Monday, 12 June 2017

A critique and refutation of Paul French's "North Korea State of Paranoia “ by the Juche Idea Study Group of England and UK Korean Friendship Association

Walk into any high street bookshop and you will be confronted with a huge amount of hostile anti-DPRK propaganda books . One of these is  “North Korea State of Paranoia “ written by a Paul French . Needless to say it is an attack on People’s Korea and the Juche Idea.
 The book  "“North Korea State of Paranoia “ is a very much an exercise in academic falsification. The very title of the book betrays a certain inveterate hostlity to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea , the subject matter of the book. The title ignores the fact that the DPRK has been under US sanctions and blockade for seven decades and was invaded by the US in June 1950. The DPRK has been under constant threat by US imperialism which has designated the DPRK as a target of a 'pre-emptive ' nuclear strike by the US. Yet French decries the efforts of the DPRK to protect itself from US imperialism and to defend its socialist system as 'paranoia'. French would do well to note the adage first coined by the US writer Joseph Heller ;"just because you are paranoid it doesn't mean they aren't after you !"
 French omits mentioning the vast achievements of People's Korea such as eliminating illiteracy in the space of a few years , establishing over 200 universities and abolishing taxation in 1974 to name just a few of the achievements.
 The UK Korean Friendship Association and Juche Idea Study Group of England has undertaken a project  to examine, analyse and refute French’s book.  Two researchers of the UK KFA and JISGE have subjected the book to a detailed critique.What follows is a detailed refutation of the poisionous lies of French: 

Paul French has stated in part one of this book that DPRK citizens currently live in a poverty ridden country, beset by corruption and a caste system called ‘Sonbun’. The author uses statements by so-called ‘defectors’ as evidence of his claims in his book. He is totally unaware of the actual living conditions in the DPRK and he fails to acknowledge that People’s Korea has developed from a backwards colony into a thriving socialist power. French continues slandering the DPRK by stating that the Juche idea is based on Maoism and Confucianism(two completely contradictory ideologies-ed). This hypothesis disregards the numerous statements by comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il exposing the backwards nature of left opportunism and Feudal-Confucian ideas. In reality, the Juche idea is a theory which can be used by the masses to liberate themselves from repressive conditions. 
In chapter one French implies that the quality of housing, food, medical care and public services depends on an individual’s social status within a caste system called Songbun. He also states that everyone is divided into one of three groups: the core class, the wavering class and the hostile class. Within each class are numerous subclasses. French writes that moving class definition is difficult while rations, education, work, health care, housing and access to goods all depend to a greater or lesser extent on your designated class. French continues by making the statement that all housing is apportioned by the state, and quality and location are dependent on social rank. However, the theory that the DPRK has a caste system is incorrect. The great leader President Kim Il Sung had always argued strongly against any form of elitism or privileges. Indeed, the DPRK has rejected all forms of feudalism and landlordism. The struggle against the caste system was first outlined in May 1936 when Kim Il Sung founded the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland. The Ten Point Programme of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland stated that one of its aims was " To abolish the caste system which divides the ryangban (nobles) and the common people, and other inequalities; to ensure equality based on humanity irrespective of sex, nationality or religion; to improve the social position of women and respect their personalities".
The DPRK also has a principle of single hearted unity which prevents society from being divided along lines of political loyalty. Comrade Kim Jong Il stated that “We must rally the broad masses of the people around the Party. Therefore, the Party officials must always mix with the people and shower the Party's trust and love upon them. They should frequently meet those with complicated pasts. Mingling with them at work, they should heal their sores, treating them kindly and winning them over in a broad-minded manner, so that they come to open their hearts. This is precisely the process of bringing the Party's trust and love home to them, a process of the Party winning them over. It is only when the Party showers its trust and love upon the people that they will remain loyal and sincere to it. "Let's build a new society with trust and love," this is my invariable motto." Therefore, it is inconceivable that the DPRK has a caste system and this idea is not referenced in any DPRK literature.
The author then turns his attention to the treatment of older people in the DPRK. French assumes that many senior citizens are effectively trapped in their apartments and there are stories of old people who, having moved in, have never been able to leave. Families apparently make great efforts to relocate their older relatives on lower floors or in houses, but this is difficult and a bribe is sometimes required. However, in reality it is a DPRK policy to treat aged people with respect and look after their life and health in a responsible manner. The state invests in protecting these mature people and makes firm efforts to provide them with a civilized and happy life. The system also requires the younger people to care for the older generation and to look upon these citizens as teachers. The DPRK has established a number of organisations to protect the elderly such as the ‘Korea Federation for Care of the Aged’. It has also established a charitable fund for ‘Protecting the Aged People’ to raise extra money to protect the elderly citizens. ‘The Korean Federation for Protection of the Elderly’ was founded on 30 April 2003. The important features of the work of the Federation is to promote the elderly’s health by encouraging them to participate in social activities. The purpose of this mission is to protect the rights and interests of the elderly which enables them to live fulfilling lives. Thus, it is clear that the DPRK allows senior citizens to live dignified lives and they are not mistreated as the author French, would have us believe.
