Thursday, 6 August 2020

A legacy issue - a critique of Jon Halliday's ' the north Korean enigma ' by Dr Dermot Hudson

Some may  ask why produce a critique of an article , 'The north Korean enigma " by Jon Halliday that was first  published 39 years ago in New Left Review  journal  and then republished( though with some differences , as a revision was made)  in 1983 book ' Revolutionary Socialist Development in the Third World ' ? . 

There are several reasons for this exercise  the main one being that Halliday's article is still circulated today and over the years has formed a basis for fake Left and revisionist hostility to People's Korea and the Juche Idea , how many times have been met with the tired , worn-out old cliche 'but we cannot support north Korea because there is a personality cult ' blah blahfrom people on the so-called British left , a lot of this goes back to Halliday's attacks on People's Korea  back in the 1980s . Of course it can be argued that much of the material in the Halliday article is dated and in some cases has been Halliday's arguments have been proved wrong by the passage of time . However much of the article forms a core of hostility to People's Korea on the British left .
Regrettably for whatever reason -and we are not having a go at them - the various pro DPRK solidarity organisations existing at the time such as the Korea Friendship Committee , Mosquito Press , British Committee for Supporting Korea's Reunification and the original Juche Idea Study Group of England ( which is a different organisation to which exists today ) all failed to produce a refutation of Halliday's toxic attack on People's Korea .Frankly speaking it would have been a 100 times better if the article have been refuted at the time but the task of dealing with this legacy issue falls to the British Group for the Study of the Juche Idea , UK Korean Friendship Association and Association for the Study of Songun Politics.
  I can remember reading the Halliday article in New Left Review in the library of Southampton University in 1986 , this was shortly after I had become a Juche Idea follower .At the time the article looked like baseless slanders against People's Korea by an agent of imperialism . Reading it again after many years I feel anger and you cannot help thinking that the article is an echo of the thinking of the CIA and MI6.
  Lets begin with a bit of background about both Mr Halliday and 'New Left Review ' . Jon Halliday is from a wealthy family and lives in bourgeois Notting Hill  . He had apparently been a Trotskyite, Halliday was later to achieve fame by producing what is basically a demolition job on the Chinese revolution and its leader Mao Zedong  ' The Wild Swans ' which he co-wrote with his wife a Chinese defector (who some claim was originally from a KMT family) . What is New Left Review  ? It is a journal with a great deal of influence among the  left-leaning academics though probably seen by workers as a rather boring and verbose publication. It was set up by middle class liberals and extreme revisionists who left the old Communist Party of Great Britain in 1956-1957 over the Soviet intervention in Hungary and the so-called revelations about Stalin. Basically NLR always took a pro-imperialist and anti-communist position . Later it heavily promoted 'Euro-communism , a trend of extreme revisionism associated with some European Communist parties( in Britain the Euro-communists later flirted with Thatcherism and  became the backers of Tony Blair ) . Evidence has emerged in recent years that parts of the so -called New Left were encouraged by the CIA in its crusade against real ,existing socialism . Certainly NLR was very hostile to real existing socialism . Halliday 's article was one of the first times that that the DPRK was openly attacked from the 'Left' rather than from the Right , of course there had been sniping from the sidelines at the DPRK for some time before as the Soviet Union had once published an attack on the DPRK in Pravda in the early 1960s and afterwards some negative commentaries were published in the Soviet media . Usually a wall of silence against the DPRK and its achievements  was maintained by revisionist led Communist parties . 
  Halliday's article was written with express aim of creating hostility and ill -will towards People's Korea on the Left and to deny it of support from the Left . It was no coincidence that the study of the Juche idea was rapidly expanding in world when Halliday published the article . Three years before  the International Institute of the Juche Idea in April 1978 , Juche idea study groups were set up in many countries . When the Workers Party of Korea held its 6th congress in October 1980 , it was attended by over a 100 foreign delegations which demonstrated international support for the DPRK . Basically Halliday's article was about blocking support for Juche on the British left ; Halliday was acting a 'left gatekeeper ' for the British establishment .
   The very title of the article ' the north Korean enigma ' smacks of Orientalism  i.e the representation of Asia in a stereotyped way that is regarded as embodying a colonialist attitude.  The DPRK is being presented as something mysterious and beyond our understanding . The title of the article may be consciously echoing Winston Churchill's comment about the USSR in 1939  'It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma'. Of course Churchill was not from the Left but an unrepentant imperialist and an anti-communist .  By calling the DPRK  an 'enigma ' , Halliday is in fact demonizing the DPRK.
   Taken at face value  some of Halliday's arguments display naivety about the imperialist media , Halliday complains that there is a huge gap between the DPRK's projection of itself and the imperialist media's portrayal of the DPRK . Well that is to be expected . A revolutionary , independent , anti-imperialist socialist country is beyond to be defamed and slandered by it enemies the imperialists , this is to be expected . Anything progressive is slandered by the media whether it is Jeremy Corbyn ,striking miners or the DPRK . Indeed I can remember during the miners strike on a phone in programme on the radio a retired miner said that the only accurate thing in the 'Times ' newspaper is the date . Instead of taking imperialist media propaganda with a ton of salt Halliday proclaims that his article aims to 'bridge the gap ' between the capitalist media's portrayal of the DPRK and its own portrayal . This is typical liberal nonsense , you cannot bridge the gap as Halliday claims , you will end up on one side or the other .Halliday ends up on the side of the DPRK enemies.
     It would take a whole book or several books to refute all of Halliday's slanders so we will just concentrate a few generalisations and a few specifics . Halliday brings up the issue of the so-called 'personality cult ' in the DPRK .The term 'personality cult' was a term used by Khrushchev to slander and vilify the late JV Stalin and the building of socialism in the USSR . Khrushchev's so called secret speech to the 20th congress of the CPSU was leaked out to the imperialist countries and the term "cult of personality" became a stock in trade for anti-communist propagandists as well as revisionists and opportunists . The USSR and international communist movement suffered badly because of Khrushchev's folly . The USSR swung right and a few decades later restored capitalism , that is where the theory of the "cult of personality" ends up. The essence of the theory of the so called "cult of personality" is an artificial separation of the leader from the masses. Bourgeois and revisionist commentators fail to realise that the leader is not an individual but the centre of unity of society.
