Good evening, thank you for inviting me to this meeting. I have not been to Llandudno since 1994. A few words of introduction about myself. I am Dermot Hudson, I am the Chairman of the UK Korean Friendship Association which is part of the Korean Friendship Association a worldwide organisation which 17,000 members across the globe. Our organisation works closely with the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and also the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front of south Korea , which fights for reunification and independence in south Korea. We do what it says on the tin and defend People’s Korea with No is or buts and we work for the independent reunification of Korea.
I have been chairman of the UK Korean Friendship Association for nearly 17 years and was victimised at my workplace for my activities in support of People’s Korea , I was forced to take early retirement from my workplace.
Unlike some so-called ‘north Korean experts’ and hack journalists I have actually visited People’s Korea 14 times , the last time being in August 2017.
In my speech I will be referring to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , DPRK for short or People’s Korea or Juche Korea rather than the mainstream media term “north Korea “. Historically and geographically, there never was north Korea and south Korea, the division of Korea is totally artificial as I will explain later. There is no ethnic or geographical reason for the division of Korea. The recent scenes at the Winter Olympics showing that Korea is One are most heartwarming.
Today the DPRK is the most demonised and abused country on earth with lies about the country being produced on an industrial scale. Much misinformation comes from the south Korean puppet propaganda machine which is then recycled by the Western mainstream 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 NK New Chad O Carroll 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 “
Today the DPRK is the most independent country in the world , a fact even acknowledged by reactionary Tory ex-prime minister John Major who said that the DPRK is an example of a country with undiluted independence . The DPRK does not have a single US soldier stationed on its territory and its army does not occupy other countries unlike the US which has a massive global empire of military bases. Moreover despite 60 years of sanctions and blockade plus natural disaster the DPRK is implementing popular welfare policies such as free education, free housing, and free medical care without taking a penny from its citizens in tax. The DPRK has its own independent philosophy of Juche , a study of which is the key to understanding the DPRK and its history.
One misunderstanding is that I frequently encounter is the idea that the DPRK is somehow a creation of the former Soviet Union or China or both , that is dependent on Russia or China or in some beholden to these countries. The existence of the DPRK is not a gift of another country but the choice of the Korean people. The DPRK arose out of the struggle for Korea’s independence from Japan. In fact the DPRK throughout its existence had to oppose the big power chauvinism of the USSR and China ,strongly rebuffing the attempts of these countries to interfere in their internal affairs .Pro –Soviet and pro Chinese factions were purged from the leadership in 1956. Only yesterday the DPRK newspapers carried an article criticising China for trying to interfere in the affairs of the Korean nation. The DPRK is no one’s puppet or colony . The same cannot be said of south Korea which is occupied by over 30,000 US troops .The south Korean people have to pay to be occupied by the US.
On August 15 1945 Korea was liberated from Japanese imperialist colonial rule thanks to the arduous armed struggle waged by the anti-Japanese partisans led by the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG. This was welcome enthusiastically by the Korean people as Japanese imperialist rule which had appeared so strong and permanent crumbled virtually in an instant!
In the northern part of Korea, people’s committees, organs of popular rule were established by the people. The old oppressive Japanese ruling machinery was destroyed Democratic reforms were carried out soon after liberation, within 7 months of liberation the historic Agrarian reform which eliminated feudal exploitation was carried out rapidly. Nationalisation of basic industries was carried and progressive legalisation on workers’ rights and sexual equality was enacted. The Labour Law enacted in 1946 even give workers and office workers free medical treatment on an insurance basis , some 2 years before the NHS was created in Britain.
Later in 1948 the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea a unified state representing the interests of the Korean people was established, through a general election throughout Korea , in the northern part of Korea 98 per cent of electors took part and in the south under conditions of illegality ,77 per cent of electors voted.