Next, the author accuses the DPRK of being a corrupt country in which people have to pay bribes to state officials in order to survive. According to French, car drivers must sometimes bribe the police with alcohol and cigarettes in order to prevent being fined. In addition, the author believes that a group of wealthier North Koreans who used to live in Japan and some senior WPK cadres, bribed officials with foreign currency in order to purchase apartments. He continues by arguing that an unofficial housing market exists in the DPRK and is fuelled by corrupt officials. However, the supreme leadership of the DPRK has always condemned corruption. In his New Year speech for 2017, Marshall Kim Jong Un stated, “we should thoroughly apply the people-first doctrine, the crystallisation of the Juche-oriented view on the people, philosophy of the people, in Party work and all the spheres of state and social life, and wage an intensive struggle to root out abuses of power, bureaucratism and corruption that spoil the flower garden of single-hearted unity”. The DPRK also has a long history of punishing those accused of high-level corruption. In 2013 during an enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Workers' Party of Korea, the crimes of the traitor Jang Song Thaek were laid bare. Affected by the capitalist way of living, Jang committed irregularities and corruption which lead to a dissolute and depraved life. He used drugs and squandered foreign currency at casinos while he was receiving medical treatment in a foreign country under the care of the party. He also stole at least 4.6 million Euro of DPRK state money and squandered it in one year.  The special military tribunal of the Ministry of State Security found Jang guilty of corruption and attempting to overthrow the state. He was sentenced to death for his crimes. This indicates that the DPRK takes a very harsh line on corruption and it does not tolerate those who steal from the Korean people. The DPRK does not have the same corruption problems as capitalist countries due to it being a people based state. In the capitalist societies extreme individualism social inequality produce corruption. However, the DPRK is a socialist society in which each individual is the master of their own destiny. The DPRK is virtually corruption free because all wealth is distributed equally rather than being consolidated in the hands of the few, like in capitalist countries.
French further attacks the DPRK by writing distortions about its education system. He mendaciously claims that school textbooks are always in short supply and the children of KWP cadres get priority admission to university. In reality, the DPRK’s education system does not discriminate and is free of charge at all levels. The Korean people enjoy the free socialist education system thanks to the popular educational policy consistently pursued by the Workers' Party and Government of Korea. Since he started revolutionary activities, President Kim Il Sung had paid close attention to the development of education, considering the education of the rising generation as important for the country's destiny and the nation's future. He set up Samgwang School on an experimental basis in Guyushu in the early 1930s to give free education to young people. With experience gained at this school, he put forward tasks for establishing a popular education system in "The Ten-point Programme of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland". In September 1977 he published "Theses on Socialist Education" to clearly indicate the way to be followed by Juche-based education. The universal compulsory primary education system was enforced from August 1956 and the universal compulsory secondary education system from November 1958 in the DPRK.
The Worker’s party of Korea believes that the younger generation must be equipped with a wide range of knowledge from a socialist education system. DPRK students have performed very well at international competitions because of a Juche based education system which fosters their talents. Recently DPRK student Choe Chol Jun took the first place at the International Vocal Concours held in Russia. Korean students also got fine results in the 54th International Math Olympics and Sol Kyong bagged a gold medal, shocking the international judo world. Witnessing the abilities of Korean students in the International Math Olympics held in Colombia, delegates from different countries admired the Korean students' abilities. The DPRK is also the only country in the world to introduce 12-year compulsory education that is free of charge. This measure puts the DPRK ahead of the so-called advanced capitalist countries. The DPRK is increasing public expenditure including educational spending at a time when the capitalist countries such as the UK are mired in "austerity" and are cutting public spending. It will give the children and young people of the DPRK even greater opportunities to fully develop their talents and creative abilities. In the DPRK, education is free and the school institutions are strictly prohibited from charging parents or guardians of children with fees for admission, lessons, study tour, school training and field trips. The state provides food to students at various educational levels and ensures the provision of school supplies and daily necessities are at low price. This clearly shows that the DPRK has the most advanced educational system and gives all the people the right to education at a high-level.