Those who prate about the "cult of personality" are those who fail to see society as a collective, instead are influenced by a bourgeois concept of society which sees society as made up of atomised individuals, typically an extreme and nihilistic variant of these world outlook was expressed by ex premier M Thatcher who once claimed that "there is no such thing as society"
Indeed the leader is the supreme brain of the revolution , the supreme brain of society . Society is like a living organism or a body. The brain requires a brain , a body without a brain would be impossible . Yet some people think you can have a body without a brain. No one thinks of the brain enslaving their own body.
In the DPRK the masses , the party and the leader form an integral and harmonious whole the like of which has never been witnessed in any exploitative capitalist society and not in any revisionist countries either . People in the DPRK are united in a single heart and a single mind, they move as one. 
One of my first visits to the DPRK I remember  a Korean explained to me that he wore a badge with an image of President KIM IL SUNG because without President KIM IL SUNG there would no Korea .
  Halliday wrongly claims that all publications in the DPRK were in the name of President KIM IL SUNG .
 In actual fact in 1974 the DPRK published a speech on agriculture by Premier Kim Il  and had earlier published the report to the congress of the Korean Democratic Women's Union by Mrs Kim Song Ae .
  In true Western liberal fashion Halliday bleats about the DPRK being a 'miltarised society ' . This is a particularly ignorant criticism as it fails to take into account the enormous military threat to the DPRK posed by US imperialism not to mention militarist Japan , plus the south Korean fascist puppet regime . It should be remembered that during the Fatherland Liberation War the US imperialists mobilised forces of 15 of their vassal states (including the UK) to fight against the DPRK . In the face of this overwhelming threat it is both necessary and just for the DPRK to take measures to defend itself from aggression . What does Halliday expect the DPRK to do , wave pink flowers and dance around singing  'peaceful co-existence ' a hundred times ? I personally view it as extremely positive that the DPRK has in addition to its regular armed forces , an active civilian militia force in the shape of the Worker-Peasant Red Guard and Red Young Guards .  This is very revolutionary as it means that the whole population is armed which also gives lie to the idea that the DPRK is some kind of 'repressive dictatorship ' because how can you repress a population that is armed . 
   Halliday tries to take the DPRK to task on the issue of the women's question . Of course many of Halliday's arguments are now very dated and arguably irrelevant as since the article was written many measures have been taken to boost the role of women in society and benefits for women have increased such as lengthening the time of maternity leave not once but twice  ! However Halliday was basically wrong at the time of writing with the outrageous slander that 'women continued to be oppressed by men '. This is absolute rubbish as women became equal with men by virtue of the law on sexual equality published on the 30th of July 1946. In fact Korean women became entitled to equal pay some 29 years before their British sisters . Halliday takes a typical a-historical approach by ignoring the extreme oppression of women under feudalism ( not being allowed out of the home and not even having their own names ) which was undoubtedly abolished in the new People's Korea .Halliday's arguments represent divisive bourgeois feminism which pits women against men.
   Halliday claims that there might be 150,000 'political prisoners ' in the DPRK but in the footnotes to his article admits that this is based on 'second-hand evidence' . In fact such a figure would have been impossible at the time and is still impossible today . Moreover the DPRK tends to give prisoner amnesties on important state anniversaries meaning that few people actually serve the whole of their sentence . In fact compulsory incarceration in the DPRK is a last resort applied only in extreme cases .
  The article also attacks the DPRK for its revolutionary line towards south Korea and its criticism of south Korea . Halliday dismisses poverty and slum housing in south Korea , saying it is DPRK propaganda . It is noticeable that Halliday makes no reference to the Kwangju massacre in south Korea . Basically Halliday is prettifying the fascist regime in south Korea and south Korean capitalism . Regrettably this became a trend on the so-called "Left ' in Britain with Labour MPs going on expenses paid trip to south Korea and being given rolex watches and cars by the south Korean Jaebols .
   One particularly nasty aspect of the article is the claim that the famous Peruvian Kimilsungist  and supporter of People's Korea  Genaro Carnero Checa ( who was a noted Latin American journalist ) had said 
that he personally found the DPRK ' a miserable place ' . Here Halliday has been particularly crafty and dishonest . Checa died in the autumn of 1980 and was not alive when Halliday first published the article in 1981 , it is putting words in the mouth of the deceased who cannot answer whether he said it or not . Indeed we have no way of knowing whether Halliday actually  ever met Checa or whether this is yet another 'second-hand extrapolation ' . As Checa posthumously published  'The 70th Spring ' in 1982  it would seem highly unlikely that Checa would have said such a thing .
  Halliday even tries to claim that the DPRK receives  no solidarity  and refers to supporters of the DPRK as 
'discredited sycophants ' which is an outrageous slander upon followers of the Juche idea and Halliday actually does not explain why they are discredited . In fact the DPRK does not reject solidarity far from it . Rather it is the case that solidarity with People's Korea is being blocked by people like Halliday , the revisionists and the fake Left .I can remember back in 1985 when I first became interested in the DPRK asking the CPGB Bookshop in Southampton , the Left Bookshop as it was called, to stock books from the DPRK . They refused to do so . These are the people who block solidarity with People's Korea .
   Some of Halliday's toxic and vile slanders dissolve into the mists of time as People's Korea has marched on holding high the banner of Juche when other models of socialism bit the dust and disappeared . Today under the leadership of respected Marshal KIM JONG UN the DPRK is bravely defying the sanctions of he imperialists , this shows how wrong Halliday was and is . It can be said that Halliday's attack on People's Korea was part of a much wider equation , it was written at a time when the Left in Britain and the imperialist countries had lost its way , class politics were being rejected in favour of liberalism and the Left became divorced from the working class.
  Halliday may be a ghost of the past , a has-been but nevertheless defending People's Korea from all kinds of slanders from all sides it is an important task for us .
Dr Dermot Hudson
Chairman British Group for the Study of the Juche Idea
President Association for the Study of Songun Politics
Official Delegate Korean Friendship Association/ Chairman UK KFA
Chairman British Solidarity Committee for Peace and Reunification in Korea
hon secretary general International Central Committee for the Study of Songun Politics


