On April 5, 2009, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) launched a rocket carrying a communication satellite into orbit. Immediately came a chorus of accusations from the imperialist world and the South Korean regime charging the DPRK with conducting a missile test with aggressive intentions. Hillary Clinton ironically suggested the U.S. may re-ad the DPRK to the State Department’s “terrorist list”. Here in Canada, Prime Minister Harper, in usual war mongering reactionary form, condemned “the North Korean regime's reckless and needlessly provocative actions." But who is really inciting this dangerous situation?
Despite talk of normalizing relations with the DPRK, providing assistance and working towards finally replacing the armistice that eneded the Korean war with a permanent peace treaty U.S. imperialism, now headed by the Democratic Party under Obama, has continued interference and militaristic manuevring in the region.
Imperialism has continued to work to isolate and marginalize the DPRK both in international relations through UN Security Council resolutions and ideologically through the corporate media. But the attacks have not been a mere war of words. Imperialism, led by the United States, has actively pursued a policy of “regime change” in the DPRK through economic sabotage and the threat of military confrontation.
In March 2009 the U.S. reneged on its commitment to provide aid to the DPRK through the United Nations World Food Program. The U.S. had delivered only one quarter of the food and less than 5% of the financing promised through the Program in 2008. Additionally, the U.S. has carried out a campaign of vigilante-style operations including stop and search of vessels, port inspections and disruption of financial networks aimed at further crippling the economy of the DPRK. These operations, known as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), are illegal under international law. These operations have also included South Korea, which has increased its aggressiveness towards the North since the December 2007 election of Lee Myung-bak.
These developments must be taken in the existing context of crippling, illegal, economic sanctions already imposed on the DPRK and increasing military presence and build up in South Korea and along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Today the U.S. has around 250,000 military personnel in the Pacific Region and regularly carries out threatening military drills readying troops for invasion of the DPRK.
While painting the DPRK as a threat to peace and stability in the region, the U.S. has abandoned dialogue and co-operation in the interests of normalizing relations and preserving peace and instead manufactured a dangerous situation that threatens the potentiality of war and even nuclear confrontation as the DPRK scrambles to bolster its self-defensive capability in the face of a clear threat to its right to self determination and sovereignty.
Disarmament is long over-due youth aren’t fooled by the rhetoric of imperialist leaders about obtaining peace and security through invading, disarming and occupying the Third World in the interests of capital. We need an end to nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction – starting with the arsenal of the United States, the only country to ever use its nuclear arsenal on civilian populations. Peace-living and anti-imperialist youth and students should demand that the Canadian government cease to play the role of U.S. imperialisms junior partner in war mongering in Korea and around the world.
Imperialism is at the root of this dangerous situation starting over half a century ago in 1950 with the opening of the Korean War, and continuing to this day. The people of Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and other targets of aggression are not the enemies of Canadian youth and students – imperialism is!