The author then repeats the imperialist lie that worship is strongly discouraged in the DPRK and is punished as ‘superstition’. In reality, Article 68 of The Socialist Constitution of the DPRK guarantees that “citizens have freedom of religious belief. This right is granted through the approval of the construction of religious buildings and the holding of religious ceremonies.” In the DPRK everybody is fully provided with the rights to choose and follow their own religion and thought according to their own free will. The DPRK Government has never forced or influenced people either to believe or not to believe any kind of religion, and moreover, it has never opposed, tormented, oppressed or restricted religion or religious people. At present, the DPRK has the Korean Christians’ Federation, the Korean Buddhists Federation, the Korean Catholic Association, the Korean Chondoist Society and the Korean Association of Religionists in the DPRK. These religious organizations have well-organized structural system (Central Committee at national level, sub-committees at provincial, city and county level and sub-units under them) and their own church, publication, educational organ and so on. They are also conducting cooperation and exchanges with several religious organizations of the world. Recently the Pongsu Christian Church and Changchung Catholic Sanctuary in Pyongyang city and the Ryongtong Buddhist Temple were refurbished and expanded, and the Singye Temple in Mt. Kumgang and the Pobun temple in Mt. Ryongak was newly restored. Foreigners and expatriates resident in the DPRK are also given complete freedom of religion. A Russian Orthodox church was built in Pyongyang city in August 2006 and Russian Orthodoxies resident in or visiting the DPRK hold religious rituals there.
Another inaccuracy is perpetrated by French when he states that possession of foreign books, magazines and newspapers are forbidden. The DPRK actually has numerous libraries which contain foreign literature and the largest collection of these is in the Grand People's Study House. The Study House was constructed in a traditional Korean style in April 1982 and the building can house up to 30 million books. The DPRK also engages in book swapping programmes with other countries. A book-donating ceremony took place at the Grand People’s Study House in Pyongyang on June 6 2013, which is also the “National Day” of Sweden. Almost 2,000 books on Nordic culture, history, music, Alfred Nobel, and mint copies of the Linnaeus Apostles were donated to the library’s already impressive number of works. Many of these were stacked for display during the public ceremony. So, it is clear that the DPRK has many foreign books in its libraries and these are publicly accessible.
The author believes that health care in the DPRK is a growing problem, with a lack of antibiotics and basic medical equipment. However, healthcare is one priority area for the enrichment of the population's living conditions in the DPRK. In April 2010, the World Health Organization’s director visited North Korea and said its health system was the envy of the developing world. Following a visit to the country in April 2010, Dr. Chan observed: “Now based on what I have seen, I can tell you they have [a health care system] that most other developing countries would envy. For example, DPRK has no lack of doctors and nurses, as we have seen in other developing countries where most of their doctors have migrated to other places. But DPRK has enough doctors and nurses, they have a very elaborate health infrastructure, starting from the central to the provincial to the district level…. People in the country do not have to worry about a lack of financial resources to access care….”. In the DPRK, all the medical services such as medication, diagnosis, experimental tests, various treatments, operations, sick calls and hospitalisation are free to all patients, including outpatients. The state sees to it that hospitals and clinics are set up in a modern way and located evenly in cities, rural areas, factories, enterprises, fishing villages and remote mountainous villages. They have specialised hospitals such as maternity and infant hospitals have been built in all parts of the country. The DPRK continuously improves the quality of medical services for the people’s welfare and health care for children is regarded as a specialist medical field. The Okryu Children's Hospital is second to none, in its quality of provision. Even the cities and provinces outside Pyongyang, benefit from the hospital’s expertise, due to the tele- medicine service and just outside the main building, there is the heliport, ready to receive sick and injured children from all parts of the DPRK for urgent treatment. The capitalist countries such as Britain are closing down hospitals and medical services due to austerity, whereas Socialist Korea is expanding its public health network.
This author tries to convey the message that the DPRK is isolated and that no government in the world is currently more reclusive, more suspicious, more averse to international contact than Pyongyang. In fact, the DPRK maintains diplomatic relations with 164 independent states. The country also has bilateral relations with the State of Palestine, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, and the European Union. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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 capital Pyongyang has also been a venue for non-aligned meetings and summits and Kim Il Sung promoted relations with the non-aligned countries. The DPRK also has had a proud tradition of promoting international cooperation throughout the decades. The DPRK has helped 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.
