The Guardian September 10, 2003


Korea celebrates 55 years of liberation

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea came into existence in 1948 
and celebrated the 55th anniversary of its founding on September 9 this 
year. Its formation was part of the revolutionary upsurge which emerged 
during the war against fascism in Europe and Japanese militarism in 
Asia.

The whole of Korea had been occupied by the Japanese imperialists for many 
years. It was liberated by the combined efforts of the patriotic forces of 
Korea that fought against the Japanese occupation and the Soviet Red Army 
which defeated the Japanese army in Manchuria. At the same time the Chinese 
Red Army was liberating the Chinese mainland from Japanese occupation.

The formation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (Sept 9, 1948) 
coincided with the formation of the People's Republic of China (October 1, 
1948),

Unfortunately for the Korean people, the southern part of the Korean 
peninsular was occupied by the armed forces of the United States and they 
proceeded to set up a puppet government south of the 38th parallel of 
latitude known as the Republic of Korea.

In the early 1950s the DPRK (North Korea) had to fight for its very 
existence as the armed forces of South Korea, the US, Australia and a 
number of other countries, tried to overthrow the government of the North.

The people of the DPRK fought heroically and together with the support of 
the Chinese People's Republic the occupation of the North by the US and 
others was defeated and an agreement to end the war was finally concluded 
that, however, again partitioned the Korean Peninsular at the 38th 
parallel.

This defeat was the first defeat for American forces following WW 2, but 
the northern part of the Korean peninsular had been flattened. No armistice 
was concluded, no diplomatic relations were established and no trade was 
conducted. It was to be total isolation for the DPRK.

The US and its allies have never given up their objective of occupying the 
whole of the Korean peninsular. This would enable them to put pressure on 
the Chinese People's Republic and to overthrow the socialist systems of 
both China and the DPRK.

Provocations

There have been endless provocations. The border at the 38th parallel was 
turned into a continual flash point. The US and South Korea built a huge 
wall across the Korean peninsular from one side to the other although this 
wall cannot keep out the idea of reunification of the two Koreas. The 
demand for unification is steadily gaining support.

The DPRK is a relatively small country in which about 80 percent of the 
land is mountainous and cannot be easily cultivated. In the 1990s the DPRK 
suffered disastrous floods which swept away much the top-soil in the areas 
under cultivation. The floods were followed by drought. This is the basic 
reason for the food shortages which have been used by western propaganda to 
claim that socialism does not work.

The DPRK has no oil resources of its own and its growing need for 
electrical power impelled it towards the building of nuclear power 
stations. This situation was dishonestly used to claim that the DPRK was 
building nuclear weapons but there is, in fact, no evidence of that.

The nuclear issue

In 1994 an agreement was reached with the Clinton administration by which 
the US and Japan were to supply heavy oil for use in power generation in 
exchange for an agreement that the DPRK would suspend development of its 
nuclear power generation industry. The US and Japan were to build light 
water reactors to replace the type of power generators that were built in 
the DPRK.

However, the light-water reactors have still not been built  9 years 
after the agreement was concluded. Last year the US suspended delivery of 
heavy oil as well.

It is in these circumstances that the DPRK threatened to resume power 
generation using its already established nuclear generators.

The DPRK, led by the Workers' Party of Korea, has been steadily building 
its socialist society in these incredibly difficult circumstances and in 
accordance with the conditions facing the people of Korea.

In accordance with socialist principles the Government of the DPRK provides 
universal free education and free medical care. Cultural activities have 
reached a high level. Women enjoy equal rights and conditions.

Massive housing construction of high quality has been undertaken. Pyongyang 
the capital city has its own underground railway. Many light and heavy 
industries have been constructed. This year alone, 400 million trees were 
planted in the DPRK's "greening" program.

At present the DPRK is undertaking a land reform program to consolidate 
smaller plots of agricultural land into larger fields so that agriculture 
can be mechanised and, thereby, increase grain production.

It is these gains in their living standards and social conditions that the 
people of the DPRK are defending as well as the sovereignty and 
independence of their country and their right to establish their own social 
and economic system. For all of the 55 years of its existence the DPRK has 
had to defend its sovereignty and independence and this remains their top 
priority.

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