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North Korea: USA forced onto the defensive - for now

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"Why does the sinister regime in Pyongyang desire to run nuclear stations?” “How can we exclude the danger that North Korea might attack other countries?” US imperialism demands North Korea drop its nuclear programme and a number of bourgeois regimes in the region, like Russia, South Korea, China and Japan, also expressed their “concern” and their “hopes for a dialogue of North Korea with the international community".

Of course, all this is reactionary hypocrisy. How dare US imperialism, which possesses thousands of nuclear weapons, many nuclear power stations (like most other Great powers) and which did and does wage numerous wars, criticise North Korea for its very underdeveloped nuclear programme?!

So what really lies behind the latest fuss? It is no accident that George Bush named North Korea, beside Iraq and Iran, as a member of the notorious “axis of evil” states. Asia is of strategic importance for US imperialism: it is not only the biggest continent (i.e. many consumers of commodities made by US multi-nationals) but also host states with huge gas and oil reserves (Central Asia), a number of relatively industrialised states who are both important economic importers for the USA and at the same time competitors (Japan, China, South East Asia, including South Korea). And in East Asia are also, beside the EU, the most important challengers for the US imperialist desire for global domination: Japan and China and also Russia as a Eurasian power.

Talking up the danger of an “aggressive North Korea with nuclear capacities” therefore serves the US imperialist plans to boost its political and military presence in the region. True at the moment war-monger Bush mentions the need for a “diplomatic solution” of the Korean crisis.

But this is only because he does not want to deflect the attention from the coming Iraq war and the US military is at the moment not capable to open a second front at the same time. But make no mistake: as soon as the Iraq war is over Bush and his pirates in Washington will turn their gunboat diplomacy on North Korea.

For this reason US imperialism has different interests about how to deal with North Korea than South Korea, Japan or China and Russia. It is no accident that these states emphasise more the need for a peaceful solution through negotiations. The South Korean bourgeoisie hopes to avoid a war and to manage a peaceful national re-unification which would give it millions of cheap labourers and also a sizeable military machine.

The South Korean bourgeoisie, which has become a relatively sizeable force on the world market and in regional politics, tries to reduce its dependence on US imperialism and particularly its military reliance (e.g. expressed by the presence of 37,000 US soldiers). It increased its military rocket and satellite programme in the last years for which Washington expressed its uneasiness. China, Russia and Japan also donat want to give US imperialism another excuse to increase its military presence in the region.

As revolutionary Marxists and anti-imperialists we sharply oppose the bullying policy of US imperialism. The biggest empire since centuries and at the same time most aggressive war-monger in the world has no right to criticise North Koreas modest nuclear plans. No doubt North Korea is ruled by an ugly Stalinist regime for which neither the domestic nor the international working class has any sympathy. But it is the task of the North Korean workers to overturn its rulers and not by the biggest ruling class in the world, US imperialism.

The economic crisis in North Korea must not be met by concessions to imperialism: in the last few months we have seen how easy the USA can stop oil deliveries if it is not pleased with North Korea’s policy. What is therefore necessary is an international campaign of working class and the anti-capitalist movement for an emergency plan for material assistance for North Korea. The international anti-imperialist movement must follow the slogans: Down with US imperialism! Hands off North Korea! Long live international solidarity!