by our Asian Affairs correspondent
TENSION is rising on the Korean peninsula following north Korea’s successful nuclear test on Monday. The south Korean puppet regime is threatening to join a new US-led blockade of Democratic Korea and the Americans are planning to deploy two squadrons of F-22 Raptor stealth warplanes in Japan and Guam.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea successfully conducted its second underground nuclear test to bolster up its nuclear deterrent on 25th May. The test may have taken western intelligence by surprise but the response at the United Nations was entirely predictable.
The UN Security Council, led by Anglo-American imperialism, condemned the test and it continues to meet in secret to discuss imposing new sanctions against the DPR Korea. France is openly calling for tough new sanctions but the Russian and Chinese response has been more guarded, though they both endorsed the initial UN censure of the north Korean blast.
Susan Rice, the American envoy to the UN, said members wanted a “strong resolution with teeth”, and that sanctions “could take very different forms” that might include “economic levers”.
This was ridiculed in a lead article in the Pyongyang daily Minju Josun [Democratic Korea]. “It is a ludicrous idea for the US to think that it can defeat us by sanctions. We have been living under US sanctions for decades. The US hostile policy towards us is like beating a rock with a rotten egg,” it said.
In Democratic Korea thousands of workers have taken part in meetings and rallies to demonstrate their support for the decision of the people’s government and the Workers’ Party of Korea.
“The nuclear test was a grand undertaking to protect the supreme interests of the DPRK and defend the dignity and sovereignty of the country and nation,” said Choe Thae Bok, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, at a mass rally in the capital, Pyongyang. The country was faced with “the US imperialists’ unabated threat to mount a pre-emptive nuclear attack and sanctions,” he declared.
And north Korea has warned the south’s puppet leaders that they were playing with fire if it went along with American plans to stop and search north Korean ships on the high seas to block the export of what the imperialists call “weapons of mass destruction”.
The American “Proliferation Security Initiative” (PSI) was drawn up by the old Bush administration to provide a bogus international cover for imperialist piracy. Only 15 states have signed up for it but a further 60 have agreed to co-operate. People’s China and India have refused over concerns about its legality.
This hasn’t bothered Lee Myung Bak, the puppet president of south Korea and leader of the reactionary Grand National Party, who won the southern presidential election in December on an anti-communist platform. The former CEO of Hyundai and mayor of Seoul is a willing tool of American imperialism and north-south relations have consequently plummeted.
The south Korean regime’s move to join the “PSI” was tantamount to a declaration of war. The DPRK delegation at the “truce village” of Panmunjom, which straddles the 1953 armistice line, said they would “no longer be bound” by the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.
Without a binding ceasefire “the Korean peninsula will go back to a state of war”, a Democratic Korean military representative was quoted as saying, adding that the north’s troops would take “corresponding military action”.
And the DPRK has warned the puppet regime with “unimaginable merciless punishment” if any of their ships were stopped. That would constitute an “unpardonable infringement” on its sovereignty which would be met with “merciless punishment”.
“Any tiny hostile acts against our republic, including the stopping and searching of our peaceful vessels... will face an immediate and strong military strike in response”.