As we go to the press, the US has been carrying out massive war exercises involving lakhs of US and South Korean troops in the Korean peninsula. These war exercises are cynically called Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG). Far from being in defence of freedom of the people of Korea, they are open preparations for the occupation of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea). They are being carried out under the command of the US Armed Forces which have occupied South Korea militarily for the past 70 years.
During these war exercises, numerous grave provocations have been carried out against North Korea by the US-South Korean joint forces along the demilitarised zone that divides the DPRK, an independent republic, from the US occupied South Korea. The war exercises have included bombing runs over the North Korean capital. It must be noted that the Korean peninsula is one of the most militarised regions of the world, and the US has a massive nuclear arsenal deployed in South Korea to destroy North Korea as well as threaten other countries of the region.
The government of the DPRK has condemned these provocative war games and demanded that the UN Security Council address its concerns and force the US and South Korea to stop these provocative war games. However, as in the past, the US has used its control over the United Nations, and its veto power in the Security Council, to prevent the legimitimate demand of North Korea from even being discussed in the Security Council. This has forced North Korea to step up its preparations to defend itself against a possible war of aggression across the demilitarised zone which demarcates the boundary between North Korea and South Korea.
The Korean people have a proud history of fighting against foreign occupation in defence of their national sovereignty and the right to chart their own course, free from imperialist influence. Korea had to face the humiliation of colonisation by Japanese imperialism. They rose up in armed rebellion against Japanese imperialism and seventy years ago, on August 15, 1945, they succeded in liberating their country. The Korean peoples liberation struggle merged with the anti fascist liberation struggles of the peoples of Europe and Asia, and was crowned with victory when Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945. On September 6, 1945, the Korean People’s Republic was declared. Through this act, the Korean people affirmed their will to never again be a subject people.
US imperialism, which had emerged at the end of Second World War as the leader of the imperialist world, could not allow the Korean people to determine their own destiny free from outside interference. It brutally intervened in the Korean peninsula and set up its military bases in the South of Korea. It unilaterally divided Korea along the 38th parallel. It disbanded the peoples committees. It launched a brutal war to destroy the Korean nation between 1950-1953, in which it carried out carpet bombing leading to the death of millions of people. However, nothing could shake the determination and fighting resolve of the Korean people to defend their sovereignty. Finally, the US signed an armistice agreement. This agreement meant the Korean nation was divided into the North and the South, with the South under US occupation. The US set up a puppet military regime in the South. It refused to sign a peace treaty with North Korea, and end its occupation of South Korea.
This state of affairs continues, 70 years after the end of the Second World War and the liberation of Korea from Japanese occupation. The US has never reconciled itself to the existance of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. It has never ceased its provocations against North Korea. Using its control over the international media, it paints North Korea as the villain, and itself as the defender of peace! This despite the fact that North Korea has consistantly put forth its desire for the peaceful unification of the Korean nation, a call which resonates with the majority of people of South Korea.
The people of South Korea, who have been under the jackboots of succesive fascist military regimes, and the US occupation, dearly desire peace and reunification with North Korea. It is the US occupation of their country, and its refusal to sign a peace treaty with North Korea, that is acting as the roadblock to the fulfilment of their cherished aspiration. AS in the past, the people of South Korea have expressed their oppositon to the wargames of the US — South Korean joint forces through numerous protests .
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar condemns the US military provocations against North Korea. US military forces must immediately withdraw from the Korean peninsula and the Korean people must be allowed to march on the path of reunification free from outside interference.