Paul French then rudely moves on to make many false assertions about the Juche idea. He inaccurately writes that Juche is based on Maoism and that the DPRK has imitated much in the Chinese experience. He states that the DPRK’s Chollima mass mobilisation movements were clearly modelled on China’s Great Leap Forward.(in actual fact Chollima mean a legendary flying horse that could travel hundreds of miles in a single day and is from Korean legend , noting to do with China -ed.)  However, Kim Il Sung stressed that the Korean revolution must follow its own path and not dogmatically follow other countries. On October 5th 1966 Kim Il Sung delivered at speech titled ‘The present situation and the tasks of our party’. In this address he outlined the DPRK’s independent position by telling the participants of the conference that “certain people now attach the labels of centrism, eclecticism, opportunism and the like to our party and other Marxist-Leninist parties. They allege that we are taking the road of unprincipled comprise and straddling two chairs. Why should we throw away our own chair and sit down uncomfortably, straddling two chairs belonging to others? We will always sit on our steady Marxist-Leninist chair. Those who accuse us of straddling two chairs when we are sitting on our sturdy chair, are themselves no doubt sitting on a chair which leans either to the left or right. The slanders against our party merely prove that our party not only opposes right opportunism but is also uncompromising with left opportunism, firmly adheres only to the principled stand of Marxism-Leninism. All Communists have their own standpoint and tell right from wrong, a party cannot be indiscriminately regarded as subscribing to the policies of other parties or taking the cue from them, just because it has connections with those parties, regarding others with suspicion is a specific characteristic of great power chauvinism and sectarianism. Great power chauvinism suspect others for no reason and like to divide people into different sides, we will not take any side. If someone asks us which side we are on, we will answer that we are on the side of Marxism-Leninism and the side of revolution.”
During 1960’s, the socialist world was split between the "Pro-Soviet", "Pro-Chinese" and "Pro-Albanian" Communist parties, but Kim Il Sung demanded that the DPRK maintain its independence. Independence was and is the treasured principle, which runs through all the activities of the Workers' Party of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. So, the Korean Revolution does not sit on anyone else's chair and does not follow the fashions and trends of others, but sits steadfastly on the chair of Songun, Independence and Socialism. It is totally wrong of this opinionated author to assert that Juche is based on Maoism as Kim Il Sung criticised left opportunism on many occasions. Kim Il Sung correctly realised that left opportunism is a bourgeois and petty bourgeois idea appearing in the working-class movement. During a speech titled ‘The present situation and the tasks of our party’ Kim Il Sung said that “Left opportunists failed to take into account changed conditions and dogmatically recite isolated propositions of Marxism Leninism; they lead people to extremist action under super revolutionary slogans. They also divorce the party from the masses, split the revolutionary forces and prevent a concentrated attack on the principal enemy. When left opportunism is allowed to grow, it may also become as big a danger as modern revisionism. Without fighting left opportunism, it is impossible to unite the anti-imperialist forces to wage a successful struggle against imperialism, nor is it possible to combat modern revisionism successfully.” Therefore, it is clear that Juche is not based on the leftist excesses of Maoism, but it is an original philosophy authored by Kim Il Sung.
The author indicates his superficial knowledge of the Juche idea by writing that Juche is partly based on Confucianism. The DPRK has in reality abolished all remains of the previous feudal ideas. In ‘On the intensification of the ideological propaganda for a revolutionary advance in the building of the economy and strengthening our defences’ Kim Il Sung encouraged party officials to “take an active part in the struggle to eliminate bourgeois, revisionist and Feudal-Confucian ideas.” ‘On the Juche idea’ by Kim Jong Il also calls for an end to Confucianism in DPRK society. In this work Kim Jong Il made it clear that scientists and theoreticians should uncompromisingly combat   Feudal-Confucian ideas. The DPRK’s foreign policy proves that the country does not follow the ideas of Confucius. In international relations Confucianism demands that small countries follow big countries, but this is the opposite of what the Juche idea teaches. In the work titled ‘On the present situation and some political and military tasks’ Kim Il Sung asserted that “the old idea of regarding support from big powers as essential for the revolution in small countries is being discarded. A large number of people are convinced that they can emerge victorious in the revolution and build a new society without assistance from big powers.” Therefore, it is obvious that the Juche idea rejects all forms of Confucianism as backwards and feudal.
French has made another erroneous claim in that all references to Marx, Engels and Lenin have been removed from official Juche texts. This is simply not true and Kim Jong Il even authored a book titled “Let us advance under the banner of Marxism-Leninism and the Juche idea”. In this work Kim Jong Il states that “Karl Marx made a great contribution to the liberation cause of mankind, and because of his immortal exploits his name is still enshrined in the hearts of the working class and peoples of all countries.” The DPRK recognises the contributions made by other leaders of the Proletariat and even praises them in its literature.
