Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 51 Number 25, November 13, 2021 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Friends of Korea Hold Seminar on Developments of the DPRK in 2021

The Importance of Taking a Stand in Support of the DPRK's Right to Be

Friends of Korea would once again like to emphasise the importance of taking a stand in support of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's right to exist and choose its own path of development, striving for peace and for the reunification of the Korean Peninsula; and of supporting the just stands of the DPRK internationally at this crucial time in the face of hostility from the United States and other big powers, including Britain.

For us, the priority is to provide information, combat disinformation and defend the DPRK's right to be and the right to of the people to decide their own future. We have that duty in Britain, and that is the programme of the Friends of Korea. Thus we hope this seminar today, with its speakers and participants, will contribute towards this aim.

The first thing to grasp is who is hostile to whom. The US and Britain make wild accusations against the DPRK but any sober assessment of the situation shows that the danger comes from the US and its allies. The US stresses its role as the "indispensable nation", and lashes out to combat any challenge to this. The US has entered into several known military agreements to surround and threaten the DPRK, China and indeed all the peoples in the Asia Pacific region. Already the US stations tens of thousands of troops and war materiel and equipment in Japan, south Korea and several south Pacific islands. The US military regularly sends warships and planes to prowl the waters surrounding China and the Korean Peninsula to probe and test the defences of both countries. The US is refusing to permit a peaceful political settlement of any issue in the Asia Pacific region.

These are not only measures against the DPRK, China and the whole Asia Pacific region, but are in fact directed against the interests of the peoples everywhere, and all these hostile measures are an affront to all who take an anti-war stand. This is a stand that Friends of Korea firmly takes. In fact, the US maintains a large military presence of bases, troops and war equipment in south Korea that is used to intimidate and blockade the DPRK, as well of course as threatening China. This is also aimed at suppressing the people's democratic movement in the south of the Korean Peninsula for the peaceful reunification of the Korean nation.

Of note in this context is the AUKUS military pact. AUKUS is a trilateral military pact announced on September 15 involving Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The pact includes war preparations to attack the DPRK and China, and an agreement for Australia to buy nuclear powered submarines from the US war economy. The three war partners are to co-operate in sending warships and planes throughout the Asia Pacific region and co-ordinate spying and cyber-activity directed at the DPRK, China and all peoples of the region. Britain recently ordered its Royal Navy/Royal Air Force Carrier Strike Group led by the new multi-billion dollar HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to sail provocatively close to China through the Taiwan Straits on September 27, mirroring the US move in August.

Britain is also participating in the illegal sanctions the European Union has imposed against the DPRK, despite having withdrawn from the EU. It is doing so specifically with the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations".

These hostile activities have constantly been addressed by the DPRK, and it is this that provides the aim of its defence and military capabilities. In the face of this hostility, the DPRK has waged its struggle for its right to be during the last 70 years and more in the face of US aggression, war and brutal sanctions. The principled stand of the DPRK is to uphold its sovereignty and dignity under all conditions.


Friends of Korea Hold Seminar on Developments of the DPRK in 2021

The 8th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea held in January addressed this question. The main thrust of the 8th Congress in this regard was that it reiterated the DPRK's determination to uphold its self-reliant Juche outlook, strengthen its independent economy to counter the brutal sanctions regime of the Anglo-Americans, and defend itself against threats and aggression from the US and others.

Noting in January that whoever became the US President, the real intentions of its policy toward the DPRK would never change, the report to the Congress stressed the need for an adroit strategy towards the US, at the same time as steadily expanding solidarity with the anti-imperialist, independent forces. The report also referred to the need to frustrate the reactionary offensive of the enemy and raise the prestige of the DPRK by enhancing the role of the external information sector. It stressed the need for the field of external work to further develop relations with the socialist countries, consolidate unity and co-operation with the revolutionary and progressive parties which aspire for independence, and for launching a dynamic joint struggle against imperialism on a worldwide scale so as to make the external environment of the DPRK ever-more favourable, it was reported.

The report expressed the steadfast determination of the WPK to reliably defend the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula as well as of the rest of the world. There is no country on this planet, it said, which is permanently exposed to the threat of war as is the DPRK, nor a country as strong in its people's desire for peace. Friends of Korea is fully behind these affirmations and sentiments expressed in the WPK report.

