To listen to the U.S. government and the big business media talk about how the Pentagon is sending all its firepower to the north Pacific to protect Washington and its allies, you would think that the real threat in the world was the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — north Korea — a country with 25 million people.
You would not know that the Pentagon colossus has 6,000 nuclear weapons and a war machine bigger and more powerful than the rest of the world’s militaries combined, with military bases in over 100 countries.
You might think that it was the DPRK that had 25 military bases in Mexico or Canada poised to invade the U.S., or that the DPRK has 1,000 nuclear missiles in the region capable of targeting every major city in the U.S. You might think the DPRK was carrying out war exercises on the U.S. border, with tens of thousands of troops practicing the invasion and occupation of Washington and the rest of the country.
Is Washington’s alarm caused by the DPRK air force flying nuclear-capable stealth bombers near the Canadian border, simulating nuclear bomb drops? Are the DPRK’s naval forces carrying out exercises with missile ships, amphibious landing vehicles, destroyers and anti-missile defense systems in the Chesapeake Bay, practicing for landing and occupation?
Nope. It’s just the other way around.
The Pentagon has sent its forces halfway around the world to waters and land surrounding the DPRK. They are doing all the above, “practicing” for the destruction of the DPRK and the overthrow of its socialist government.
In an article entitled “North Korea May Actually Think a War Is Coming,” cnbc.com, no friend of the DPRK, on Feb. 22 refuted the idea that the leadership of the DPRK is just drumming up war and/or imagining things.
U.S. escalated war exercises
The article pointed out that the DPRK’s military defensive activities have been driven by reality. For example:
“The first joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea since the death of Kim Jong-il suddenly changed their nature, with new war games including preemptive artillery attacks on North Korea.
“Another amphibious landing operation simulation took on vastly larger proportions following Kim Jong-il’s death.” The sheer amount of equipment deployed was amazing: 13 naval vessels, 52 armored vessels, 40 fighter jets and 9,000 U.S. troops.
“South Korean officials began talking of Kim Jong-il’s death as a prime opportunity to pursue a regime-change strategy.
“South Korea unveiled a new cruise missile that could launch a strike inside North Korea and is working fast to increase its full-battery range to strike anywhere inside North Korea.
“South Korea openly began discussing asymmetric warfare against North Korea.
“The U.S. military’s Key Resolve Foal Eagle computerized war simulation games suddenly changed, too, simulating the deployment of 100,000 South Korean troops on North Korean territory following a regime change.
“Japan was brought on board, allowing the U.S. to deploy a second advanced missile defense radar system on its territory and the two carried out unprecedented war games.
“It is also not lost on anyone that despite what on the surface appears to be the U.S.’ complete lack of interest in a new South Korean naval base that is in the works, this base will essentially serve as an integrated missile defense system run by the U.S. military and housing Aegis destroyers.”
Success of DPRK nuclear tests threw off imperialist war plans
So the plan to overthrow the government of the DPRK has been in the works since the death of the previous leader of the country, Kim Jong Il, in 2012. This was regarded as an opening by U.S. imperialism, its south Korean puppet regime and its imperialist allies in Tokyo to seize the DPRK by military force and reunify the country on a capitalist basis.
They have been actively planning this for months. But the DPRK’s successful tests of nuclear weapons and a missile delivery system in February of this year threw off the plans of the unholy Pentagon-created alliance of Washington, Tokyo and Seoul, which then drastically escalated the level of their menacing joint war “games.”
It is perfectly clear from these circumstances why the Workers’ Party of Korea in its March plenum of this year declared that the DPRK has “a new strategic line on carrying out economic construction and building nuclear armed forces simultaneously under the prevailing situation.” (www.kcna.co, March 31)
Nuclear deterrent not a ‘bargaining chip’
The KCNA release stressed that “the party’s new line is not a temporary countermeasure for coping with the rapidly changing situation but a strategic line. …
“The nuclear weapons of Songu Korea are not goods for getting U.S. dollars and they are neither a political bargaining chip nor a thing for economic dealings to put on the table of negotiations aimed at forcing the DPRK to disarm itself. …
“The DPRK’s nuclear armed forces represents the nation’s life, which can never be abandoned as long the imperialists and nuclear threats exist on earth.”
There were many very important resolutions passed at the Party’s plenary session on the economic development of the country, including developing light industry, agriculture and electrification. But the central resolution has served notice on Washington, the U.N. Security Council, Tokyo and Seoul that the DPRK is not willing to re-enter the U.S.-sponsored “negotiating process” of maneuver and deceit, whose guiding aim since 1994 has been to keep the DPRK from gaining any type of nuclear capability while Washington builds up its military forces in the region.