Meeting of Executive Policy Council of WPK Central Committee Held


Pyongyang, August 6 (KCNA) -- The Fourth Meeting of the Executive Policy Council of the Seventh Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) took place at the office building of the Central Committee of the WPK on August 5.

Kim Jong Un, chairman of the WPK, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and supreme commander of the armed forces of the DPRK, was present at the meeting.

Attending the meeting were Pak Pong Ju, Ri Pyong Chol, Ri Il Hwan, Choe Hwi, Kim Tok Hun, Pak Thae Song, Kim Yong Chol, Kim Hyong Jun, vice-chairmen of the WPK Central Committee who are members of the Executive Policy Council of the WPK Central Committee, and other officials of major departments of the Party Central Committee.

Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un presided over the meeting.

The meeting of the Executive Policy Council examined and discussed the issue of organizing a new department within the Central Committee of the Party and studied and discussed the ways to radically improve the personnel affairs system of the Party.

The meeting also appraised the work of cadres in major offices of the government and discussed relevant measures.

Then the meeting heard a report on the anti-epidemic work and the situation in Kaesong City that is completely locked down under the state's maximum emergency system, discussed and decided on the Party Central Committee's special supply of food and funds to the city to stabilize the living of its citizens, and instructed relevant field to take immediate measures in this regard.

