NEXT WEEK millions of Koreans will be celebrating the birthday of Kim Jong Il — the leader of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Korean communist movement that liberated the country from Japanese oppression during the Second World War and beat off the combined might of Anglo-American imperialism and their lackeys during the Korean war.
Communists in Britain and comrades throughout the world will be joining them in holding events demonstrating their solidarity with the Korean revolution and the Workers’ Party of Korea that has led the Korean people, under the leadership of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il to victory after victory in a struggle that began in the 1920s and continues to this day across the divided Korean peninsula.
The modern Korean communist movement was founded by Kim Il Sung and the young militants around him to fight the Japanese colonialists and build a revolutionary communist movement that would give the Korean workers and peasants a new life under socialism. Building a guerrilla army that took on the might of the Japanese Empire, Kim Il Sung mobilised the masses in a struggle that ended in victory in 1945 and the establishment of a people’s government in the north of the country.
The Workers’ Party of Korea, with Kim Il Sung at the helm, led the battle for land reform, education and socialist construction in the 1950s and 60s and then pushed forward on the engineering, technical and scientific fronts to build a modern socialist republic, where every individual worker is master of his or her own life. The DPRK stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the peoples of the Third World struggling to break the chains of colonialism and gave technical and economic aid to their new republics to defend their freedom and independence.
When Kim Il Sung passed away his successor, Kim Jong Il, told the Korean people and the world that they could “expect no change from him” and under his leadership, the Workers’ Party of Korea has won great victories in recent years. Natural disasters have been overcome. Imperialist diplomatic isolation was broken and the intrigues of US imperialism have been exposed. Democratic Korean scientists mastered the secrets of the atom to guarantee the DPRK’s defence and energy needs and now Korean rockets reach for the stars.
The tragedy of Korea is that it has been divided since the Second World War and that division is entirely due to the United States, which has propped up a servile regime in south Korea to maintain American imperialism’s military, strategic and economic dominance of north-east Asia.
A monstrous concrete wall divides Korea. Tens of thousands of American troops remain are stationed in the south, backed by a US nuclear armada that threatens the DPRK and its neighbours. The communist movement is outlawed in the south and contacts with the north are tightly controlled by the repressive regime.
The Democratic Korean government has worked tirelessly to end the partition of the country. It has called on the United States to normalise relations with the DPRK. A proposal for the re-unification of Korea based on the principle of “one country-two systems” — similar to the one that led to the peaceful return of Hong Kong and Macau to the People’s Republic of China — remains on the table.
Democratic Korea threatens no one, but the imperialist campaign to demonise and isolate the people’s government continues as a smokescreen to cover US plans to dominate the entire Pacific basin.
While we join the Korean people in their celebrations we must redouble our efforts to build solidarity with the DPRK and raise the demand for the withdrawal of all American troops from south Korea and an end to the partition of the country.