1994 Agreed Upon Framework and U.S. deception
Washington claims to be acting in “defense,” but it is because of actions by the Pentagon that the DPRK has had to develop a nuclear deterrent.
In 1994, after the Clinton administration went to the brink of war against the DPRK, Washington and Pyongyang signed the Agreed Upon Framework, under which the DPRK was to refrain from nuclear development and Washington would end economic sanctions, contribute financial aid, aid to agricultural development, would build light water nuclear reactors to provide electricity and would provide fuel oil until the reactors were completed and operating. Tokyo and Seoul were supposed to participate in the project.
The two countries were pledged to a nonhostile relationship and to the normalization of relations.
Clinton only agreed to the Framework because the USSR had collapsed, the DPRK’s legendary founder Kim Il Sung had just died in 1994, and Washington was expecting the government and the socialist system to collapse long before the agreement was to be carried out.
But the years passed and the DPRK survived under the leadership of Kim Jung Il, despite all the hardships caused by the collapse of the USSR and natural disasters that threatened the food supply. Neither the government nor the socialist system collapsed, due both to the leadership and to the determination of the masses to withstand all the difficulties they faced.
The U.S. sanctions were not ended; the fuel oil lagged far behind in delivery, through cold winters; no work was done on the light water reactors. Yet the DPRK kept its end of the bargain and refrained from nuclear development, both peaceful and military.
Meanwhile, Washington continued with “war games” in the south, reorganizing its forces in the region to be in a better defensive and offensive military position. The DPRK watched the U.S. nuclear monster getting more and more threatening.
‘Axis of Evil’ threats
In January 2002, President George W. Bush declared that the DPRK was part of an “axis of evil” along with Iraq and Iran. Members of this supposed “axis of evil” were subject to preemptive U.S. military attack. In its Nuclear Posture Review later that year revising U.S. nuclear policy, the Bush administration declared that the DPRK , among others, could be subject to a first strike nuclear attack.
So much for “nonhostile” relations.
The light water nuclear reactors that were fundamental to the agreement were supposed to have been operational by 2003. But they were not started until August 2002 and were abandoned at the end of the year, when the U.S. tried to frame up the DPRK with false charges that it was developing nuclear fuel.
Due to the betrayal of the U.S., the Agreed Upon Framework collapsed by 2003. The DPRK withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and embarked upon its own nuclear development. But it had lost almost a decade of development of a nuclear military deterrent, while the military threats to its existence increased. Washington had bombed Iraq and overthrown its government. It was threatening Iran. Developing a deterrent became urgent.
Even after this record of betrayal, the DPRK agreed to six-party talks in 2003 that also involved China, the U.S., Japan, Russia and south Korea. Under pressure, the DPRK in 2005 once again agreed to suspend its nuclear development in return for aid. But the climate of hostility from imperialism continued. When, in 2009, the U.N. Security Council denounced a rocket launch by the DPRK, its government pulled out of the talks. It became clear that the six-party talks, like the Agreed Upon Framework, were aimed at curbing the military capability of the DPRK.
So the DPRK has gone through the historical experience of being betrayed by the Clinton administration, threatened with destruction by the Bush administration and is now under an escalating threat by the Obama administration.
It is a testament to the steadfast determination of the leadership of the DPRK and of the population that they have been able to not only survive but to grow stronger amidst the horrendous military encirclement and daily threats that they endure.
Defending Korean socialism
The key to the survival of the DPRK can be illustrated by a quote from Chon Ki Chol, a worker of the Posan Iron Works, who told the Korean Central News Agency:
“DPRK’s nuclear armed forces are what keep the Korean nation alive.
“The new strategic line serves as a definite guarantee for defending our socialism and winning the final victory in an all-out action against the imperialists.
“The U.S. imperialists should be well aware that the military technical superiority is no longer a monopoly of the imperialists and gone are the days when they could threaten and blackmail the DPRK with A-bombs.
“We, workers, will carry out the tasks laid down at the March Plenary Meeting, with a firm conviction that the victory is in store for our country led by the WPK.” (KCNA, April 4)
The people of all Korea live with the memory of the brutal occupation by Japanese imperialism from 1910 to 1945. The north is determined to safeguard its hard-won sovereignty and never submit to such humiliation again.
The people, the Workers’ Party of Korea and the government are all deeply immersed in the history of war crimes committed by Washington during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, when every building over two stories on every block, in every city, was destroyed by the U.S. Air Force and 3 million Koreans died.
Given the historical background and the present situation, the DPRK has to do everything in its power to deter imperialist invasion and capitalist counterrevolution.