The DPRK under the leadership of the WPK has always considered foreign relations an important policy area for the promotion of anti-imperialism and the cultivation of friendly relations between nations. The WPK has worked tirelessly to achieve cordial relations between all socialist countries since the inception of the DPRK. The WPK believes that independence, peace, and solidarity are the basic ideals of the foreign policy of the DPRK. The party believes that the state should establish diplomatic as well as political, economic and cultural relations with all friendly countries, on principles of complete equality, independence, mutual respect, noninterference in each other’s affairs, and mutual benefit. The DPRK has long expressed solidarity with those nations who are fighting shoulder to shoulder with the DPRK against US Imperialism. One such example is relations between the DPRK and Cuba. The relationship between these two socialist countries is based on the spirit of proletarian internationalism. Cuba established diplomatic relations with the DPRK on the 2nd of August 1960.
There is a deep relationship between the Cuban and Korean revolutions and a friendship between the leaders of the two revolutions as significantly Che Guevara and Fidel Castro have both visited the DPRK. Cuba was deeply inspired by the example of the Korean revolution and its armed struggle. In 1968 the World Cultural Congress in Havana adopted the document “The Anti Japanese Armed Struggle of the Korean People Organised and Waged Under the personal guidance of comrade Kim Il Sung”. Fidel Castro was greatly inspired by the robust independence of the Korean revolution and he stated that ‘The influence of the Korean revolution upon the peoples in Latin America and in other regions is beyond estimate”. Comrade Kim Il Sung recognised the importance of the Cuban revolution as it meant a breach had been made in the imperialist system in the Western hemisphere. Cuba had carried out a revolution and was building socialism in the so called backyard of the US. Therefore, a strong militant friendship developed between Cuba and the DPRK. This militant revolutionary fraternal friendship can be seen in the DPRK’s actions as well as its words. In 1962 the US imperialists provoked the Caribbean crisis and because the threat of war was imminent many foreign embassies withdrew from Cuba but comrade Kim Il Sung instructed the DPRK Embassy staff and their families to arm themselves and fight to the end. DPRK students studying in Cuba did likewise and the DPRK sent military aid to Cuba. The DPRK also publicly supported the 5 -point demands of Fidel Castro which included the US withdrawal from Guantanamo. Later in 1986 the DPRK supplied Cuba with 100,000 automatic rifles at cost price. The DPRK has also expressed anti- imperialist socialist solidarity through words. The great leader comrade Kim Il Sung wrote a special article for “Tricontinental” magazine on the 8th of October 1968 one year after the death of Che Guevara in battle praising his immortal revolutionary exploits. The DPRK always marks October 8th the day Che died and the DPRK produces posters and stamps of Che. Also in Cuba today there is the Kim Il Sung Special Economic School, which indicates that the Korean people will always stand together with the Cuban people in the struggle against US imperialism.
The DPRK under the leadership of the WPK has always provided both material and ideological support to oppressed peoples fighting a war of national liberation against imperialism. One such example is the Vietnam War. During the Vietnam War, the DPRK provided substantial economic and military aid to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and Vietnamese students received education for free in the DPRK. As a result of a decision of the WPK in October 1966, in early 1967 the DPRK sent a fighter squadron to North Vietnam to back up the North Vietnamese 921st and 923rd fighter squadrons defending Hanoi. They stayed through 1968 and 200 pilots were reported to have served. In addition, at least two anti-aircraft artillery regiments were sent as well. The DPRK also sent weapons, ammunition and two million sets of uniforms to their comrades in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. However, it is not just in Asia that the DPRK has provided comradely support to friendly nations in their struggles against imperialism. For example in October 1980, Kim Il-sung and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe signed an agreement for an exchange of soldiers. Following this agreement, 106 North Korean soldiers arrived in Zimbabwe to train a brigade of soldiers that became known as the Fifth Brigade.
