Category Archives: DPRK

Stand with Socialistic North Korea Against U.S./Australian Capitalism’s War Threats

Stand with Socialistic North Korea

Against U.S./Australian Capitalism’s War Threats

15 August 2017 – Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has vowed to join with the U.S. should it wage war on North Korea. U.S. president Donald Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” The people of North Korea– the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) – have responded with brave defiance. Yet they have reason to be worried. Trump really is the cruel madman that he sounds like. He has slandered Mexicans as “rapists”, implemented despicable laws restricting entry of people from Muslim majority countries and created such a racist climate that race-hate attacks in the U.S. have skyrocketed. But Trump is not just your typical, hard-right wing nut job – he also happens to have his finger on the fire button of the most terrifying nuclear arsenal in the world! But the Australian regime backing him all the way is hardly any better. The regime here has overseen racist killings of black people in custody and the torture of imprisoned Aboriginal youth. New revelations last month have detailed the extent to which Australian SAS forces in Afghanistan are killing children and murdering other innocent civilians and then planting guns on them to make them look like enemy combatants. It is these shock troops of the Australian ruling class who would spearhead Australian military involvement in any war on the DPRK.

A glimpse of the horror that the people of the DPRK are threatened with can be seen in Mosul. There, to further their predatory goals, the U.S. and Australian imperialists and other allied powers conducted air strikes in such an indiscriminate manner that in just a four month period between February and June they killed 5,805 civilians according to the respected liberal, monitoring group Airwars. They killed thousands more through excessive artillery barrages and in airstrikes in other parts of Iraq as well as in Syria.

Part of the reason for the U.S. and Australian rulers’ crazed obsession with crushing the DPRK is the fear that other countries currently targeted by imperialism – like Syria, Iran and Venezuela – will be inspired by North Korea’s defiant building of a nuclear deterrent and themselves seek to stand up more to the Western powers.

However, the factors behind Washington and Canberra’s war drive against the DPRK are somewhat different to what’s behind their proxy war against Syria and their repeated invasions of Iraq. Those adventures are mainly about gaining dominance over the Middle East in order to seize control of the world’s oil supplies. However, the source of the U.S., Australian, British, Japanese and South Korean rulers’ enmity to the DPRK runs even deeper than oil: it is a product of the hostility of capitalist rulers to socialism. The fact that the North Korean people have courageously dared to reject capitalism and to, instead, build a system based upon collective ownership of the factories, banks, mines and land provokes fanatical hatred from the capitalist ruling classes. To be sure, the socialistic system in the DPRK is bureaucratically deformed. The intense military pressure that capitalist powers assert against her plus the economic strangulation of sanctions is an immense deforming force upon her. Nevertheless, the imperialist ruling classes cannot stand having any part of the world where they do not have the “freedom” to control markets and exploit labour at will. Moreover, the capitalists are denied this “right” not only in the DPRK but in her neighbour and ally, the world’s most populous country, the Peoples Republic of China. Although the ruling bureaucracy in China has strengthened pro-capitalist forces by ushering in pro-market reforms from the 1980s onwards, the PRC economy continues to be dominated by socialistic state-owned enterprises. That is why, from provocatively sailing warships through her waters to financing anti-communist “dissidents” and NGOs to targeting next-door neighbour, North Korea,, the U.S. and Australian ruling classes are so determined to undermine the state power in China. Although the national-centred leaders of the PRC and DPRK do little to encourage revolutionary class struggle in the capitalist countries, the mere existence of these socialistic states where the working class, in however a deformed way, rules provokes horror among capitalists. The horror that one day the toiling masses in their own countries will overthrow them and take power. That is why the enmity of capitalist powers to North Korea and China is more enduring and more deep-going than their current hostility to those capitalist-run, ex-colonial countries like Syria that refuse to kowtow enough to them. During their 1950-53 war on the DPRK, the U.S., Australian and other allied capitalist powers completely burnt to the ground the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, several times with bombs and napalm. Later, U.S. war criminals boasted of their deeds:

Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,’ Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984. Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed

`everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.

