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Year 2009 No. 28, April 22, 2009 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

The Launch of an Experimental Communications Satellite by the DPRK Is its Sovereign Right

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The Launch of an Experimental Communications Satellite by the DPRK Is its Sovereign Right

Successful Launch of the Satellite by DPRK
UK KFA Statement on UNSC “Presidential Statement"

First Debate of Unison Health Conference:
Organising to Defend Our NHS

For Your Information:
News on the Unison National Health Conference

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The Launch of an Experimental Communications Satellite by the DPRK Is its Sovereign Right

Joint Statement of the New Communist Party and
the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), April 21, 2009

On April 5, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) successfully launched an experimental communications satellite, the Kwangmyongsong-2, into orbit by means of carrier rocket Unha-2. The satellite is part of the DPRK's long-term plan for the development of outer space. Both carrier rocket and satellite were made and developed by the DPRK using only their own resources and technology, in keeping with the guiding philosophy of self-reliance.

            The DPRK points out that the satellite is of decisive significance in promoting scientific research into the peaceful use of outer space and solving scientific and technological problems for the launch of practical satellites in the future. The successful satellite launch was conducted against the backdrop of a national drive aimed at bringing about a renewed revolutionary surge throughout the DPRK to "open the gate to a great prosperous and powerful nation without fail by 2012, the centenary of birth of President Kim Il Sung, under the far-reaching plan of General Secretary Kim Jong Il".


            Despite the fact that it is the DPRK's sovereign right to engage in peaceful scientific experimentation and to create the conditions for its own prosperity, the US, Japan, South Korea and Western European powers, including Britain, demanded that the DPRK be condemned. They have persisted in spreading the misleading impression that the DPRK was testing an intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The US puppet government of south Korea branded the launch "reckless". The US and Japan reacted to the news of the satellite by escalating the warmongering and disinformation campaign against the DPRK and demanding its further international isolation.

            US President Barack Obama during his visit to Prague on April 5 used the occasion to condemn the DPRK with high-sounding rhetoric: “Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something.” If Obama’s call for nuclear disarmament meant something, why then was he in the Czech Republic to promote a US missile base? If his words meant something, why does the US not withdraw its arsenal of one thousand nuclear weapons from the south of Korea, together with its tens of thousands of troops, in order to promote peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, and end its threats of aggression against the DPRK? To anyone that cares to see through the rhetoric to the objective reality, the spectacle of this representative of the armed international might of the US calling upon the blockaded and sanctioned DPRK to be peaceful and follow the rules is ludicrous and shameful.

            Bill Rammell of the British Foreign Office added his voice to the clamour in arrogantly condemning the launch, and blustering that the British government was “seeking at the Security Council the most united and robust international response”.

            In line with these outlandish statements of the big powers, the UN Security Council on April 13 approved a “Presidential Statement” condemning the launch and linking it with the nuclear issue, as well as adjusting the sanctions imposed on the DPRK in October 2006. This is an abuse of the Security Council to violate the sovereign right of the DPRK.

            In response, the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement, pointing out that throughout its history the Security Council had never before taken issue with satellite launches. It rejected the unjust action of the Security Council as infringing upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and seriously hurting the dignity of the Korean people. It pointed out that since the six-party talks have now turned into a platform to force the DPRK to disarm and to bring down its social system, the DPRK would no longer participate in the talks nor be bound by any agreement there, including the disablement of its nuclear facilities, which it will now take measures to restore.


            Our Parties vigorously condemn the warmongering and chauvinism of the US and Britain. We call on all democratic and peace-loving people, irrespective of their political viewpoints or other considerations, to reject the infantile hysteria and outright disinformation being generated against the DPRK over this issue, and to take a stand in defence of its sovereignty and independence. In our view, this is a duty of the working class and people in order to contribute to the peace and security not only of the Korean Peninsula but world-wide.


