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How North Koreans view the ‘nuclear crisis’

Published Jun 18, 2009 8:29 PM

Here’s how Koreans in the north look at the current situation between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States, based on conversations with a member of that country’s leading party, the Workers Party of Korea.

The Korean people want to live peacefully, more than anybody else. Our country has experienced the horrors of war several times. It is not an abstraction to us, not something played out on computer screens. Every Korean family has been touched by war.

Today, when there is no longer a Soviet Union or an Eastern bloc of socialist countries, the Cold War remains for Korea. The DPRK is its target. South Korea is a colony of U.S. imperialism, and has been ever since U.S. troops took over there after the defeat of Japan in World War II. They occupied south Korea in 1945 on the pretext of disarming Japanese troops, but their real aim was to take over all of Korea and turn it into a bridgehead for the domination of Asia.

From 1910 to 1945, Korea was a colony of Japan. The U.S. drew heavily on those who had collaborated with Japanese rule when it set up an occupation government in the south. However, it was the resistance fighters against Japan who formed the DPRK in the north.

For five years, the U.S. prepared for a war in Korea, which broke out on June 25, 1950. From 1950 to 1953, the U.S. committed one-third of its ground forces, one-fifth of its air force, and the greater part of its Pacific fleet to the war. Together with troops from its satellite countries and the south Korean army, which included remnants of the former Japanese Imperial Army, a total of more than 2 million troops were thrown against the DPRK. The U.S. used up 73 million tons of war materiel—11 times more than in the Pacific war—and spent $165 billion, a huge sum in those days.

The DPRK was only two years old when the war started. It was mainly an agricultural country with very limited material resources and armaments.

Nevertheless, contrary to all its expectations, the U.S. could not win the war and sustained great losses. The fighting stopped in 1953 after an armistice agreement, or ceasefire. A demilitarized zone between north and south was set up. Below the DMZ, the U.S. kept more than 40,000 of its troops poised to resume the war.

Since then, there has been no peace agreement between the two countries. While the Koreans have tried many times to put peace talks on the agenda, the U.S. has refused. This means the war could be resumed at any moment. Ever since its founding in 1948, the DPRK has been exposed to the threat of a nuclear attack by the United States.

The Korean people are very proud of our history of struggle against foreign domination. We are proud of our independence and are determined to develop our country according to our own wishes, on a socialist path, not in a direction dictated to us from outside.

It is because of these never-ending threats of another war in Korea that the DPRK is determined to develop our own nuclear defense. For this we are being attacked as a “threat to world peace.” Such a charge is ridiculous. Since the U.S. opened the era of nuclear testing in 1945, there have been 2,054 tests of nuclear weapons. All but a handful of these tests have been conducted by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. Only two of the 2,054 tests have been carried out by the DPRK—and these are the only tests to be taken before the Security Council for sanction.

This shows the high-handedness and unilateralism of the imperialists and the strong powers against smaller nations. There is no justice. Small, weak nations must obey the big powers.

But today no nation wants to be treated that way. In the United Nations, the DPRK has put up a vigorous protest. We will do what we must to defend ourselves, despite any sanctions.