The Washington Post, 24 March 2015

Lies, Distortions, Distractions and More Lies

In order to mobilise support for the war drive against North Korea, the mainstream Western media have been painting her as, on the one hand, an economic basket case and, simultaneously, as the “most dangerous threat to the world.” Yet it is not North Korea but the U.S. rulers, backed by Australia, who are the ones who have actually dropped atomic bombs on human beings. Meanwhile, the Australian big business or government-owned media have been deviously claiming that the DPRK has threatened to hit Guam with missiles. However, what the DPRK actually said was that if the U.S. and its allies continued to threaten North Korea, the DPRK would respond by launching missiles that would land in waters short of Guam. That’s very different to saying that they would land nuclear missiles on the people of Guam. Having the U.S. provocatively fly nuclear capable bombers from Guam past North Korea and having the U.S., Australian, South Korean and other capitalist militaries stage massive war games within kilometres of her border is an unbearable situation for the DPRK. By raising the possibility of landing missiles in waters just short of Guam, the North Korean people are giving the U.S. a taste of facing a threat within kilometres of their own territory. Moreover, the DPRK’s refusal to abandon its nuclear weapons program makes a great deal of sense. Gaddafi’s Libya gave up its nuclear weapons under a promise to be “rehabilitated” by the Western powers – and look what happened to them! Iraq never had any weapons of mass destruction which made it easier for the U.S. and Australia to invade and kill over a million of her people.

That North Korea – when strangled by such severe sanctions and military encirclement – has been able to advance its nuclear deterrence so quickly has stunned the imperialist rulers. It is a testament to the superiority of the socialist system. As a Trotskyist Platform comrade of Chinese origin put it:

“To master great weaponry is not an advantage of capitalist countries. Our socialist DPRK can master such powerful means in such difficult domestic conditions, which is really inspiring, encouraging and empowering our working classes around the world.”

Indeed, contrary to the media’s portrayal of North Korea’s economy, the DPRK’s socialistic system allowed it to recover from the devastation of the Korean War and, within a couple of decades, build up the second most advanced industrial economy in Asia (after imperialist Japan). However, following the collapse of the Soviet Union which had been the DPRK’s military protector, the embattled North Korea was hit hard as it then had no choice but to greatly increase the proportion of its income spent on defence. A period of serious privation in the country followed in the mid-1990s.

However, since then, partly helped by trade with Red China, the DPRK economy has steadily advanced. Media claims that North Korea is still impoverished (although made less frequently now since it is so ridiculous) are simply lies. This is proven by estimates of the proportion of children who are underweight due to malnourishment given by a noted imperialist agency, the CIA (hardly an organisation sympathetic to North Korea!). The CIA’s figures do not put North Korea within even the forty most impoverished countries in the world. Indeed, strong Western allies like India, PNG, Indonesia and the Philippines have much higher rates of child malnourishment than does North Korea.

Socialistic North Korea, despite the threats she is facing, has produced a warm and friendly society with a relaxed work environment and a rich musical, artistic, cultural, entertainment and sporting life. In contrast, capitalist rule in South Korea has not only led to a large amount of homelessness and poverty amongst the elderly there but also to one of the highest suicide rates in the world. This does not stop the Australian media from making much of the higher per capita income in South Korea. That is a product of, on the one hand, the sanctions and draining military encirclement of the North and, on the other, the fact that from the late 1960s onwards the U.S. provided massive aid to the South when they realised that dissatisfaction with capitalist rule and sympathy for the North amongst the South Korean masses was “threatening” the country with socialist revolution. Yet, today, most South Korean workers lack permanency in their jobs and many are forced to work terribly long hours. This and the cut-throat, dog eat dog nature of the society there has meant that hundreds of North Koreans who defected to the South in search of higher incomes have ended up defecting back to the North!

Not Opposition to Both Sides But Solidarity with the Socialistic DPRK

Turnbull has claimed that he would send Australia to war with North Korea because of the ANZUS treaty with the U.S. However, what is really driving the Australian capitalist regime is that they share the same reasons for wanting to destroy socialistic rule in North Korea – and ultimately China – as their U.S. allies. Indeed, as a capitalist ruling class located in Asia, the Australian rulers’ obsession with crushing Asian socialistic states is if anything more intense than their U.S. counterparts’. It was the Australian Menzies regime that pushed for the U.S. to escalate its anti-communist war in Vietnam in 1965. Indeed, the Australian government even pressured the then U.S.-puppet South Vietnamese government “to request” Australian troops to support it!

Just as it is not only the right-wing Republican Party in the U.S. but also the liberal American capitalists who are charging towards war on North Korea – and ultimately China – it is not only the right-wing Liberal Party that is beating the war drums here. ALP Opposition leader Bill Shorten ranted that it was the “bellicose and provocative actions” of North Korea, and not Trump’s rhetoric, which was of “big concern” adding that:

“I and the government share the same concerns and the same views, and Australians should be reassured that on this matter of North Korea and our national security, the politics of Labor and Liberal are working absolutely together.”

– The Australian, 11 August 2017

The Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, has for his part at least criticised the war drive of the Australian government. However, he has very wrongly put socialistic North Korea in the same category as the Western imperialist rulers:

“Malcolm Turnbull by backing Donald Trump has just put a target on our back.”