Article Index

Successful Launch of the Satellite by DPRK

Statement of the UK Korean Friendship Association, April 9, 2009

The Korean Friendship Association (UK) congratulates the DPRK on the successful launch of the satellite Kwangmysong-2. The rocket and satellite were constructed using 100% DPRK resources, materials and expertise. Few countries in the world can do this; indeed the US’s own space programme owed much to captured Nazi rocket scientist Werner Von Braun.

            Those that have lost face due to the success of the DPRK rocket launch are spreading silly and dishonest rumours about the alleged failure of the satellite. However, this can only beg the question: why raise such hysteria and why put the issue before the UN Security Council.

            The launch of the DPRK communications satellite was a peaceful action of a sovereign and independent state. It did not threaten anyone in the surrounding area or even farther afield. The reaction of the United States, Japan and south Korea to the satellite launch is totally unjustified.   It is the United States which menaces the peace of the Korean peninsula and of the rest of the world with its aggressive military exercises such as "Foal Eagle" and with the stationing of 1,000 nuclear weapons (including the infamous neutron bomb) in south Korea. President Obama in his speech in Prague called for universal nuclear disarmament. If these are sincere words by Obama (not just propaganda), then the USA should immediately withdraw its 1,000 nuclear weapons of all kinds and its 40,000 troops and conclude a peace treaty with the DPRK.

            We call upon all honest, progressive and peace-loving people throughout Britain and the world to see through the big corporate media-generated war mass hysteria and campaign for peace and the independent reunification of Korea. We hope that the peace, anti-imperialist, anti-racist and trade union movements in Britain and elsewhere will co-operate with the Korean Friendship Association for a just solution to the nuclear question in Korea and for increased solidarity with the Korean people in their efforts for peace and reunification. Let us all stand together for Peace and Friendship with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea!

Korea Is One!

Article Index

UK KFA Statement on UNSC “Presidential Statement"

The UK Korean Friendship Association strongly denounces the unreasonable Presidential Statement of the UNSC and the sanctions that they are attempting to impose on the DPRK which are nothing short of a declaration of war, an intolerable infringement of the DPRK's sovereignty.

            The “presidential statement” of the UNSC is hypocritical and one-sided, as many of the countries on the UN Security Council have launched satellites and have space programmes. No one can own outer-space or prevent others from pursuing the exploration of space. The UNSC statement is a violation of the original UN Charter which stipulates non-interference in the internal affairs of member nations.

            The “presidential statement” is silly and leaves the UN open to ridicule.

            Thus, UK KFA supports the just and correct measures contained in the statement of the DPRK Foreign Ministry dated 14th of April. These measures support the DPRK's sovereign independence. We hail the decision to pull out of the six-party talks, which are just a smokescreen to disarm the DPRK, and the just measure to restart the nuclear power plant.

            All friends of the DPRK must rally around it.

US Imperialism Hands Off Korea!

Article Index

First Debate of Unison Health Conference:

Organising to Defend Our NHS

Motion 1 as amended - Keep the NHS Working Campaign
Contribution of delegate from South Tyneside Health Branch


            Our health care district is quite small and we have 1,000 members mainly in acute and primary care.

            Like branches we have spoken to the government has imposed 3% cuts every year. Also it has changed the payment system to a market system whereby the money follows the patient.

            I don’t have time to go into the detail but our acute services have become like a factory which is on the brink of viability in market terms.  The Trust Managers now regret the foundation status that we opposed.  The budget of £100 million with a £75 million pay bill a year means that they are having to make cuts both in clinical and support service jobs to pay the wages. 

            The issue we highlighted in our campaign against this is that the government is no longer taking up its responsibility to fund the health service and guarantee the provision of these services unless that provision is transferred to the private sector where there are more guarantees than in the NHS.

            In the community it is now a commission-led system which is eating up all the resources of the NHS to marketise community health care and destroy acute care

            The issue we have discussed constantly in the hospital is that it is our NHS, our health services and our workplaces.  I think the most important thing to raise is what the questions are in order to find a solution. 

            It is a question of how to organise when it is very difficult to organise when people are overworked and frustrated.

