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Koreans reaffirm self-reliance and socialism

Published Jan 11, 2009 5:30 PM

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was the very first country in the world to successfully repel an all-out U.S. invasion and war.

U.S. strategists had seen the 1950-53 conflict as an essential element of the Cold War. Their aim was to roll back the socialist revolutions that in many parts of the world had been sweeping out comprador capitalist regimes subservient to the colonial powers. The U.S. ruling class, presiding over an enormous productive apparatus undamaged by World War II, was hungry for raw materials and markets and viewed Korea, a former colony of Japan, as ripe for the picking.

But the mass resistance and sacrifice of the Korean people, led by Kim Il Sung, defeated the Pentagon war machine and kept the northern part of the peninsula out of the clutches of the imperialists.

That strong spirit of resistance, self-reliance and commitment to building socialism could be seen once again in the recent joint New Year’s editorial of the DPRK’s leading newspapers—Rodong Sinmun, Josoninmingun and Chongnyonjonwi. This annual message conveys to the people the accomplishments and challenges that have been met in the outgoing year and what the Workers Party of Korea sees as the most important tasks for the future.

The editorial stresses “our Party’s invariable will to build a powerful socialist country” and recalls that since the war ended in 1953 it has “built on the war debris a strong country independent in politics, self-supporting in the economy and self-reliant in national defense.”

Summing up the last year as one of “improving technology and boosting food production,” the editorial said that, “Collectivism and self-reliance are our peculiar mode of revolution and nothing is better than this. ... Science and technology must be the basis of economic development.” And it added that “The working class is the main force in the building of an economic power.”

Korea has been divided ever since World War II and U.S. troops still occupy the south. For decades military dictators ruled South Korea with Washington’s blessing and were openly hostile to the DPRK. However, after great mass struggles there, somewhat more liberal governments were elected. In the 1990s, a process of dialogue with the north opened up and important agreements were reached to move toward some form of reunification.

In the past year, however, this process has been set back after a right-wing government took power in the south.

The editorial puts great stress on renewing the struggle for reunification. “The country’s reunification is the unanimous aspiration of the fellow countrymen and the supreme and urgent task for the nation. ... The national reunification movement ... faced a grave challenge due to the advent of the conservative authorities in south Korea last year.

“The drift of affairs last year shows that national reunification can be accelerated only through the determined struggle against the moves of the partitionist forces inside and outside the country.

“We should reenergize the national reunification movement this year under the slogan ‘Advance dynamically along the road of independent reunification under the banner of the June 15 Joint Declaration and the October 4 Declaration!’

“All the Korean people should resolutely check and foil the maneuvers of the anti-reunification forces that run counter to the trend of the times towards independent reunification [and are] steeped in pro-U.S. sycophancy and hostility towards the fellow countrymen.”