“What we’ve got is two dangerous, paranoid and unhinged world leaders goading each other into a conflict which puts the very survival of each and every person on the planet at risk.

Such equating of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with Donald Trump or Turnbull on the part of supposed opponents of war is very harmful. For, regardless of personalities, these leaders are not the same at all because the systems that they preside over are not at all the same. Today, Trump covered for his fascist backers when he made excuses for these white supremacists after they unleashed racist “fire and fury” in Charlottesville culminating in a murderous terror attack that killed an antiracist protester, Heather Heyer. Meanwhile, like the previous ALP government, the Turnbull regime locks up asylum seekers in hell-hole offshore camps. Turnbull has also re-instituted the union-busting ABCC system against construction workers and attacked the rights of unemployed workers while giving tax cuts to millionaires. Trump, for his part, wants to deny millions more poor people in America access to medical care while giving huge tax cuts to the rich. Both he and Turnbull administer a system that has left large numbers of people homeless. In contrast, while Kim Jong Un may be a “dictator” who rides on a personality cult that is almost as gross as the establishment’s glorification of the British Royal Family, he administers a system that not only ensures zero homelessness in North Korea but also guarantees employment and virtually free housing for all of its people. Furthermore, North Korea’s leaders have never made a predatory intervention into another country. In contrast, the capitalist regimes in the U.S. and Australia have, between themselves over the last thirty years, invaded or otherwise intervened in – and often largely destroyed – Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Serbia, East Timor, Bougainville, Yemen, Somalia, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Panama, Haiti and more! Therefore, what the working class and all opponents of imperialism and capitalism in Australia and the U.S. must do is to stand in solidarity with the DPRK against all the war threats from the imperialist powers.

Unfortunately, much of the Left in Australia is instead tailing the Greens’ line of “neutrality” in the current crisis. Thus, the Hiroshima Day Sydney Committee and the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition, with the support of the Sydney Stop the War Coalition (coalitions which include among them prominent activists within the Communist Party of Australia as well as the Socialist Alliance, Solidarity and Socialist Alternative groups) have announced a rally for this Saturday in Sydney “to call for negotiations to resolve the crisis on the Korean peninsula.” Such a call steers anti-imperialists and anti-capitalists away from strongly politically opposing the U.S. and Australian military forces arrayed against the DPRK and also pushes them into supporting demands on the DPRK to wind back its nuclear deterrence development and acquiesce to imperialist diktats. It is acting like those small-l liberals who call for “reconciliation” between the Australian rulers and Aboriginal people – as if Aboriginal people should have to compromise with the racist, genocidal ruling class. It is of a piece with a nominal supporter of workers’ rights who, during a conflict between unions and a capitalist boss, argues that “both sides should negotiate not escalate.”

In contrast, Trotskyist Platform is fighting to convince other leftists and supporters of working class interests to not be neutral in the current crisis but to stand resolutely with the socialistic state against the capitalist powers! That means we must stand unconditionally with the socialistic DPRK – and ultimately socialistic China – against the capitalist war threats. We should also welcome the DPRK’s development of a nuclear deterrence capability. What sincere anti-capitalists and anti-imperialists must do is to build actions that demand: End all U.S.-Australian- South Korean war games threatening the DPRK! U.S. troops out of South Korea, Japan and Guam! Close the joint U.S.-Australian military facilities and bases in Pine Gap, Darwin and elsewhere – Down with ANZUS! End all sanctions against the DPRK! Get rid of the U.S.’s THAAD missile defence system in South Korea that targets not only the DPRK but also the PRC!

Australian Working Class: Let Us Defend the DPRK

Like We Should Defend Our Unions!

The fate of the DPRK will be affected much by its much larger and powerful socialistic neighbour, the PRC. The PRC is the DPRK’s only significant ally and over 90% of North Korea’s trade is with China. To a significant degree, the PRC provides protection for the DPRK and certainly its presence has acted as a major deterrent against imperialist attack on the DPRK. However, at the same time the vacillating rulers of Red China, who pursue a futile policy of seeking “co-existence” with capitalist powers, bend to imperialist diktats by publicly condemning DPRK missile and nuclear tests. Nine days ago, China’s leaders treacherously joined the Western imperialists and capitalist Russia in voting for a new round of even more crippling economic sanctions against North Korea. Although it is true that the PRC does try to somewhat limit the damage done by these sanctions and does more to stand by the DPRK militarily than it admits publicly, its public position does matter as it serves to increase diplomatic and political pressure on the DPRK. Any acquiescence to imperialist demands against the DPRK is suicidal for the PRC as it is the PRC itself which is the ultimate target of capitalist moves against its socialistic little sister, North Korea.

