North Korea’s attempt to launch a satellite on April 13 became the latest excuse for the US imperialists and itsallies to intensify the pressure and sabre-rattling against it. Although the launch was not in violation of any UN or international conventions, the US responded by cancelling a shipment of 240,000 tonnes of food, while Japan extended by another year its unilateral sanctions against North Korea. Both these countries also rejected North Korea’s invitation to them and other countries to observe the launch.
Just as they are doing with Iran, the US and other imperialist powers are raising the bogey of a “secret” nuclear weapons program to attack North Korea. All the existing international conventions permit any sovereign country the right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. But this right is arbitrarily applied by the imperialists to favour some countries and discriminate against others. It is well known that the US imperialist henchman in the Middle East, the Israeli state, has acquired hundreds of nuclear warheads with complete impunity. On the other hand, in the case of North Korea, repeated inspections by international and even US experts and agencies have failed to uncover any evidence of a nuclear bomb. The recent attempted satellite launch, moreover, had nothing whatsoever to do with any nuclear weapons program. However, the imperialist propaganda, which was carried by all the news media worldwide, made out as if it was North Korea that was doing something against the interests of humanity. The demonization of North Korea by the US and other imperialists has reached such an extent that absolutely no evidence is required these days to portray North Korea as an irresponsible and dangerous power.
Why are the US imperialists so hell-bent to try and destabilise and pressurise North Korea? The US has a massive military presence on the Korean peninsula ever since the Korean War six decades back. This military presence in South Korea is crucial to their efforts to extend their domination over the Asia-Pacific region and to threaten China. The justification for the American bases and troops in South Korea has been the alleged threat of invasion by North Korea. In the early years of this century, the US imperialists began to get alarmed by the moves being made by North Korea and the then government of South Korea to sort out their differences on their own and work for peace on the peninsula. This was known as the “Sunshine Policy”. Japan, the other close ally of the US in the region, also initiated a rapprochement with North Korea in this period. Alarmed by these developments the US, which had been engaged in its own talks with North Korea, abruptly began to step up the propaganda that North Korea was a threat to peace in the region and the world. The then US President George Bush labelled North Korea as part of an “axis of Evil” in his infamous speech of 2002. At the initiative of China, the Six-Party talks were launched in 2003, in which the US had to take part in order not to get exposed. However, the record shows that the US has worked not to make the talks succeed, but to ensure that they get deadlocked, by launching one provocation after another against North Korea. In the meantime, governments in both South Korea and Japan that were in favour of peace talks and reduction of the US military presence in the region have been replaced by governments that are fully in line with the US strategy against North Korea.
What the history of the US imperialist-led offensive against North Korea shows are several things. First, the US is not interested in peace on the Korean peninsula or the region. Whether they engage in peace negotiations or whether they beat the drums of war, the US imperialists are motivated solely by their own hegemonic interests. Secondly, the US is deadly opposed to any efforts by countries to resolve their own differences and make peace on their own terms, independent of the US and international agencies that do its bidding. It is willing to resort to lies and deception, as well as to intervene in the internal affairs of such countries, in order to scuttle any such thing. Thirdly, the bogey of nuclear weapons or “weapons of mass destruction” in the hands of “evil” or “rogue” countries is one of the favourite ploys that the US and allied imperialists are using these days to pressure and blackmail countries that stand in the way of their designs.
The people of India and other countries must see through the lying propaganda of the imperialists against North Korea and reject it in its entirety. They must uphold the sovereign right of each and every country to develop its own nuclear program in a responsible way in accordance with its needs, and reject the self-proclaimed right of a handful of monstrous powers to decide which country can have a nuclear program and which cannot. We must also reject the imperialists’ military presence in all corners of the world under whatever pretext or justification.