and who is provoking whom is a total fraud. The British people have right to say, "Not In Our Name!" and reject that Boris Johnson, as Tony Blair before him, is representing them in his boorish threats.

The US has never forgiven the DPRK for defeating it in the Korean War and forcing it to sign the Korean Armistice Agreement on July 27, 1953, that brought an end to the fighting in that brutal war, the speaker said. The US has done everything to sabotage the Armistice Agreement and provoke another Korean War. The countless efforts by the DPRK in keeping with Article IV of the Armistice Agreement to have a peace treaty signed with the US have been outright rejected by the latter. The massive annual war games carried out by the US and south Korean forces and more recently between the US, south Korea and Japan, are all aimed at waging war and regime change against the DPRK. These facts alone show who is for peace and who is for war on the Korean peninsula. The THAAD system is part of these war preparations against the DPRK, as well as China and Russia.

What kind of denuclearisation is it that does not include the United States, which is the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons and is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction on land, sea and air, and uses them to target Korea, China and Russia, amongst others.

Schemes to control the Korean Peninsula so as to control China and Russia, schemes which greatly endanger the cause of peace, are not what the people consider working for peace.

Portraying the DPRK as the aggressor perpetuates the Cold War disinforming outlook used to justify the Korean War in the first place. That war was waged to secure the Korean Peninsula for the US imperialists who had divided Korea and fomented a civil war there in the 1945-1950 period. Just as the Japanese imperialists had used an occupied Korea to launch their war to colonise China in 1931, the US wanted to use a subjugated and occupied Korea to stop the spread of communism in Asia and as a staging ground on mainland Asia to defeat the Chinese people who were on the cusp of victory in their century long struggle against colonial occupation.

The US aggressors accuse the Korean people, in the form of the DPRK, of being an aggressor against themselves and their own nation. The truth is otherwise. Through their own efforts, the Korean people achieved victory in 1945 following their liberation war against Japan and its brutal colonial occupation of Korea since 1905 upon the conclusion of the Russo-Japanese War.

It is a fact that the government and people of the DPRK have drawn the reasonable conclusion that the way to preserve the peace is not to succumb to the tyranny and nuclear blackmail of a state which is the only one to have used nuclear weapons in warfare. It is clear who is threatening to plunge the world into nuclear disaster and who is interested in peace and justice. What the Korean people want and are making headway in is inter-Korean talks without foreign meddling, the peaceful re-unification of their nation and an independent Korea.

In this connection, the Secretary of Friends of Korea spoke of the great excitement and anticipation around the opening of the 2018 23rd Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, south Korea.

The stand of the DPRK in defending its sovereignty, dignity and right to existence is just and has the aim of safeguarding the peace and security of the Korean peninsula, the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole, Michael Chant concluded. The leadership of the DPRK continues to call on the US to sign a peace treaty to end the Korean War. This is what is needed to stabilise the situation on the Korean peninsula and create the conditions for the peaceful, independent reunification of Korea so that it can take its rightful place as an honoured sovereign independent country among the nations of the world. We as progressive forces in Britain must play our part to ensure there is not a further Korean War and to ensure that the people here, as elsewhere, have the power to enforce peace and security.

Lively discussion followed, exploring the significance of the "Peace Olympics", the joint participation of the north and the south, the high-level delegation from the DPRK and the real depth of the sentiment of the Korean people to bring about a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and its reunification. Minister Kim Song Gi of the DPRK Embassy took part in the discussions, answering questions from the participants.

The meeting adopted a message to Comrade Kim Jong Un, supreme leader of the DPRK.


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