More recently, on October 11, in his commemorative speech at the Defence Development Exhibition, respected leader Kim Jong Un noted that the exhibition was an opportunity to see how the defence capability of the DPRK had developed. The DPRK is holding fast to the principle of self-defence, and developing military science and the munitions industry in this context, especially over the past five years, he emphasised.

Kim Jong Un said: "The core of our Party's defence policy is to defend our country and people by our own efforts, and contain any threat and challenge. It is to reliably and steadfastly safeguard peace by means of a steadily-developing, powerful defence capability."

He pointed out that historically the Korean nation had suffered invasion by foreign forces, and has had to build socialism under the constant threats by hostile forces. In view of this lesson of the history of the nation and the demand and special character of the Korean revolution, he said, the building up of national defence is an indispensable and vital state affair which the Workers' Party of Korea, together with the DPRK government and people, must not neglect for even a moment.

The DPRK leader underlined that the rapid development of military techniques and hardware is changing the aspect of military operations and the security environment of states in every region of the present world. "The military danger facing our state due to the military tension prevailing around the Korean peninsula is different from that ten or five, nay, three years ago," he said.

"Seeing the contents of various military exercises the United States and south Korea frequently wage on the pretext of coping with what they call threats while talking about peace, cooperation and prosperity in public and south Korea's attempt to modernise its armaments which has recently become intolerably undisguised," he said, "we can easily guess how military environment will change in the region of the Korean peninsula tomorrow. Recently, south Korea has been trying to upgrade the fighting efficiency of its army under the powerful sponsorship of the United States, bringing in a large number of cutting-edge weapons of various kinds including stealth joint strike fighters and high altitude unmanned reconnaissance aircraft."

In fact, as the speech explained, the south is focusing on modernising its strike weapons of different kinds. It is developing various warheads and extending the range of its missiles so as to upgrade its overall missile capacity. The military objective of these strike weapons is clear. It is the DPRK. The south is also working to develop the combat efficiency of its submarines and is developing fighter aircraft. "South Korea's attempt," the speech said, "is too dangerous to be left to itself, but what is more dangerous is its justification for modernising its armaments and its hypocritical double-dealing attitude."

What of relations between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea in this context? It can be said that whenever the Korean people have made headway in building inter-Korean relations and strengthening the movement for reunification, the US imperialists have intervened to sabotage these efforts. This remains the case.

The 8th Congress of the WPK had noted that in terms of its relations with the US, the DPRK has no illusions and will engage in relations on the basis of "goodwill for goodwill and power for power". The Congress had laid down that the DPRK will be developing and strengthening its international relations in support of the cause of peace and justice everywhere, extending a hand of friendship to all who reciprocate. As Kim Jong Un said at the Defence Development Exhibition, "Our arch-enemy is war itself, not south Korea, the United States or any other specific state or forces."

In conclusion, it can be said that the DPRK conducts its foreign relations on the basis of principle and upholding its right to be. Contrary to the disinformation carried by the imperialist system of states that the DPRK is a violator of human rights, it is the draconian sanctions imposed by the US, Britain, and others that constitute gross human rights violations, acts of war and collective punishment against the people of the DPRK, which is doing its utmost to defend the rights of its people against this aggression.

The decisive factor in the future of Korea is the Korean people themselves, not anyone or any other power, and their drive for peace and reunification is bound to eventually succeed.

Finally, Friends of Korea would like to emphasise once again the importance of speaking out in defence of the DPRK and its right to be. This is crucial in the context of the continued attacks on it by the US imperialists and their allies including the British government.

We stand as one with the DPRK in its right to pursue its own path of social development, which they must be allowed to do without the threat of war, aggression, sanctions and interference of any kind. We have every confidence in the resilience of the DPRK and the justice of its cause. Friends of Korea will redouble its efforts in its work to embody the friendship and solidarity of democratic people in this country in support of the DPRK's right to be. This is a matter of war and peace, with the DPRK contributing to the cause of peace on the Korean Peninsula, in the Asia Pacific region and internationally.

Thank you.

(Presentation by Michael Chant at Seminar of Friends of Korea, November 6, 2021)


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