The author’s idea that Juche has been an exclusively North Korean philosophy, with no international following proves his lack of knowledge of subject matter. The 82 friendship plaques from foreign supporters and Juche study groups on the Tower of the Juche Idea indicates that Kimilsungism–Kimjongilism has a large following across the work. Indeed, in every major continent there are groups dedicated to studying Juche. Since 1976 the DPRK has organised international seminars on Juche. The great Juche idea is also applicable to all counties as it teaches that every people should be independent and masters of their own destiny. President Kim Il Sung showed the way for the peoples of the capitalist countries, socialist countries and third world countries to independence. Indeed, the Juche idea reflects the aspirations of the peoples of all countries for independence. In addition, the revolutionary activities and teachings of Kim Il Sung have influenced socialist leaders throughout the world. His philosophy has been admired by leader such as Mengistu Haile Mariam and Nicolae Ceaușescu. It has also been an inspiration to all those who are working to liberate themselves from oppression. 
   In the section that deals with Reunification  French gets off on the wrong foot by ignoring the fact that south Korea is a puppet regime , a colony of the US and in fact an artificial creation of the US . In the world today a number of artificial states or statelets exist such as south Korea, Israel , northern Cyprus, northern Ireland and Taiwan . All have come into existence by the intervention of outside forces, south Korea is no exception to this.  In 1945 on the 8th of September US troops landed in south Korea (some 3 weeks after Korea had been liberated by the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army led by the great leader President Kim Il Sung). The US enforced direct military rule, they dissolved the people’s committees by force and banned the Communist Party. In 1948 they created the south Korean puppet regime, the so-called “Republic of Korea” and placed Syngham Rhee  a corrupt and discredited figure as the head of it .It is a basic and serious error to view south Korea as any kind of independent state. It is occupied by over 30,000 US troops and bound by a number of unequal treaties with the US such as the “Status of Forces Agreement” to give but just one example. The south Korean economy is dominated by international monopoly and finance capital primarily US and Japanese and south Korea belongs to the globalist anti-independence institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, WTO, and APEC etc. South Korea would cease to exist if the US willed it. If US troops were withdrawn from south Korea its collapse would probably be a matter of time.

 French reluctantly does acknowledge that Syngham Rhee was overthrow by a popular uprising though he describes it dismissively ‘student riots' (in fact it was a mass uprising involving millions of people).However French wrongly states that the US did not intervene in events in May 1961 when the fascist military coup’s teat took place. This is extremely wrong; in fact it was the US that pulled the strings after the south Korean military can only move with the say-so of the US.
One of the more crass statements in the book is that “Ultimately Kim did not need the trust of the Korean people, or even of the Northern portion, but just the support of the Kremlin and Beijing to maintain him in power.”  This is not only slanderous and insulting, is so totally untrue. In fact the truth is the opposite. In fact the great leader comrade Kim Il Sung needed most of all the trust of the Korean people and always said that the “people are my God “ and that you cannot live apart from the people .The whole ethos of Juche is to rely on the people not  outsiders . As President Kim Il Sung said “In a nutshell, the idea of Juche means that the masters of the revolution and the work of construction are the masses of the people and that they are also the motive force of the revolution and the work of construction. In other words, one is responsible for one's own destiny and one has also the capacity for hewing out one's own destiny.”
.However President Kim Il Sung did not need the support of the big powers such as the USSR and China, he always believing on relying on the people rather than outside big powers. In fact the Soviet and Chinese big power chauvinists tried to overthrow the leadership of the DPRK.French has basically turned the truth on its head. French is an ignoramus and charlatan with no basic understanding of this subject matter that he is dealing with.
  In one sentence French dismisses the struggle of revolutionaries in south Korea for reunification and the south Korean revolution by referring   to the ‘ill-fated Revolutionary Party for Reunification ‘offering no explanation as to why this is should be considered ‘ill-fated’ or is this actually an oblique reference to the murderous execution of Kim Jong Tae and Choi Young Do in 1969. French is rather coy about the repression of south Korean communists and Juche idea followers by successive south Korean puppet fascist regime. Rather than being ‘ill-fated’ the Revolutionary Party for Reunification which was formed in 1969 has carried out many mass struggles and became the National Democratic Front of south Korea in 1985 which was renamed the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front of south Korea in 2005. The AINDF maintains a mission in Pyongyang today.
French only mentions the National Security Law of south Korea in the footnotes of the book, whereas in fact the National Security Law is a central issue in south Korea
 French tends to largely whitewash the crimes of the south Korean puppet regime. For example the Kwangju massacre of May 1980 only attracts a few lines from French; he ludicrously asserts that only 40 people died in Kwangju! Whereas in fact 5,000 people were killed by the south Korean puppet fascists and the US imperialists. Even the doctored figures released by the south Korean puppet regime at the showed that 165 people killed, where on earth does French get the figure of 40 from?(this is barely one quarter of the watered down official figure) Basically, French is an apologist for south Korean puppet fascism! French also tries to deny the US role in Kwangju massacre. In fact At the time the US held peacetime operational command over the south Korean puppet army , it could not move without the say so of the US commander in south Korea . Moreover the then south Korean military ruler Chun Do Hwan had been trained in the US and had also fought in the Vietnam war. He was a special agent of the US CIA.
