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58 years after war’s end, Koreans remain vigilant

Published Jul 31, 2011 11:26 PM

The U.S. government has carried out so many wars and invasions since World War II that just listing them all would take a whole page. Most people living in the U.S. have only a vague idea of the terrible damage this imperialist government has inflicted on the world — always in the name of peace and democracy.

This July 27, the Korean people are commemorating the end of one of those wars. Those who live in the north, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, cannot forget that date. As a fact sheet put out by the DPRK says, “The memory of the war, even after nearly 60 years, still lives in the minds of the people.”

In the northern and southern parts of the Korean peninsula, old and young will mourn the millions who were killed in a war that lasted three years, from 1950 to 1953. In the north, which had liberated itself in 1945 from Japanese colonial rule, the struggle against a new oppressor — the U.S. — will be the dominant theme. People will talk about the huge amount of firepower the Pentagon expended trying to bring about the surrender of the revolutionary communist government there.

The DPRK fact sheet says that the U.S. “hurled into the Korean war a huge force of armed troops over 2 million strong, including one-third of its ground force, one-fifth of its air force, and the most part of its Pacific Fleet, and the troops of its 15 vassal states, south Korea and even the remnants of the former Japanese army. It also squandered over 73 million tons of war materiel, 11 times greater than that it had consumed in the four years of the Pacific War.”

The destruction that so much weaponry and armed forces did is almost inconceivable. U.S. pilots toward the end of the war reported they could find no more targets to bomb — they had destroyed every building over one story, every bridge, every factory. Yet the Korean people continued to resist, living in caves and underground, and eventually repelled the invasion.

On July 27, 1953, the U.S. signed an armistice and withdrew its troops south of the 38th parallel — where they had been before the war started. U.S. occupation troops have been in the south ever since, dividing the Korean people into two separate states.

A people organized will never give up

We live in a time when Washington is carrying out at least three open wars and many more covert ones that employ pilotless drone planes, Special Forces and mercenaries. Imperialism has not changed its spots. The super-rich ruling class of the U.S. is not content with making huge profits off the labor of workers here. It needs to grab resources and exploit the people all over the world or this insatiable system breaks down.

The leaders of the DPRK know this. They have no illusions about imperialism. At the same time, they have confidence in the determination of the Korean people to never let the imperialists do again to Korea what they did before and are doing today to countries like Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Korean statement points out that it was in Korea that the U.S. imperialists met their first defeat ever. They could not break the people or their leaders. The casualties the U.S. sustained in that war, as they made young draftees fight for their empire, were greater than in any war since.

Just like the Vietnam War more than a decade later, the war in Korea showed that an organized people defending their homeland and their social system against a predatory invasion force will never give up.

As the Korean people commemorate the armistice signed on July 27, 1953, they also continue to stay strong militarily and remain vigilant so that one day the U.S. government will have to sign a peace treaty with the DPRK and end the state of war that has kept Korea divided for so long.