            It is a question of how to fight when it is very difficult to fight.  How to involve the members in taking up the fight themselves and releasing their initiative.

            It is a question of stopping the rich being paid out of the NHS, and investing in the NHS.

            Most importantly, it is a question for health workers to deal with the crisis of political representation and the necessity to intervene in the political process to take hold of the NHS that belongs to us.

            Thank you


Article Index

For Your Information

News on the Unison National Health Conference


Johnson pledges no NHS cuts in recession

(21/04/09) "Better healthcare cannot be seen as expendable today because of the global economic downturn, when in yesterday's world of relative prosperity, it was essential," health secretary Alan Johnson told Unison’s health conference in Harrogate today.

            "The NHS does not become less important for families facing economic uncertainty – it becomes more important."

            With the government's investment in the NHS in recent years bringing UK health expenditure "very close" to the EU average, as a proportion of national wealth, further growth will not be as rapid, he admitted, but he assured delegates: "There can be no question of scaling back or cutting services.

            "We have heard predictable calls from certain commentators that public services must take their share of the pain in the global recession; that if people in the private sector are losing their jobs, the response must be to throw nurses and teachers on the dole queue," the minister told delegates.

            "Those advocating a freeze on public-sector pay believe that we should cut our way out of the recession," he added. "This government, together with every other G20 country, believes we must grow our way out of recession."

            Praising the achievements of the NHS and health staff in recent years, Mr Johnson also recognised that many factors affecting people's health are "only tenuously" linked to areas directly within the Department of Health's remit.

            Recalling the Black report of the 1970s, which sat on the shelf during the "two lost decades" of Tory rule, he revealed that the government will be setting up "a new national support team to tackle high infant mortality rates in the most deprived parts of the country."

            This will "work with local health professionals and others to tackle poor housing, child poverty, maternal obesity, smoking and teenage pregnancy."


Prentis warns against PFI bail-out

(20/04/09) "You're are at the heart of our union and our ethos," general secretary Dave Prentis told representatives of more than 450,000 health workers gathered at the union's health conference in Harrogate today.

            And it is the values represented by UNISON, and health members in particular – caring, service, equality, solidarity and democracy – which explain why the union will be leading the campaign against privatisation, he said.

            "UNISON will never, ever back down on the market," said Mr Prentis. "Patients are not consumers. The market cannot do a better job. Unlike Virgin Healthcare, we will not walk away when the going gets tough."

            This is particularly important when "we have seen the biggest financial bubble in history burst".

            Across the world, 20 million people have lost their jobs in the crisis, he noted, with two million unemployed in the UK, predicted to rise to three million by the end of the year.

            "But as a trade union, we know this is not about figures, it's not about statistics, it's not about percentages," he noted. "These hide the truth about recession.

            "This recession is about people's lives," said Mr Prentis: ordinary people who have given their lives to an employer, a public service, school or hospital, only to be shown the door; families who have built a home, only to have the bailiffs at the door; young people who have borrowed to get to university, only to have their future life taken further out of reach.

            "And why?" he asked. "We know why. This crisis is a crisis of an unjust financial system where a few continued to profit by inflicting misery on many."

            UNISON will be leading the campaign not just for public services to deal with the recession's impact, but "organising the fight for a better deal", promised Mr Prentis.

            And ahead of Wednesday's budget, he warned: "UNISON will oppose any bail-out of PFI consortiums – not in our name.

            "Our patience and our time is running out – we are looking to government for serious solutions."

            Rather than "a golden carrot for the rich and a stick for the poor", he said, "we cannot allow our public services to pay the price of bailing out the banks – our members will not stand for it."

            At the same time, he cautioned, "we know what the Tories have said, we know that the Tories will be worse."

            And while the Tories are waiting in the wings, so are the "gutter racists" of the BNP who will exploit any opportunity to prey on people's hardships.

            The union is at the heart of a campaign against the BNP's bid to win council and European parliamentary seats at this summer's elections "and you have to be at the heart of it", he told members, defending our principles and ethos of fairness, equality, solidarity and democracy.

(source: unison website )

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