Since 1945 south Korea had been under the occupation of the US. Tragically Korea was divided in . A US colonel , actually Dean Rusk who later was to become a key figure in US politics ,had simply drawn a line with a ruler across a map of Korea at the 38th parallel , thus 5000 years of history as a unified nation was destroyed by the stroke of a pencil and the destiny of small nations trifled with by big powers. The US imperialists fixed the 38th parallel as the demarcation line and occupied south Korea on the pretext of "disarming the Japanese troops in the south of the 38 degrees north latitude". They reigned over it as colonial rulers in place of the Japanese, throwing a grave obstacle in the path of building a new society by the south Korean people.
It needs to be made clear that the US played no part whatsoever in the liberation of Korea , their troops did not arrive in Korea until 3 weeks after liberation, indeed they were in no position to advance to Korea. There was also no need for them to go into south Korea as Korea had already been liberated. I would like to draw the audience's attention to one fact . When I first visited the DPRK in 1992 I went to the Korean Revolution Museum. There I saw a map of the anti-Japanese revolutionary armed struggle led by President Kim Il Sung . Some were surprised to see that this struggle had been waged not only in north Korea but in the south as well. Someone asked why wasn't a unified Korean government set up as there were progressive and revolutionary forces in the south as well the north . The guide replied “the US imperialists, did terrible things , they divided Korea “.
As President KIM IL SUNG of the Korean people said
“The US imperialists occupied south Korea, reactionaries from home and abroad, and the former stooges of Japanese imperialism became lackeys of US imperialism and opposed the Korean people. We were confronted with the aggressive policy of the US imperialists who were not only opposed to the Korean revolution and the building of an independent unified state by the Korean people but were also seeking to extend their influence to north Korea”
US imperialism had long coveted Korea . In 1866 they sent their pirate ship the General Sherman up the Taedong River. Later they concluded the so -called Friendship Treaty with Korea. Now in 1945 they seized one half of Korea.
Having completed the preparations for the occupation of south Korea, the US imperialists landed the "advance contingent" of the 24th Army Corps in Inchon on September 7, 1945. The following day, on September 8, two-division forces of the 24th Army Corps 45,000 strong started occupation of south Korea under the direct command of Hodges. Hordes of US Gis, swarmed into south Korea. Right from the start they committed atrocities and barbarities against the Korean people.
The US enforced direct military rule in south Korea, one of their proclamations stated that "acts of resistance to the occupying forces or any acts which may disturb public peace and safety will be punished severely", and forced the use of English as the official language for all purposes.
. An American journalist Mark Gayn wrote "We were not a liberation army. We rushed there in order to occupy it, in order to watch whether the Koreans obey the conditions of surrender. From the first days of our landing we have acted as the enemy of the Koreans."
It is relevant to point out the US imperialists became the colonial exploiter in south Korea as it seized Japanese property in south Korea which accounted for about 80 per cent of property in south Korea. The US imperialists renamed in February 1946 the "Oriental Development Company", the former Japanese agency for plundering land and grain, as the "New Korea Company" and expropriated the total arable land of south Korea. At that time, the total property held by the "New Korea Company" reached the sum of 1,250 million dollars; it owned 286,767 hectares of cultivated land to which more than 554,000 farm households, or 27 per cent of the total farm households of south Korea, owed their existence. This meant that through the "New Korea Company" the US imperialists became the biggest landlord in south Korea who had acquired nearly one-tenth of over 2,670,000 hectares of the arable land and 27 per cent of the farm households in south Korea
In this way, the history of colonial rule of US imperialism started in south Korea, replacing that of Japanese imperialism.
From the first day of their occupation of south Korea, the US imperialists followed colonial enslavement and military base policies on the strength of their military government.
President Kim Il Sung said:
"The US army set out on a policy of colonial enslavement as soon as it occupied south Korea. In the first place, it adopted two basic policies to attain its goal. Politically, it smothered all the initiatives towards democracy of the liberated people, who set themselves against its policy of colonial enslavement, and suppressed all the democratic forces.”
