On January 1, 2018, the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un delivered a New Year address in which he clearly expressed the desire of the DPRK to engage in talks with the Republic of Korea (ROK) to resolve the current tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
Head of the North Korean delegation Ri Son Gwon shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart
In his speech, he said “The south Korean authorities should respond positively to our sincere efforts for a detente, instead of exacerbating the situation by joining the United States in its reckless moves for a north-targeted nuclear war that threatens the destiny of the entire nation as well as peace and stability on this land. They should discontinue all the nuclear war drills they stage with outside forces, as these drills will engulf this land in flames and lead to bloodshed on our sacred territory. They should also refrain from bringing in nuclear armaments and aggressive forces from the United States.”
Representatives of North and South Korea have since held talks aimed at easing tensions. South Korea has temporarily suspended joint war games with the US targeted at North Korea. Communications between the two militaries which had been suspended for over two years have been restored.
Delegations of the two countries agreed to promote national reconciliation and unity by invigorating contacts and travels, and exchange and cooperation in various fields.
North Korea has decided to participate in the winter Olympics which are being hosted by South Korea in February. Teams of the two countries will participate in these Olympics under a common flag. Players from both countries will be part of a joint Women’s Ice Hockey Team in this Olympics. This team will go to North Korea for training.
These developments must be seen in the backdrop of US imperialism relentlessly stepping up its military encirclement and blackmail of North Korea, threatening it with nuclear holocaust. Not a day passes without the US carrying out one provocation or the other against North Korea. US imperialism has organised an inhuman economic blockade of North Korea with the aim of bringing it to its knees. On the other hand, the propaganda machinery of US imperialism has turned truth on its head, painting North Korea as a “rogue state”, simply because it has armed itself with nuclear weapons in self defence.
Even as the talks between the two Koreas aimed at reducing tensions in the peninsula are going on, US imperialism has initiated an all-out naval blockade of North Korea.
On January 12, the US led 17 countries to sign a statement in Vancouver, Canada, agreeing to jointly enforce a naval blockade of North Korea. This is nothing less than an act of war.
Reports indicate that the US is planning to completely throttle North Korea through a Naval Blockade. A retired US Navy General justifies a Naval blockade in the following terms “A naval blockade in the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea would prevent North Korea from obtaining essential raw materials and equipment, including refined petroleum and military spare parts. A naval blockade also serves to choke export income, in this case the lucrative coal and iron exports the regime needs to quite literally keep the lights on.”
There are also reports that the US is planning a sudden military strike on key targets in North Korea.
The situation in the Korean Peninsula continues to be extremely dangerous. China and Russia have denounced the US moves for Naval Blockade of North Korea as dangerous. In South Korea, Canada, and other countries, people have been organizing protests against the dangerous course being pursued by the US in the Korean Peninsula.