The US and its puppet allies would have us believe that the DPRK is isolated and without international support. However, this is not true; the DPRK has cordial relations with many countries including Indonesia. This relationship begins during the 1960s when the struggle between imperialism and anti-imperialism became very intense. The great leader President Kim Il Sung did all he could to promote the struggle of the newly independent countries against imperialism for independence. In April 1965 the great leader President Kim Il Sung, accompanied by comrade Kim Jong Il paid an official visit to Indonesia in April 1965 in order to strengthen friendship, unity and solidarity with the developing countries. The visit was part of the celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the historic Bandung conference which established the Non Aligned Movement of third world countries. Although the imperialist forces had President Sukarno removed from power friendly relations have continued between the DPRK and Indonesia. The DPRK also maintains friendly diplomatic ties with Malaysia. In an effort to boost tourism between the two countries, the DPRK announced that Malaysians will not require a visa to visit the DPRK and Air Koryo has regular flights to Kuala Lumpur. Recently, Malaysia's Bernama News Agency reported that the two countries will enhance cooperation in information-related areas. The WPK has even pursued good relations with countries that many believe are firmly within the US sphere of influence, such as Singapore. In fact, Singapore and the DPRK have extremely good relations. A great deal of Singaporean companies have opened up businesses in Pyongyang and Singapore is also the DPRK’s 4th biggest trade partner.
The DPRK has good relations with those big powers who oppose the US’s aggressive foreign policy, such as China and Russia. However, the great leader President Kim Il Sung realised that the Korean revolution could only advance if the state fought against flunkeyism and big power chauvinism. This policy can be seen during the Sino-Soviet split. As the ideological conflict between China and the Soviet Union grew more aggressive Kim Il Sung emphasized, “We should establish our self-reliance more firmly.” That was why he so extensively promoted the Chollima Campaign and also emphasized that an independent line was necessary in building the economy and culture. It is a testament to the Juche based foreign policy pursued by Kim Il Sung that the DPRK maintained friendly relations with both China and the Soviet Union during this period. Unlike other communist parties the WPK has not collapsed into revisionism. This is because it refused to follow the ideological positions of big powers and instead pursued an independent line based on the harmony of the party and people. This Juche based foreign policy is a contributing factor why the DPRK is one of only a few workers states left in the world. The WPK’s stance of pursuing an independent ideological line but with a keen willingness to work with other anti-imperialist forces can be seen in the non-aligned movement.
Kim Il Sung saw it necessary for a united action by all anti-imperialist forces. This lead to the DPRK joining the non-aligned movement in August 1975 at the non-aligned foreign ministers conference held in Lima, Peru. The non-aligned movement was formed by a grouping of developing countries who desired to be free themselves from the systems of alliances, blocs and pacts which were concocted by the imperialists during the cold war. The DPRK capital Pyongyang became a venue for non-aligned meetings and summits and Kim Il Sung promoted bilateral and multilateral relations with the non-aligned countries. Kim Il Sung stressed the necessity of making the whole world independent and achieving unity within the ranks of the anti-imperialist forces on a global scale. This lead to the DPRK concluding 11 treaties with non-aligned countries such as The Central African Republic, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Togo, Angola, Libya, Ethiopia and Democratic Yemen between 1978 and 1984. The DPRK also has had a proud tradition of promoting international cooperation throughout the decades. The DPRK has helped to train agro-technicians from many developing countries. Korean technical staff have worked in a number of African and Asian countries at a low cost to their host nation. At Kim Il Sung’s recommendation agricultural centres were set up in Tanzania and Guinea for Korean and African agro-scientists to conduct joint research projects.
The WPK’s Juche based foreign policy has meant that the DPRK is a country fully independent from the dictates of the trans-national corporations, the IMF and the World Bank. The DPRK is a model of total independence which is attracting the attention and aspirations of the developing world. Songun Politics proves to those who are fighting imperialism and colonialism that is possible to resist and win in the struggle for independence. The work of the DPRK in promoting anti-imperialist unity has provided a guide to those parties and movements, countries and peoples seeking their genuine national and social liberation from neo-colonialism and globalism.