In its policy of political enslavement aimed at turning south Korea into US colony, the "US Military Government" put the main stress on the suppression and liquidation of the democratic and patriotic forces of the Korean people by arms and the rallying and fostering of the reactionary forces, so that it might consolidate its political foothold for the establishment of colonial rule in south Korea and the domination of all Korea.
In fact, all the policies adopted by US imperialism toward south Korea, including that of establishment of the "US Military Government", were, without exception, related to its aggressive design to convert south Korea into a colonial military base and use it as a stepping-stone for the conquest of the whole of Korea. Also the US planned to use south Korea as a forward base for aggression against the USSR and the Chinese revolution
In carrying out its plan of aggression on Korea, US imperialism considered it most important of all to stamp out the sovereignty of the Korean people and place them under its domination. In October 1945, Hodges announced: "The Military Government is the sole government of Korea." The Communist Party and other progressive forces were suppressed. As famous US writer and journalist Edgar Snow remarked “When everything has been said about our occupation of Korea, probably the most significant thing is that we stopped a revolution here”.
The US imperialists and their stooges in south Korea carried out fascist terrorism not only against workers and peasants but against political figures that supported reunification. Mr Ryo Un Hyong leader of the south Korean Peoples Party and a respected nationalist was assassinated on the 19th of July 1947 and even assassinated Kim Gu , a right wing conservative figure who had come out against the US occupation of south Korea and for peaceful reunification.
US direct military rule in south Korea was basically colonialism and was opposed by the south Korean people . In September 1946 there was a general strike of south Korean workers. The US imperialists felt the need to create a puppet regime to camouflage their rule in south Korea . They put in power the elderly Syngham Rhee , a Korean who had lived in the US and was trained by the US over many years. Syngham Rhee had also embezzled funds of the nationalist movement. The Syngham Rhee puppet regime was characterised by corruption and incompetence as one famous US Asia expert Prof Owen Lattimore as follows “ “America, which has in China complained of the bad luck of having inherited the Kuomintang through no fault of its own, has in Korea manufactured its own Kuomintang. To support our proclaimed policy of world-wide opposition to police states, we have in South Korea created a weak and unreliable police state of our own.”
The US imperialists basically created a fascist state in south Korea. Some people do not like us in the KFA calling south Korea fascist but even today the hated “National Security Law”, which is actually based on Japanese colonial laws , is still in force . Under this law, any expression of sympathy with the DPRK or communist ideology is punishable usually by 7 years in prison although the maximum sentence is death ! You can even find Hitler themed bars in south Korea .
The south Korean people fought against the Syngham Rhee puppet regime and the US imperialists. In April 1948 the people of Jeju island rose up against separate elections but this was put down by the US imperialists and Sygnham Rhee puppets , who killed between 33,000 and 70,000 people (33,000 being an official estimate what was very conservative estimate).Other uprisings were put down brutally by the US imperialists and south Korean puppets
Numerous shackling and aggressive agreements , pacts and treaties such as the ROK-US Mutual Defence Treaty of January 1950 , were concluded. South Korea became an advance military base of the US and a bullet shield. The armed forces of south Korea are still subject to wartime operational control of the US army . In all respects south Korea is a puppet regime. All the fascist dictators in south Korea such as Syngham Rhee , Park Chung Hee , Chon Du Hwan , Roh Tae Woo, Kim Yong Sam, Lee Myung Bak and Park Geun Hye have all been puppets of the US and some of them were trained by the US military.
There were frequent incursions by the south Korean puppet forces into the DPRK in 1947 there were over 270 incidents of the south Korean puppet forces attacking the DPRK .Such attacks grew in a number in 1948 and 1949 and there was talk of a ‘small war along the 38th parallel. There were particularly heavy battles on Mt Songak and Mt Unpha. Fascist gangs from south Korea and the south Korean armed forces committed terrorism and murder during incursions. For example the 6th Battalion of the "Horim Unit" stealthily intruded deep into the mountain area of Puk Sub-County and Sohwa Sub-County, Rinje County, Kangwon Province, looted goods from the shops and clinics,robbed the farmers of their grain, kidnapped and killed inhabitants.
