Firstly, it is great to be again in Liverpool City!
The Korean Friendship Association has called this meeting as part of a series of regional meetings and the theme is Defending People’s Korea against US threats and lies. This has become very topical given the recent statements by Trump and also the re-listing as a so-called “State of Sponsor of Terrorism “ by the US and the apparent promise of yet more US sanctions and possibly UNSC sanctions.
The re-listing of the DPRK as a so-called "state sponsor of terrorism” is a prime example massive hypocrisy and double and triple standards by the US imperialists. It is the US that is the biggest and No 1 terrorist state in the world. It is the US that created ISIS in order to destabilise Syria and have created terrorist gangs in many countries. Since the end of the Second World War the US has carried out over 100 coups in different countries as well as assassinations such as those of Patrice Lumumba and Salvador Allende not to mention failed assassination attempts on Fidel Castro. The US also militarily intervened in many countries throughout the world.
The US has also had a number of terrorist incidents within its own borders. Basically as the DPRK Foreign Ministry says “The U.S., the kingpin of all kinds of terrorism who cannot even prevent terror in its own territory, is acting like an "international judge on terrorism" while attaching or removing the label of "state sponsor of terrorism" on sovereign countries. This is clearly an absurdity and a mockery to the world peace and security."
The DPRK has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. This is because of the nature of its social system. The DPRK has never tried to impose its ideas on other countries unlike the US and other imperialists and big power-chauvinists.
The re listing of the DPRK as a so-called "state sponsor of terrorism” is an attack on the ideology and system of the DPRK. It is basically an attempt to stifle the Juche-based socialist system.
The theme of today’s meeting is a big subject because the threats and lies against People’s Korea could fill volumes , indeed I have written several books on the subject such as “Behind the Mirror of Lies “ , “In Defence of Songun “ and “In Defence of Juche Korea “.
As we speak the US and south Korea are getting ready to carry out military exercises 12 000 troops and 230 fighter aircraft .These exercises are just the latest in a long line of military exercises in south Korea such as Foal Eagle/Key Resolve and Ulji Freedom Guardian to name just a few . The US has occupied South Korea since 1945, keeping over 30,000 troops in there; some say it is as high as 40,000 troops. South Korea is home to one of the biggest US military bases outside of the US Camp Humphreys which was visited by Trump during his visit to South Korea. This was built at a cost of 13 billion dollars making it one of the most expensive in the world. 92 per cent of the cost was footed by the south Korean taxpayer! Why? because at the end of the day, south Korea is a colony of the US. The Korean Friendship Association is not afraid of calling a spade a spade so we call south Korea a puppet regime and a colony , some people are afraid to use these terms but we are not. By the way Camp Humphreys has just opened a $64 million dollar shopping complex for the US troops! The US forces in south Korea are basically parasites living off the south Korean people. It is the US occupation of south Korea that keeps Korea divided.
The US forces in south Korea and in the surrounding areas are also a threat to the independence of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Can you imagine the US tolerating Russia or China stationing their troops in Mexico or Canada? Moreover the US has on numerous occasions this year overflown the Korean peninsula with nuclear bombers and deployed nuclear submarines. Of course the nuclear threat to the DPRK is not a new one but goes back decades. The US first threatened to use nuclear weapons against the DPRK during the Korean War in the 1950s. In 1957 the US first introduced nuclear weapons into south Korea thus breaking the Korean Armistice Agreement of 1953. At one time the US had stockpiled 1,750 nuclear weapons in south Korea making the place a nuclear powder keg with a higher density of nuclear weapons than Europe. In the late 80s there were 1,000 US nuclear weapons in south Korea. The US claimed that it was withdrawing these weapons in 1991 however they refused allow inspections of their bases in south Korea to confirm this and later said that they would neither confirm nor deny the presence of their nuclear weapons in south Korea. I would ask you, the audience, whether you trust the US on this issue or not.
The Bush administration of the US listed the DPRK as a target for a possible pre-emptive nuclear strike of the US and declared that the DPRK was part of a so-called “axis of evil “along with Iran and Iraq, it also declared the DPRK to be a ‘rogue state’ and ‘outpost of tyranny ‘Thus the DPRK was compelled to develop its own nuclear deterrent force to defend itself from the US nuclear threat.
I have lost count of the times that Trump has threatened the DPRK with fire and fury or destruction. However the most significant of these threats was when on the 19th of September this year addressing the UN Trump the furher of the American 4th Reich stated that he would “ totally destroy “ People’s Korea. The speech made by Trump went beyond the norms of civilized and proper behaviour Trump also insulted the supreme leadership of the DPRK and slandered the socialist system . Trump showed himself up as an uncivilised Yankee hooligan and ignoramus. Indeed Trump . I personally have little faith in the UN but found it astounding that the UN General Assembly which should be a forum for exchange and co-operation between the many different nations was turned into a platform for Trump to advocate the genocide of 25 million people and hurl abuse at respected Marshal KIM JONG UN and the people centred socialist system !