   A special meeting was held at the White House on the 22nd of May 1980 attended by Edmund Muskie, Warren Christopher, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Donald Gregg amongst others. It was decided here that the Kwangju uprising should be suppressed.
    On the 22nd of May 1980 US commander in south Korea general Wickham gave the green light for the south Korean armed forces to suppress the Kwangju uprising by force. US president Jimmy Carter said that security concerns must override human rights.
   The US also sent the warship USS Coral Sea to south Korea to be on standby to assist the south Korean armed forces in the suppression of the Kwangju massacre. Therefore the US imperialists were the true author of the Kwangju massacre. US imperialism has the blood of 5,000 south Koreans on its hands. Something that French ignores.
French repeats the dubious claim of the US that “by December 1991 the US had removed all its nuclear warheads from ROK soil In fact the US took a “neither confirm nor deny “position concerning its nuclear weapons in south Korea. The US would not allow any independent verification or inspection of the withdrawal. In fact the US nukes remain.  It was disclosed by the "map on present situation of transport and deployment of nukes of the U.S. forces in south Korea" submitted to the south Korean puppet National Assembly on Oct. 9, 2005 that nukes are deployed in major cities of south Korea including Seoul, Taejon, Pusan, Taegu, Kwangju, Chunchon of south Korean Kangwon Province and Osan of Kyonggi Province.
    It was also revealed that there is an 8-km underground nuclear depot in the Kunsan U.S. air force base and 2.74 million depleted uranium bullets are stored at U.S. bases including those in Suwon and Osan of Kyonggi Province and Chongju of North Chungchong Province.
    A confidential document of the U.S. forces that was opened to public in December, 2010 made it clear that nukes were being stored at the U.S. military base in Chunchon in April, 2005 and drills were being staged there to use them in contingency. French is unaware of this or is deliberately lying.
Generally French’s prettification of the south Korean fascist puppet regime and his whitewashing of the role of US imperialism in Korea give a pretty clear indication of where Paul French is coming from and who he serves.
French states that President Kim Il Sung “never made reunification the subject of a major address between 1953 and 1964 “.  This is simply  not true.  In fact President Kim Il Sung  made a number of speeches on reunification during this period such when he addressed the 3rd Congress of the Workers’ Party of  Korea  , part of the report was  For the Independent Peaceful Reunification of the Country “.  On August 14 1960 President Kim Il Sung made the speech on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the August 15 liberation at which he not only proposed a north-south general election but also made the proposal to establish a Confederation of the north and south of Korea as a transitional measure towards reunification, the south Korean puppets ignored both proposals. For 57 years the south Korean puppets have stubbornly rejected the proposal for a confederation.
French claims that the north-south talks of July 1972 were never published, however the DPRK did indeed publish “ON THE THREE PRINCIPLES OF NATIONAL REUNIFICATION Conversations with the South Korean Delegates to the High-Level Political Talks between North and South Korea May 3 and November 3, 1972 by President Kim Il Sung.

When discussing the impact of the frustration of the socialism in the USSR and other countries French again makes a number of serious errors, false statements and omissions.  French claims that “For Pyongyang the collapse in 1989 of Ceausescu’s Romania was a pointer, as the much trumpeted independence of Romania from Moscow rather dented the North’s claim that the collapse of the Eastern bloc was due solely to those countries’ overreliance on Moscow” However despite the “much trumpeted independence of Romania’ in fact Romania was a member of both of CMEA and the Warsaw Treaty Organisation( or Warsaw Pact) so it was in fact similar to other East European socialist countries .Whereas the DPRK was truly independent  it belonged to neither the CMEA or Warsaw Pact . In fact although Ceasecescu was the most independent leader in Eastern Europe , the USSR still had agents and puppets in Romania . Ceausescu was overthrown in a bloody coup orchestrated by the revisionist Soviet KGB and Western intelligence services acted in concert , some observers claim to have seen Soviet special forces entering Romania in  cars in December 1989.
  French briefly mentions that the DPRK sympathised the August 1991 coup  in the USSR. However he totally skates over and omits the DPRK principled and consistent opposition to Soviet revisionism and also perestroika and glasnost . President Kim Il Sung in 1987 strongly opposed  revisionism in several speeches . After the frustration of socialism in the USSR due to revisionism the DPRK took a number of significant initiatives to support the revival of socialism  and to support international communist movement . The Russian communist leader Nina Andreeva was invited to Pyongyang and gave a lecture to KIM IL SUNG University titled “The Cause of Socialism is Invincible” and in April 1992 President Kim Il Sung initiated the “Pyongyang Declaration “ “:Let Us Defend and Advance the Cause of Socialism “ of the communist ,workers and socialist parties which duly signed by a number of parties . Neither Andreeva’s visit to  Pyongyang nor the Pyongyang Declaration are mentioned in French’s book , it is totally airbrushed from the book.