In a week the "Horim Unit" had killed 28 innocent people, abducted 50 and burnt down many houses in Yangyang and Rinje Counties”
This small war was to calumniate in the provocation of the Korean War, or Fatherland Liberation War as it is known as in the DPRK, on the 25th of June 1950 . The mainstream media and history books still blame the DPRK for starting the war . However facts show otherwise
First of all, Truman's envoy John Foster Dulles visited south Korea a week before the outbreak of war on the 25th of June 1950. Dulles even visited frontline areas on the 18th of June. It cannot be a coincidence that war started a week later.
Secondly, numerous documents captured by the Korean People's Army when it liberated Seoul on the 28th June 1950, prove that the US imperialist instigated the south Korean puppets to start the war . Thirdly , in the early hours of the 25th of June before the war started , 650 American women and children were evacuated from south Korea . Fourthly , US writer and journalist John Gunther wrote that he was in Toyko in June 1950 and a US officer said "A big story has just broken. The south Koreans have attacked the north.’ .
In fact the Korean War had been ordered by US National Security Council no 68 issued in April 1950, 2 months before the Korean War began.
The US imperialists launched a war of conquest against the DPRK , a war to destroy the Juche-based people's democratic system in the DPRK as well to destroy socialism in Asia and the world.
The British role in the Fatherland Liberation War was truly shameful .The UK was one of 15 satellite states of the US that sent troops to fight against the Korean people . The other countries that form the roll of dishonour and disgrace are :Luxemburg, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece France, Colombia, Turkey, New Zealand , Australia , South Africa , Ethiopia , Thailand and the Philippines(Japan participated in the Korean War secretly). It is significant that the UK found itself fighting not only on the same side as US imperialism but with Apartheid South Africa, Colombia of the death squads, fascist Greece , Haile Selassie’s Ethiopia and other very reactionary regimes against an independent , progressive ,democratic and anti-imperialist government . Thus the Korean war was a totally reactionary one that held back the liberation struggle of the Korean people and the reunification of Korea.
Indeed the British role in Korea for the past 150 years has been a most shameful one. It was Britain that secretly helped Japan to invade Korea and colonise Korea.
Basically British troops were turned into cannon fodder and mercenaries for US imperialism. Attlee(Labour ) and Churchill(Conservative) sold the lives of British young men for a measly handful of US dollars. In fact in order to pay for the cost of sending the troops to Korea was paid for by increasing prescription charges.
Among the British forces sent to the Korean front was the Royal Ulster Rifles which had suppressed the Irish people and committed many atrocities during the northern Ireland troubles. The British Army held back the reunification of Korea in the 1950s and also held back the reunification of Ireland.
As Julian Tunstall who served in the 1st battalion of the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army pointed out in his book "I fought in Korea " many of the British conscripts did not want to fight in Korea , as Tunstall said "Well if they want a war let them have one: let 'me fight it out " we said "But we don't want their war "
Tunstall describes graphically the real nature of British imperialism and US imperialism " In the nine months I spent in Korea I felt most deeply about the outright discrimination against Koreans ,whether in the north or in the south, by the white men of many Western and allegedly more civilised nations. Secondly, I saw a process of destruction in which there was no attempt to confine the war to what is usually demanded by military necessity...Officers gave such orders as 'Shoot everything in White ' and 'Take no prisoners ' . Since 'everything in white includes virtually every Korean civilian ,it is not surprising that the greatest number of causalities in the war were civilians..
I will regret that I went to Korea to fight the people'.
Tunstall also details how those Koreans who helped the British forces either as translators or workers received nothing in return.
The US committed all kinds of barbaric atrocities during the course of the war. The US killed over 1,200,000 million civilians in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea . During the war the US indiscriminately bombed the DPRK as well as carrying out deliberate and premeditated massacres of civilians.