Why should you defend the DPRK ? Because it is the most independent nation on the earth that does not have foreign troops stationed on its soil and also does not send its troops to fight in other countries. The DPRK is not a member of the World Bank , IMF or WTO .There are no foreign banks in Pyongyang nor McDonalds , KFC or the like.
The DPRK is a country that can say and do what it likes without looking over its shoulder at others. The DPRK in carrying out ICBM and nuclear tests has not only defied the US and the UN Security Council but also the EU , Japan and significantly the big power chauvinists Russia and China . John Major the former British prime minister even admitted that the DPRK , presumably unlike the UK, has ‘undiluted sovereignty’.
It is a society free from conflict and division. A society free from crime and terrorism.
The DPRK is a genuine socialist country. Despite the raging winds of anti-socialism, the new wave of post-modernist anti-communism and the setbacks that have occurred the DPRK is maintaining socialist principles. Moreover despite 60 years of sanctions and blockade plus natural disaster the DPRK is implementing popular welfare policies such as free education, free housing, free medical care without taking a penny from its citizens in tax.
Let’s examine some of the lies that are used to demonise the DPRK and stifle solidarity with it . Firstly , the old horse chestnut repeated ad infinitum is that “they are all starving in north Korea “ , that there is a “famine “ or they will be a “famine “ next month or next year or something . In August this year travelling to different parts of the DPRK by road we saw lush fields of crops . However the imperialists had been making propaganda that the DPRK was affected by drought and that there would even be a massive famine. However during our visit it rained several times, in fact I remember it raining hard on the afternoon of the 18th of August .We were told that the effects of the drought had been overcome.
In fact visiting the DPRK countryside on several occasions I came to know came to know that the stories about crop failure and famine are untrue .
During my August visit another lie was busted . The Wikipedia, which some rely on greatly , claims that the DPRK has 10 year compulsory military service . However in reality it is usually 3 years and there is no conscription because everyone wants to join the Army to fight the Yankees and defend the country , so there is no shortage of recruits for the army so no need for conscription. It is worth mentioning here that the Wikipedia was actually set up by a right wing libertarian millionaire called Jimmy Wales.
One more interesting thing I learnt in August was that in the DPRK a mobile phone costs only 0.32 dollars for 3 months with 200 minutes of calls per month! This is incredible when you compare to the high costs of mobile phones in the UK . Most people in the DPRK have mobile phones .It is a true people’s paradise.
A central allegation against People’s Korea is that massive repression with forced labour camps everywhere. The evidence offered for this is from so-called ‘defectors ‘ . One of these Shin Dong Hyuk was indeed imprisoned but not from birth as he falsely claimed but because he raped an underage girl.
So what of these claims about human rights? If labour camps existed on the scale claimed by Western politicians , journalists and so experts they would have to be massive and with a huge number of guards but I did not see such a thing in the DPRK countryside. Moreover the DPRK is very peaceful and calm you rarely see emergency vehicles rushing through the busy streets. If it what the imperialists say about "human rights " and " forced labour camps " in the DPRK was true, then you would say police or security personnel on the streets arresting many people and putting them in lorries to go to "labour camps " or "concentrations camps " but I saw no such thing happen. I did not see heavily armed police on the streets that you sometimes encounter in London , either on the streets or at railway stations or at airports . Indeed I was able to go for a walk near the Mansudae Assembly Hall the home of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly , the highest organ of legislative power in the DPRK and roughly equivalent to the parliament. Now in London the area around parliament is a restricted area where movement is controlled and armed police units patrol. However in Pyongyang I see no police or security personnel in the area surrounding the Mansudae Assembly hall. Of course the DPRK is a stable and harmonious unified society based on single hearted unity so there is no terrorism and no riots. In the DPRK there is unity between the armed forces and civilians so people do not fear or despise the armed forces.
I did not see the police oppressing anyone on the streets. I did not see anyone get arrested or the police in the DPRK shoot anyone dead ! In the USA , the so called "land of the free " , which is the country behind the clamour about " human rights in the DPRK , the police regularly shoot down people most of them black. I remember visiting my wife’s country Brazil in 2007 seeing an ugly scene of a police officer with a gun held to a young man’s head pushing him up against a wall, I have never seen this in the DPRK.
Another favourite tabloid myth is that you can a limited number of hair styles allowed , that norms for hairstyles are laid down by the state . Well we visited the barber shop at the fantastic Munsu water park in East Pyongyang . Here you can get a haircut for about 2 euros. We saw pictures of suggested hairstyles on the wall . One of the delegation asked what if you wanted one not shown , “We will try our best to do what the customer suggests “ was the answer . I told the barbers about the stories floated in the Western media and they were shocked at the idea !
Lastly I am going to mention one insidious myth that has been created by the hired academic and journalists of imperialism , the idea that the DPRK is somehow fascist . Of course this sounds rich coming from the US a country which is run by someone who retweets the material of the fascist Britain First party and a country that in the 50s ,60s and 70s exported fascism to the third world in the form of numerous military coups such as the one in Chile. There is no monopoly or finance capital (big business and big banks ) in the DPRK . Fascism and Nazi-ism were actual creations of big business ,bankers and big landlords . It is a plain fact that there would have been no death camps in Nazi Germany if the big capitalist monopolies such as IGFarben not constructed them nor if the banks had lent money to construct them. Monopoly capital and private businesses do not exist in the DPRK which is a socialist country where the people own the resources . There is no class or social group in the DPRK that could benefit from fascism.