It can also be mentioned in passing that also airbrushed out of the book is any mention of Juche Idea Study Groups and the Korean Friendship Association.
French mendaciously claims that the DPRK embarked on “reform “ and “ opening “ . This flies in the face of reality . On the 1st of January 1999 chairman Kim Jong Il  pointed out that “We should build a great ,prosperous and powerful country under the banner of self-reliance ....We must never be captivated by the "restructuring " and "openness " advertised by the imperialists. "Restructuring " and "openness " are the way to national ruin ". We must not tolerate them to the slightest degree " . Later in 2008 in his work  THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF KOREA IS A JUCHE- ORIENTATED SOCIALIST STATE WITH INVINCIBLE MIGHT “  he said that  the imperialist reactionaries are now slandering our Republic, the motherland of Juche, claiming that it is “closed” and “isolated,” and are making futile attempts to lead us to “reform” and “openness.”….

The “reform” and “openness” they are advocating represent a move to destroy and put down our style of socialism. Such moves will only worsen their relations with us and are doomed to failure”.
During one visit to the Juche Idea Academy in Pyongyang in 1996 a delegation of the Juche Idea Study Group of England was told , in answer to a question, were told that in fact China had tried to force the DPRK to adopt “reform “ and “opening up” but the DPRK adhering to Juche strongly resisted it . Although at the time the DPRK never publically criticised China  it was very clear that China was regarded as revisionist by the DPRK
French makes various claims about the Songun or Military first policy .Unbelievably he claims that Chairman Kim Jong Il had no military experience when in fact he had been guiding the armed forces since the 25th of August 1960 when he visited the famous Seoul Ryu Kyong Su no 105 Tank Division of the Korean People’s Army ( something which French appears to be unaware of or has deliberately omitted from his book. Again French shows no understanding of the subject matter and tries to claim that somehow Songun was a compromise between the military and non-military leaderships in the DPRK .  Songun is not a temporary tactic but the ideology of the Korean revolution. Songun is intimately linked to the Korean revolution. Indeed the history of Songun is the history of the Korean revolution. The idea and line of Songun goes right back to the 1930s.
 French repeats imperialist and south Korean propaganda about the “arduous march “  period in the DPRK during the 1990s , describing it as “ famine “ . Visiting the DPRK in 1996 although the situation was very difficult and the Korean guides were very frank with us about the massive challenges facing the DPRK , we saw nothing that would indicate an actual famine on the scale of what happened in some African countries. There was no one starving or begging for food. The claims about famine are blown out of the water by population figure: In October 2008 the DPRK population had grown to  over 24 million. This exceeded the growth rate in the population predicted by some experts. In 1996 the DPRK's population stood at 22.1 million so the population has increased by 2 million or 10%.If there had been a famine or mass starvation such an increase would not have been possible-it would have been static or even decreased. Some s claim that 10% of the DPRK's population died, if this was true that then the population would have decreased by 2 million and not increase by 2 million. !
In the last section of the book French briefly mentions the liquidation of the counter-revolutionary factionalist clique  ,skating over it  , possibly due to lack of time before the publication deadline. French repeats false south Korean propaganda different people being executed when it fact only one person was executed.  French ignores the fact that Marshal Kim Jong Un was actually elected at the successor to chairman Kim Jong Il  at the 3rd Conference of the Workers’ Party of Korea in 2010 and was elected First Secretary of the WPK at the 4th Conference of the WPK in April 2012. In other words his succession was the will of the Party and people. The WPK and Korean people did well in smashing the counter-revolutionary factionist clique.    Other socialist countries were not as fortunate as the DPRK . In the Soviet Union Khrushchev slandered Stalin , abandoned the dictatorship of the proletariat and compromised with US imperialism . Socialism was crippled in the USSR , later it was finally destroyed from  within by traitors like Gorbachov and Yeltsin . The same thing happened in a number of other countries. However had these countries being ideologically strong like the DPRK and had leaders like  great president Kim Il Sung , the great leader comrade Kim Jong Il and dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un , then traitors like Gorbachov would have been exposed and destroyed ,so there would have no frustration of socialism in  1989-1991 and there would have been a 1 billion strong socialist camp standing in confrontation with imperialism. Indeed militant communists and true  socialists are saying with a sigh ,  " if only the USSR had been like the DPRK and Gorbachov had been purged ". The exposure and defeat of the counter-revolutionary Jang Song Thaek was a bold and decisive revolutionary measure taken by the dear respected leader Marshal Kim Jong Un .