The US imperialists committed horrendous and stomach-turning atrocities in all parts of Korea. A UK KFA delegation visited the Sinchon Ri Museum which serves as a memorial to the 35,383 people murdered by the US imperialists during their temporary occupation of the area. Similar atrocities took place at Susan Ri and also at Rogun-ri in south Korea. The US not only used napalm in Korea but also biological weapons that are outlawed under international law. In November 1951 the U.S. imperialists dropped the first germ bomb in the areas north of the River Chongchon and south of the River Amnok and in Yangdok, Hamhung and Wonsan with the involvement of the U.S. third bomber wing in the Kunsan air base and the 19th bomber wing under the command of the U.S. air force in the Far East based on Okinawa.
Recently the US has shipped anthrax into south Korea with the express intent of repeating the disaster of biological warfare.
It is also significant that the US considered the use of nuclear weapons against the DPRK and China during the Korean War. The US planned to drop 30 to 50 atomic bombs during the Korean War. The US even considered a scheme to introduce a belt of radioactive materials across Korea .
After the Korean War there were a number of occasions when the US considered using nuclear weapons against People’s Korea such as during the Pueblo Incident in 1968 , the Panmunjom Incident in 1976 and other occasions. In 2001 George W Bush not only declared that the DPRK was part of an ‘axis of evil “ along with Iran and Iraq(which the DPRK did not have diplomatic relations with ) but also significantly included the DPRK along with 6 other countries as a target for a US pre-emptive nuclear strike . Now you have Trump talking about “Fire and Fury” , a “bloody nose “ and a limited nuclear war with the DPRK.
The U.S. unilaterally scrapped the paragraph 13 d of the Armistice Agreement banning the introduction of all war hardware into Korea from abroad in June, 1957. It declared the nuclear weaponization of the U.S. forces present in south Korea in July. From January, 1958 it brought Honest John nuclear missiles, 280 mm atomic artillery pieces, B-61 nuclear bombs, etc. to south Korea.
In the 1960s it reorganized its pentomic division for nuclear war operations into a modern one and introduced various type nuclear and guided weapons including Matador and Hawk guided missiles and nuclear mines.
In the 1970s the U.S., asserting "the security of south Korea is directly linked with the one of the U.S.", deployed a lot of nuclear strike means in south Korea including nuclear shells and warheads, Lance missiles and nuclear-capable fighter bombers.
In the 1980s the U.S., trumpeting about its "supremacy of power", deployed nuclear backpacks for special ops units, medium and special nuclear bombs capable of destroying bridges, tunnels, roads, etc. in its military bases. It even brought to south Korea tactical nuclear weapons that had been deployed in Okinawa.
It provided its troops in south Korea with nuclear shells for 155 mm howitzers that had never been deployed in any other overseas military bases. It deployed in south Korea even neutron bombs and medium-range Pershing-2 nuclear missiles.
The nuclear weapons shipped by it to south Korea numbered at least 1 720 till the mid-1980s.
This, in the light of the density of nukes deployment, quadrupled the one in the then NATO region. This means more than one nuclear weapon per 100 square kilometres of the territory of south Korea.
South Korea has turned into the world's biggest nuclear arsenal.
The U.S. was fully prepared to ignite a nuclear war any time, systematically introducing nukes in south Korea, having nuclear depots in various places and operating in south Korea even a unit specializing in stockpiling nukes and providing necessary equipment.
Its nuclear war moves continued even after the conclusion of the international treaty banning the introduction of nukes into non-nuclear states and regions.
The U.S. imperialists, in the wake of releasing a deceptive report on the complete withdrawal of tactical nukes from south Korea in July, 1992, announced its "NCND policy" and continued introducing nukes into south Korea. I leave it to the audience to decide whether they trust the US to have withdrawn its nuclear weapons from south Korea.
The DPRK’s decision to develop the nuclear deterrent was a just and reasonable measure to deal with the US nuclear threat to it . After the US first introduced nuclear weapons into Korea in 1957 but the DPRK did not test its first nuclear weapon until 59 years later . In other words the US had virtually 6 decades to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula and stop its nuclear threat to the DPRK.