In addition, the Executive Policy Council of the Central Committee of the Party discussed the practical affairs arising in the internal work of the Party and approved their execution.

Making conclusions on the matters discussed at the meeting, Kim Jong Un called upon the members of the Executive Policy Council to decisively improve the works of the fields in their charge by displaying high sense of responsibility and devotion, and organize and do every work in a revolutionary way as required by the idea and policy of the Central Committee of the Party by maintaining the correct orientation and the pivot in their works for faithfully implementing the decision of the Central Committee of the Party and by scrupulously organizing the work to do so. -0-

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Commentary of AINDF Spokesman- on south Korean people's struggle for independence


Of late, intense anti-US and anti-government actions are being waged across south Korea. 

Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the national liberation day, civic organizations including the South Side Committee for Implementing June 15 Joint Declaration and the South Headquarters of the Pan-national Alliance for Koreas Reunification are expressing their strong opposition to the US hostile policy towards north Korea and the south Korean authorities humiliating attitude to the US.

Some days ago, the Promotion Committee for Meeting National Independence composed of 180 civic organizations of different strata held rallies simultaneously in Seoul, Daegu and Busan in demand of the withdrawal of the US forces from south Korea, dissolution of the south Korea-US working group and suspension of south Korea-US joint military exercise and in denunciation of the US pressure on south Korea's share of defense cost for the US forces.

The committee made public a declaration on the current situation signed by 3,700 civic organizations and 22, 400 personages to express their will to launch actions against the US deriding the national sovereignty and the south Korean authorities submissive approach to the US.

Meanwhile, civic bodies including the Reunification Vanguard against the US held a rally outside the US embassy in Seoul and made a tour the US military bases situated in Seongju, Cheongju, Gwangju and Busan to launch the drive for peace against war, carrying slogans written Expel the US army for germ warfare and THAAD base! and Opposition to establishment of the US ammunition depot!.  

It is their expression of discontent at the US which deems south Korea as a colonial and dependent one and weapon market, engages itself in arbitrariness and plunder and at pro-US treacherous elements.

The AINDF, together with various circles of the south Korean people, would accelerate a vigorous drive to realize the people’s desire to lead a peaceful life free from the foreign forces and war.   


Overt Attempt

Overt Attempt 


The south Korean authorities have become ever more undisguised in their moves to sustain the military confrontation with the DPRK.

The Agency for Defense Development of south Korea developed ballistic missile Hyunmoo-4 with effective range and warhead capable of striking the DPRK, while clamoring about it would greatly threaten the DPRK.  

The defense budget of south Korea has been increased two times as compared with those in the corresponding period of last year and the defense budget for this year has reached to the top notch.

The south Korean authorities is going to increase range of its ballistic missile by help of the US, revealing its attempt to launch a spy satellite powered by solid fuel in the near future.

Meantime, they are stepping up the development and introduction of the latest weaponry by embarking on development of electronic magnetic pulse for destroying underground bunker of the DPRK and purchasing twenty F-35Bs capable of vertical taking off and landing out of forty stealth fighters from the US.

It is intolerable as it is a reckless military showdown with the DPRK. 

Peace, much touted by the south Korean authorities, is deceptive. 

The current situation proves that the present regime is little short of the past conservative regimes.

It is crystal clear that the south Korean authorities’ heedless action may entail the baneful consequences.

Broad segments of south Korean people are intensively waging an action for peace against war, while lashing out at the south Korean authorities’ development of cutting-edge weapons for military confrontation with the DPRK. 


Strange Whine of Netanyahu from Korea Arab-Friendship Association
According to the Israeli “Jerusalem Post”, Prime Minister Netanyahu, at the Cabinet Meeting on August 2, censured the Israeli mass media for having covered the true pictures of the anti-government demonstrations staged by his populations who were discontent at the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the consequent aggravating economic conditions. He also found fault with the DPRK for no reason at all by saying that “the Israeli mass media follow a Soviet style and north Korean style in its news coverage.”

Netanyahu is to face a trial soon sitting in the dock as a kingpin of irregularities and corruption. In spite of this, he ran the Israeli mass media down, which had covered the story of the anti-government demonstrations widespread in his country. Worse still, he went off the point by picking on us. All this can’t be overlooked at all.

Netanyahu himself has an inveterate feeling of negating the DPRK. During his trip to Japan in May 2014, he used abusive language against the DPRK saying that it is a “rogue state with nuclear weapons”. He also gained his notoriety in January 2015 for his railing at the DPRK that it was “violent and threatening”.