Fascism in some countries has been associated with extreme expansionism and grabbing others people’s territories . Hitler used to talk about living space . However the DPRK has never tried to seize parts of China or Japan. The DPRK strongly respects the sovereignty of other countries and does not try to invade others people countries. In today's world the most expansionist country is the United States which has bases in hundreds of countries . So some people have looked in the wrong place to find fascism, it is not the DPRK but the US that is fascist !
The Juche Idea itself is profoundly antifascist. It was conceived on the battlefields against Japanese fascism. The great leader comrade KIM JONG IL
explicitly condemned fascism and refuted the idea that socialism is 'totalitarian ‘and somehow similar to fascism saying that ;
“Totalitarianism served as the political idea of fascist dictators. Notorious Hitler in Germany and Mussolini in Italy used totalitarianism as an ideological tool to justify their fascist dictatorship. The fascist dictators stamped out even the most elementary democratic freedom and rights of the masses of the working people and enforced unprecedentedly tyrannical policies, behind the misleading name of “national socialism”, claiming that for the sake of the whole nation and the whole state no working-class movement and no class struggle could be permitted. The reactionary nature of totalitarianism is that the interests of the working people are sacrificed for the sake of the rapacious interests of the reactionary ruling class under the pretence that the individual should be subordinated to the whole. What is meant by the whole in totalitarianism is not the whole of the popular masses but a tiny handful of privileged circles such as monopoly capitalists, major landowners, reactionary bureaucrats and warlords. Calling socialism, under which the popular masses are the masters of everything, “totalitarianism” is, ultimately, a preposterous lie which identifies the most progressive idea that reflects the demands of the popular masses with the reactionary idea of fascist rulers.”
Juche advocates the full realisation of man's independence and creativity. It is the complete opposite to fascism which stipulates the subordination of the people to the interests of the ruling class.
People who want to find fascism on the Korean peninsula should look no further than south Korea. In south Korea communists are suppressed, the National Security Law imposes jail sentences of 7 years for being a communist or even simply praising the DPRK or having any contact with tithe trade unions are also being repressed with the chairman of the south Korean trades recently being jailed. South Korea is the typical fascist state of the 21st century. In south Korea you can find Hitler themed bars and the south Korean army –check this out for yourselves-uses the song Panzer lied which has now finally been banned in Germany.
The idea that the DPRK is somehow fascist is another myth that has been created in the boardroom of a corporate PR company or deep inside the labyrinth of the CIA.
The torrent of falsehoods , myths and lies about the DPRK serve to demonise the DPRK and create an atmosphere in which a war against the DPRK could be justified . They are also part and parcel of the psychological warfare of US imperialism against the socialist system of the DPRK and the Juche Idea.
Looks look at how some of this propaganda comes about Much misinformation comes from the south Korean puppet propaganda machine which is then recycled by the Western mainstream or if you like bourgeois or imperialist media who in some cases print stories which they know are untrue. Then you have shadowy outfits and think tanks that are closely linked to the CIA and the south Korean National Intelligence Service. One example is NKNews , an internet based news service that is in fact includes on its staff former US and south Korean army officers . The head and founder of of NK New Chad O Carroll(who even looks like a CIA agent or a Mormon!) who worked for the CIA linked Marshall Fund had previously been writing on the so-called colour revolutions in Libya, Tunisia and other middle eastern countries but was suddenly reinvented as “north Korea expert “ . I am not going to list every anti-DPRK propaganda outfit or organisation as they are many and various , some such as Choson Exchange even claim they are helping the DPRK by trying to restore capitalism there ,however I will just mention one more anti-DPRK outfit , which is known as LINK or Liberty in north Korea .This is actively trying to recruit in UK universities . On their website , it openly says that their revenue increased by 27% but expenditure increased by 49 % , a big gap ! . It is not hard to guess where the money for that shortfall is coming from ! The CIA and NIS , US multi-nationals and wealthy right wingers in capitalist countries. I would also call out a number of academics for spreading disinformation and falsehoods about the DPRK . One example is Professor Hazel Smith who years ago was a Trotskyite and a Labour councillor . Prof Smith herself has written a number of very anti-DPRK books such as "Hungry for Peace " which slander the socialist system of the DPRK. She even on occasion she attacked the Korean Friendship Association. She was also awarded a medal by the US.
How can you defend People’s Korea ? We in the UK Korean Friendship Association, which is part of the Korean Friendship Association with 17,000 members worldwide , are the most active consistent and active defenders of People’s Korea in the UK . No ifs and buts , we do what is says on the tin and “Defend the D P R Korea “ whether it is on the internet, facebook , on the streets and even the BBC ! We do not make half-hearted statements. We do not tolerate two-faced fake friends of the DPRK in our ranks but wholeheartedly support the DPRK and its socialist system and its right to independence. We appeal to you to join us.