The DPRK guided by the Juche idea ,decided to rely on itself for defence , it adopted the Songun or Army first policy of building strong defensive forces. Historically Korea had fallen victim to Japanese colonialism for two reasons, firstly, the feudal rulers of Korea in the early 20th century believed that they could rely on big powers such as China, Russia, the US, Britain and France to maintain independence, secondly, Korea only had simple weapons . The lesson that a small country cannot rely on a big country for its defence was also shown in the early 1960s when the USSR did a deal with the US over the heads of the Cuban leadership and pulled its missiles out of Cuba.
The DPRK is determined not to suffer the fate of Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan , Yugoslavia and others which did not have nuclear weapons and were invaded by US imperialism,
At the time of its first nuclear test in October 2006 the DPRK stated it would not use nuclear weapons , that it would not export or transfer nuclear weapons and that it was committed to nuclear disarmament . At the 7th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea supreme leader Marshal KIM JONG UN stated that “As a responsible nuclear-armed state and as we have already declared, our Republic will not use nuclear weapons first, unless the forces of aggression that are hostile to us violate our sovereignty with their own nuclear weapons; we will faithfully observe our commitments to nuclear non-proliferation, which we have made before the international community, and strive for global denuclearization.”
The DPRK is prepared to enter into negotiations for nuclear disarmament if the US gives up its nuclear threat and hostile policy towards the DPRK . The US has a very simple choice before it , it if does not like the DPRK nuclear weapons , then it needs to stop threatening the DPRK with nukes .
The DPRK has always supported the independent reunification of Korea.The Western mass media incorrectly said that the proposals made by Marshal KIM JONG UN were a new policy or where simply the result of the sanctions imposed on the DPRK . Nothing could be further from the truth . In fact several times before respected Marshal KIM JONG UN made proposals for dialogue with the south several times before .
It is a little known fact that on the 7th of June 1950 a few weeks before the Korean War began, the DPRK sent its representatives to south Korea to negotiate the peaceful reunification of Korea. They were arrested by the south Korean puppets.
In 1961 , President KIM IL SUNG advanced the idea of reunification through a confederation . Later a more developed form of this was put forward at the 6th Congress of the Workers Party in 1980 . So it is not a new policy ,
At present the US is trying to ruin the atmosphere for peaceful reunification and inter-Korean co-operation and is clearly opposed to peaceful reunification. The mainstream media of the West have given coverage to a tiny minority of extreme fascist elements in south Korea who are basically the south Korean equivalents of Britain First and the BNP who have staged provocative anti-reunification protests.
The DPRK is facing increasing threats by US imperialism which get worse nearly every day . ! As time is running short I would just mention two.Firstly , the DPRK has been subjected to several rounds of sanctions by the UN Security Council as well as the US not to mention the EU, UK ,Japan and south Korea making it the most heavily sanctioned country in the world . Apparently more sanctions are to come !
Secondly. after the Winter Olympics are over in south Korea , the US and south Korea will begin Foal Eagle and Key Resolve military exercises targeting People’s Korea .Last year Foal Eagle and Key Resolve included a massive number of US and south Korean puppet troops as well as US nuclear aircraft carriers and nuclear armed US bomber aircraft. In the past the UK has participated in these exercises. Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises aim at invading the DPRK and occupying it . They are aimed at destroying the socialist system of the DPRK . They are a grave challenge to the independence and sovereignty of the DPRK . Also Foal Eagle and Key Resolve are a serious threat to peace in the Asia Pacific region .
We call for the immediate cancellation of Foal Eagle and Key Resolve and the unconditional withdrawal of US troops from Korea . Moreover a broad labour movement and peace movement campaign must be mounted against Foal Eagle and Key Resolve.
Peace and reunification in Korea can come when every single US soldier and piece of US military hardware is withdrawn from the land of Korea !
KOREA IS ONE !
US OUT OF KOREA !