At that time, the world people were so much enraged by such a reckless remark of Netanyahu, because Israel, a root of all evils to peace in the Middle East, picked fault with the other while saying that it is a “rogue state” and poses a “threat”.

He picked a quarrel with the DPRK again for no reason at all. His evil intention, to all intents and purposes, is nothing but a whine aimed at sustaining the remainder of his political career which is only numbered.

This time, Netanyahu, through his vicious criticism against the demonstrations for “democracy”, showed fully to the world his political incompetency and a true picture of “democracy” advocated by Israel.

Netanyahu is best advised to worry about how he would come to an end in the rest of his political career.


Secretary General of Korea-Arab Association

UK KFA Resolution against British Sanctions against the DPRK

     5th of August 2020
This online meeting of the UK KFA condemns the recent British sanctions against  two law enforcement agencies  of People’s Korea that were announced on the 6th of July 2020 . 

They are a clear attempt to undermine the socialist system in the DPRK as well as being blatant interference in the internal affairs of the DPRK .

These sanctions are not ‘independent sanctions ‘ as advertised by the British government but simply a reflection of the US hostile policy against the DPRK which the British government is slavishly implementing instead of pursuing an independent policy.

Such sanctions by the British government are not in the interests of the British people , Britain should be looking for new markets and trading partners following Brexit , not imposing sanctions on independent countries.

 We call for the recent sanctions to be revoked along with all British sanctions that are currently in place.

ASSPUK, BGSJI , UK KFA and BSCPRKP on the 75th anniversary of Korea's liberation


London  5th of   August Juche 109(2020)
The Association For the Study of Songun Politics UK (ASSPUK) , the British Group for the Study of the Juche Idea, the UK Korean Friendship Association (UK KFA )  ,and the British Solidarity Committee for Peace and Reunification in Korea (BSCPRKP))  ,issued the following joint statement on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Korea from Japanese imperialist rule  on August 15th :
  Now some seventy five years , seven and a half decades have passed since Korea became independent  on the 15th of August 1945 .Korea was liberated from the grim and oppressive fascist rule of Japanese imperialism, thanks to the 20 year long armed struggle conducted under the leadership of the great leader general KIM IL SUNG the sun of the Korean nation , ever-victorious iron willed brilliant commander and gifted military strategist. The anti-Japanese People's Guerrilla Army led by the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG had neither a state base or rear to rely on.The armed struggle of the anti-Japanese guerrilla was a self-reliant one that embodied the Juche Idea and the Songun Idea. The great leader general KIM IL SUNG cast aside the flunkeyist idea of relying on big powers for salvation and instead conducted an independent struggle,based on Juche , against Japanese imperialism fully relying on the masses of people.  
                    The anti-Japanese armed struggle fully proved in practice the truth of Songun that independence is achieved by the force of arms. During the anti-Japanese armed struggle the great leader generalissimo KIM IL SUNG adhering firmly to the line of Songun rejected illusions of the national  reformists and opportunists that independence could be achieved by peaceful means or by begging for it
     The Juche-orientated guerrilla tactics of the great leader President KIM IL SUNG and the indomitable struggle of the Anti-Japanese People's Guerrilla Army (later the Korean People's Revolutionary Army ) tore the guts out of Japanese imperialism, defeating the million strong Kwangtung army of Japanese imperialism. The barbaric Japanese imperialist invaders were expelled from the land of Korea at last.                
    The defeat of Japanese imperialism, one of the main forces and shock brigade of international fascism , by the partisans of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army led by the great leader  general KIM IL SUNG made a great contribution to the victory of worldwide anti-fascist forces .
   The victorious liberation struggle of the Korean people led by  general KIM IL SUNG , a gifted military strategist and ever-victorious iron-willed brilliant commander was an inspiration for the peoples of the colonial countries fighting for their independence and liberation .The 1968 World Cultural Congress in Havana adopted a document praising the anti-Japanese armed struggle waged under the leadership of the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG.
    With the victory of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army , commanded by the great leader generalissimo KIM IL SUNG ,in August 1945 the Korean people finally gained their emancipation from the cruel shackles of Japanese colonialism and greeted a new life of independence , a life of hope for the future.
  After liberation under the leadership of the great leader President KIM IL SUNG the people of Korea built a new thriving  country of independence, a country which in the words of even enemies has "undiluted sovereignty " .Under the banner of self-reliance the Korean people are further consolidating the independence of the country and building a fine and might independent power of Juche.The Korean people now have lives of independence and creativity .
   Today People's Korea ,the land of Juche ,pulsates with independence  under the leadership of respected Marshal KIM JONG UN who carries forward the great line of independence developed by  great President KIM IL SUNG .