On the Situation in Korea
by Rizal Roja
28 July 2017
As the situation on the Korean peninsula continues to grow more dangerous, the international left is thrown into confusion regarding the correct position to be taken. Some so called “revolutionaries”, particularly in North America, are yet again making themselves tools for Empire, going as far as calling for the overthrow of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea regime by US-led forces. Thus, it is necessary to clarify the following points on pursuing the correct position on the crisis. First let us examine the legitimate criticisms we can make of the DPRK.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is not a socialist regime, meaning, the ultimate aim of the Worker’s Party of Korea is not the total sweeping away of the current world order and to create Communism on a global scale. It is debatable (though not of ultimate importance) whether or not the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has ever truly been a socialist state, or whether it merely employed socialist imagery and language to gain the support of the “Eastern Bloc”.
During the 1960’s, the DPRK under the leadership of Kim Il Sung, sided with the revisionist, social-imperialist USSR against revolutionary China and outright suppressed information coming from China during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution era, fearing it would destabilize their regime . Rather than uplifting their people to be able to independently wage class struggle, the Worker’s Party regime seems instead to impose an information diet to create subservience and loyalty to the state.
It should also be clarified that society in Northern Korea is not a very healthy one. Prominent problems include age worship, the preservation of conservative Confucian traditions (which, for clarity, does not necessarily make it any kind of a “Confucian State”), widespread political and economic corruption, the Songbun caste system, the lack of intellectual freedom, hero worship, and the unhealthy, religious tier idolization of the Kim family (who, it is necessary to add, are certainly nothing remotely close to the monsters they are made out to be by the bourgeois media.)
These criticisms are not exhaustive, but as Leading Lights we must look at the bigger picture. We understand the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a regime literally under siege, fighting for its survival against a borderline genocidal, imperialist aggressor. The people of the DPRK have suffered greatly as a result of imperialist interventions in their affairs for over half a century. From the Korean War, where the United States carried out brutal acts of terror, carpet bombing every city and town in Northern Korea into rubble, killing some 30% of the population of Northern Korea,  continuing to the sanctions in the 1990’s which contributed to the deaths of up to hundreds of thousands of people. It is likely accurate to say that every living family in North Korea today has lost one or more relatives, and directly suffered as a result of US imperialist aggression. Despite the hardships endured by the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, their will for self-determination and independence is hard as steel, and the North Korean people overwhelmingly support the Kim regime .
Claims about the DPRK and the alleged “mass suffering” of its people are widely exaggerated, and in many cases, outright fabricated. As with all third world peoples who demand independence and self-determination, Empire and its global media portray Northern Korea as some kind of nightmarish Orwellian state. They simultaneously preach about “Liberating” the people of the DPRK while at the same time infantilizing them, denying their agency by portraying them as baby eaters, mindless zombies and brainwashed machines; as something less than human.
The calls for the regime to denuclearize before real negotiations can take place are tantamount to asking the DPRK regime to commit suicide. The government of the DPRK understands correctly that any promises made by the Empire in exchange for their disarmament are hollow and meaningless. Capitulating to the the demands of the imperialists by the Qaddafi regime in Libya, the Hussein regime in Iraq, and the Assad regime in Syria, all led to their devastation. Ultimately, Leading Light Communists are for nuclear disarmament on a global scale, however we understand the necessity and fundamental right of the Northern Koreans, and all third world peoples to a nuclear deterrent against First-World Imperialism. In our current world ruled by Empire, a nuclear deterrent capability is a powerful tool when demanding equality on a global level. Leading Light Communists do not like this reality, but these conditions exist whether we like them or not. The Imperialists should not have the sole right to nuclear weapons capabilities. No denuclearization of the DPRK or any sovereign third world country should happen until either US Imperialism ceases to exist, or the USA, which serves as the global shock force of the First World Empire, undertakes denuclearization itself in favor of world peace. The United States understands full-well the absurdity and hypocrisy of their demands, and in pushing them, is demonstrating its total lack of genuine desire for an equitable and fair solution to the ongoing crisis.
Ideal conditions never truly exist; we must work with actual material conditions, with reality as it is, and not the ideal situation in our minds. At the current time, the primary issue facing the Northern Korean people is the issue of Imperialism and the struggle for self-determination and independence against neo-colonial domination. Despite genuine criticisms that can be made of the ruling regime of the DPRK, Leading Light Communists stand with the Korean people and all oppressed people in the struggle against Imperialism. Long live the heroic anti-imperialist resistance of the Korean people! Victory to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea! Death to the Empire!