A BRIEF COMMENTARY ON THE NK NEWS ARTICLE "LEAVING THE BRITSH FRIENDS OF NORTH KOREA" by John Marchant.
On Wednesday, 22nd May an article was released by NK News entitled "Leaving The British Friends of North Korea". The piece authored by Oliver Hotham was about the time spent by former KFA member Alex Meads within the Korean Friendship Association. Oliver Hotham's article carried alot of inaccuracies and distortions of reality, attempting to portray the UK KFA as a "cult-like" body and as an extremist organisation.(in fact the article was basically entirely false -ed) The UK KFA is infact a broad-based organisation promoting understanding and solidarity with the DPRK (North Korea) and striving for the peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula. In the UK KFA we have members from different social & ethnic backgrounds, from various political parties and social organisations.
The main reason for Mr.Meads suspension and then eventual expulsion from the ranks of the UK KFA was due to a serious complaint of racism which was made directly to the Headquarters of the International KFA. A UK KFA member came out with allegations that Mr.Alex Meads verbally abused him in a racist and xenophobic manner during an altercation at a national meeting of the UK KFA on April 6th. Following this initial accusation by the member, other similar incidents have come to light, including ones where a whole delegation from the Spanish Section of the KFA was racially insulted by Alex Meads in August 2017, in Pyongyang, the DPRK. The KFA gave Mr.Meads ample opportunity to rebuff these allegations and to overturn the decision which was passed by the International KFA headquartered in Spain. Alex Meads could have chosen to have communicated his concerns over this decision to other members of the KFA, but instead went straight to hostile elements with his expose.
There were a whole host of incidents concerning Mr.Meads behaviour. While on a tour of the DPRK in September 2018, was openly mocking the Supreme Leadership of Peoples Korea in front of the Korean guides. At times was very rude to the delegation's Korean guide. In the Kumsusan Palace of The Sun (where the Great Leaders are laid to rest) Mr Meads had his arms crossed and was pushing the Korean guide Mr.Li forward. The delegation members found Mr.Meads conduct in the DPRK surprising given his level of knowledge of the DPRK and his previous commitment On the visit of the KFA delegation to the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the DPRK, Mr.Meads repeatedly came out with comments of a racist, chauvinistic, classist and homophobic character. In the NK News article, it was put across that a delegation member had said to Mr Meads "being perverted by a bourgeois education" whereas the term "influenced" was used. It is known that this person had attended a public school (private school). The said individual while on route to Pyongyang via Beijing uttered such expressions as "Do all Chinese people look the same". Even at Heathrow Airport Mr.Meads gave the finger to the portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, in front of security personnel.
I have found the issue of expulsion a rather distressing one and should only be resorted to as the last term measure. When Mr.Meads was The Commissar of the UK KFA he began to see enemies and infiltrators everywhere. Mr.Meads took it upon himself to act as a sort of Witchfinder General within the KFA, where the expulsion began the norm, not the exception. Many KFA members were expressing grave concern at the rate and frequency of these expulsions, which was impacting the reputation of the UK KFA. One vindictive example was the unwarranted expelling of a young Pro-DPRK Youtuber, in which Mr.Meads took great pleasure. One expulsion which was justified was with a person who had Far Right connections and was kicked out for no other reason. Mr.Meads was highly regarded as an energetic and highly committed member of the UK KFA and been at the forefront of the KFA activities. It is a shame to have seen such an ultra-loyalist turned into someone working with reactionary Anti-DPRK forces and warmongers. Mr.Meads was also a member of the New Communist Party for some years and it is alleged that he was also associated with front organisations of the Conservative Party.
There have been attempts to silence the voice of the KFA and halt the work of spreading the truth about the DPRK and campaigning for Peace in Korea. We must resist the efforts of those malevolent elements who wish to outlaw displays of friendship with the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, and the KFA has always operated within the scope of UK legislation. The activity of the KFA will continue and become further diversified, bringing all peace-loving and progressive people to support the just cause of the Korean people!!