The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 70/No. 41           October 30, 2006  
Lift sanctions on Korea!
U.S. imperialism hands off! No to acts of piracy!
All U.S. troops and weapons out of Korean peninsula!
(lead article/editorial)
We urge working people to demand that the U.S.-crafted sanctions just imposed on north Korea by the UN Security Council be lifted, and that no “inspections” of north Korean cargo take place. We should demand: Withdraw all U.S. troops and weapons from the Korean peninsula!

As the October 11 statement by the Socialist Workers Party National Committee that we featured in last week’s issue noted, “With some 10,000 weapons in its nuclear arsenal and nuclear-armed warships in the Pacific, it is Washington that poses the threat of nuclear annihilation to the people of Asia and the world. It is the U.S. government, not the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), that has entered the fifth year of its war in Afghanistan and is nearing its fourth year of combat in Iraq.

“And it is Washington and its allies who for half a decade, through the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, have imposed their ‘right’ to board ships and seize cargo—to carry out piracy on the high seas—against any country the imperialist rulers label a ‘rogue nation.’ Washington’s demands for ‘inspection’ of all cargo in or out of north Korea—a de facto naval blockade, an act of war by any standard—ups the ante on the danger of military strikes against the DPRK on land as well.”

Washington, the only government ever to have used nuclear weapons, is hypocritically seizing on north Korea’s nuclear test to assemble another “coalition of the willing,” stretching from Tokyo to Seoul, Beijing, Moscow, and across Europe. As part of the U.S. rulers’ “long war,” Washington will try to use this coalition to reverse the defeat the imperialist armies suffered in Korea in 1953.

As the SWP statement said, only weeks after unleashing nuclear bombs on the people of Japan in 1945, the U.S. rulers, in flagrant disregard of Korea’s sovereignty, carved the country into two, with the complicity of the Stalinist regime in Moscow and Stalinist parties around the world. “In the northern half the workers and farmers deepened the revolutionary mobilizations that had swept the entire peninsula at the end of World War II, carrying out a radical land reform, expropriating the capitalists and landlords, and establishing a workers state.

“In 1950 Washington invaded north Korea under the United Nations flag in an effort to destroy the DPRK and deal blows to the unfolding revolution in China. Not only did the U.S. government threaten the use of nuclear weapons during the Korean War, it murderously flattened—literally flattened—the north and set it ablaze through bombardment. By 1953, however, the U.S.-led invaders had been pushed back to Korea’s 38th parallel by the combined forces of Korean and Chinese troops, dealing U.S. imperialism its first military defeat in history.”

The just-imposed sanctions are aimed at starving the Korean people into submission, and, failing that, laying the groundwork for future military action ultimately aimed at re-establishing capitalism in north Korea and elsewhere in Asia.

The Korean people know well the atrocities leveled under the UN flag during the Korean War. It is that flag that today flies over the thousands of U.S. troops stationed at or near the so-called De-Militarized Zone to maintain the forcible partition of Korea against the will of most of its people—north and south.

The governments of Russia and China treacherously voted for the UN Security Council resolution. In fact, Beijing lost no time, beginning the next day to search north Korean cargo trucks at the border. Aglow from that diplomatic coup, the U.S. rulers are now on a concerted campaign to muscle other governments in the region into enforcing the onerous trade bans and blatant violations of the DPRK’s sovereignty the Security Council ordered.

“As a simple matter of national sovereignty, working people in the United States and elsewhere have a fundamental class interest in supporting the DPRK’s right to self-defense,” explained the SWP statement last week. It also rightly called for solidarity with the DPRK’s stand for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and all Asia and the Pacific.

As that statement said, the imperialist rulers attack with ferocity those who refuse to bow to their dictates. Just as they won’t forget the defeat the Korean people handed them in the 1950s, they have never forgiven the workers and farmers of Cuba for making the first socialist revolution in the Americas.

“The Cuban people and their communist leadership continue to set a revolutionary internationalist example for toilers worldwide in linking the defense of their own sovereignty and socialist conquests at home to the advance of popular struggles in other countries,” it said, noting that Cuba’s communist leadership has rejected developing nuclear arms. “We don’t need them,” Cuban president Fidel Castro said in a 2005 speech. “Even if they were accessible, how much would they cost and what sense would it make producing a nuclear weapon with an enemy that has thousands of nuclear weapons?”

The U.S. nuclear arsenal cannot be matched. Only revolutionary advances by the toilers and victorious socialist revolutions can push back their rapacious march toward war and bring about true nuclear disarmament. A successful battle by workers and farmers in the United States to wrest power out of the hands of the war-makers will be decisive in preventing the imperialist rulers from unleashing their nuclear arsenal in Asia or elsewhere.

Along that line of march, we should offer unwavering solidarity to our Korean brothers and sisters who say: Lift the sanctions! No to “inspections” of north Korean cargo! U.S. troops and weapons out of the Pacific! Denuclearize the region! Korea is one!
Related articles:
UN Security Council approves harsh sanctions on north Korea  
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