 Finally French has a section “How will the story end  - The predicted collapse”. French is a lot craftier that some so-called Western experts on the DPRK who made predictions of the so-called collapse of the DPRK only to be proved wrong time and time again. French is wedded to the ridiculous idea of the so-called collapse of the DPRK but hedges his bets but being deliberately vague and obtuse saying the timing and nature of the so-called collapse of the DPRK cannot predicted . This is clearly intended to get French off the hook when confronted with  the non-collapse of the DPRK and people telling him that he has got it wrong.  French comes up with the following rubbish “Often regime collapses – Yugoslavia,Iraq, Libya, Syria – seem to appear rapidly and unpredictably” The obvious needs stating here Iraq did not collapse it was the victim of a US invasion , Libya was also a victim of NATO bombing  and Syria has not collapsed –the BAATH government of Bashar Al Assad is still in power.  I remember in 1991 a few weeks after the famous August 1991 coup in the USSR (more accurately the seizure of power by the State Committee For the State of Emergency of the USSR headed by various Soviet leaders) picking up a copy of the US imperialist propaganda magazine "Newsweek " and being astounded to read that the DPRK would not have enough fuel and food to last the winter and would collapse by the end of 1991 ! . Of course this was nonsense because the DPRK did not rely on the Soviet Union for food particularly as the USSR did not export food but  imported it. I also remember one so-called "friend of the DPRK " in 1996 or 1997 telling me that the DPRK was running out of food and would collapse in a month or so . Of course this never happened . It goes without saying really that the DPRK is still here 25 years after 1991 and 20  years after 1996.
   The US imperialists put forward the so-called "3-3 collapse " theory meaning that the DPRK would collapse after 3 months or 3 years . Of course this has been proved to be vacuous nonsense and false propaganda by the US imperia  Led by the great leaders President KIM IL SUNG, Chairman KIM JONG IL and respected Marshal KIM JONG UN  and guided by the Juche Idea , the DPRK has withstood all kinds of sanctions, blockade, threats , pressure and subversive moves of the US imperialists and other imperialists as well the schemes of class enemies and counter-revolutionaries .
   Why can't the DPRK collapse ? Some people say that because the USSR and other socialist countries in Europe collapsed , it logically follows that the DPRK should go the same way. There are two things that are very , very wrong with this argument .Firstly, socialism in the USSR did not collapse  it was frustrated and betrayed . The USSR did not simply collapse, the Soviet Communist Party and the USSR were destroyed by the conscious actions of the traitor Gorbachov .Decrees were passed dissolving the USSR state and  the CPSU .So there was no actual collapse of the USSR but conscious and deliberate betrayal of socialism by treacherous revisionist leaders who were hand in glove with the  imperialists(Margaret Thatcher once said of Mikhail Gorbachov that he was a "leader we could do business with").
The DPRK is a most stable and harmonious society without social conflict or class contradictions. The DPRK is one of the most stable countries on earth, in fact probably the most stable country in the world .Young people there do not riot but instead act as the shock brigade in socialist construction and take part with vigour in the defence of the country.  The DPRK is based on the socialist ownership of the means of production so there is no social inequality . There are no social contradictions and no racial discrimination.
The so-called collapse theory is just an imperialist fantasy and one that French is prepared to pander to and try and give sustenance to .

Paul French’s “North Korea-a state of paranoia “ stands out as a typical example of bourgeois academic falsification and an exercise in anti-DPRK propaganda . There are lies and inaccuracies on almost every second page.
  French’s book is sourced from anti-DPRK Western media reports , tales from so-called ‘defectors’ and materials such as Barbara Demick’s “Nothing to Envy  which is actually a fictional account rather than a factual or empirical account. French deliberately excludes materials from the UK Korean Friendship Association and Juche Idea Study Group from his sources.
Years ago I was warned  at University about reading history books written by journalists , at the time I dismissed this advice as snobbish and elitist but reading “State of Paranoia “ I can now understand and appreciate that warning . All French has done to rehash anti-DPRK propaganda from the media into a book. It is poorly written and shoddy. There is nothing original or clever about it.
 It is shameful that Zed Press who in the past was a progressive and anti-imperialist publisher published this disgusting piece of pro-imperialist propaganda !. French's book basically serves US imperialism by slandering and trying to undermine what is the most anti-imperialist country in the world .

(written by Dr Dermot Hudson and Alex Meads -edited by Dr Dermot Hudson)