The question of what attitude to take towards the DPRK is the subject of intense debate within China. Those pushing for China to move away from solidarity with its socialistic neighbour tend to be the most right-wing elements within China who are simultaneously pushing for greater “rights” for the capitalist private sector and more political “freedom” for pro-capitalist forces. In contrast, those advocating greater PRC solidarity with the socialistic DPRK are also those fighting to preserve and strengthen China’s own socialist foundations. The debate within China over its position on North Korea is a fight over the very soul and direction of China itself. That makes it triply important that politically aware workers and leftists the world over must call for the PRC to stand resolutely behind her socialistic sister, the DPRK. China: Abandon all participation in sanctions against North Korea! Support the DPRK’s nuclear deterrence development instead! Strengthen solidarity between workers states to strengthen China’s own commitment toward socialism! Recall the spirit of the PRC’s heroic support for the DPRK during the 1950-53 Korean War!

Trotskyist Platform is proud that we have been at the forefront of organising every single action in Sydney defending the DPRK workers state over the last seven years. We want to help cohere a layer of activists both inside and outside our group who are both firmly committed to defending the DPRK workers state and who are striving to become very knowledgeable about the question. These activists would then be the core of building actions in solidarity with the DPRK – and also the PRC – in the near future.

We understand that durable solidarity with socialistic states can only be built by appealing to the interests that the working class and its allies have in supporting workers states. To those workers in Australia who currently buy the anti-North Korea propaganda we say: Do you believe the media and politicians when they say that the CFMEU construction workers union are a bunch of thugs who threaten “innocent” people for no reason? Of course not! So why do you then believe these same people when they say that the DPRK is the biggest threat to world peace? Indeed, the attacks on the DPRK and China have much in parallel with the bosses’ attacks on our unions. Except that the capitalist hostility to socialistic states is a lot more fanatical because in those countries the masses have not just organised workers to resist how much the bosses can exploit them… they have actually taken over the whole country. Let us trade unionists and all opponents of capitalist exploitation mobilise in action to oppose both the bosses’ attacks on our unions at home and their attacks on workers states abroad. For unconditional solidarity with the socialistic DPRK!

Issue 19

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  1. As Capitalist Rulers Beat on the Unions and Poor: Opposing Racism & “Aussie First” Economic Nationalism Key to Defending Working Class People’s Rights
  2. Tens of Thousands Protest in Australia on the Day of Land Theft & Genocide Rally Attacked by Ruthless Police
  3. A Hard Right, Racist Bigot Enters the White House Capitalist “Democracy” is a Sham Unleash Industrial Action to Demand Jobs for All Only Workers United with All of the Oppressed Can Bring about Real Change
  4. Expand the Union Action in Defence of Public Housing in Sirius: Fight for a Massive Increase in Public Housing throughout the Country! Still a Chance to Prevent the Destruction of Public Housing in Millers Point and The Rocks
  5. Trotskyist Platform May Day (International Workers Day Statement We Need Militant Class Struggle to Win Secure Jobs for All Workers
  6. Workplace Safety Now Better in China Than in Australia Australian Rulers Union Busting Drive against the CFMEU Union
    Threatens Construction Workers Lives
  7. Good News: China’s Arrest of Crown Executives Endangers Packer’s Barangaroo Project James Packer’s Crown Versus Millers Point Public Housing
  8. Free All the Victims of Australia’s Racist Torture! Jail the Cops and Prison Guards Who Killed David Dungay, Ms Dhu, Rebecca Maher, Wayne Morrison, TJ Hickey, Mulrunji & the Many Other Victims of the Racist, Rich People’s State!
  9. Long Live China’s 1949 Anticapitalist Revolution! Protect the Great Benefits for Workers & the Rural Masses Won through the Revolution: Stop Imperialist Funding for Those NGOs that Seek to Overthrow Socialistic Rule in China
  10. Defend the Dominance of Socialistic, State-Ownership in China’s Economy! China: Pro-Worker and Pro-Private Sector Forces Lock Horns
  11. Racist Atrocities in Kalgoorlie
  12. Force Profitable Companies to Increase Hiring – Make Them Wear the Resulting Lower Profits Stop Billionaire Bosses from Retrenching Workers! No to Slave Wage Internships and Work for the Dole! For Fully Paid, Permanent Jobs for All!

10 January 2015: Defenders of the Socialistic DPRK Support the DPRK Soccer Team at the Asia Cup

DPRK Asia Cup photo outside stadium
From the moment the DPRK soccer team arrived in Sydney for the January 2015 Asia Cup Finals, the capitalist-owned media went all out to demonise the team as highly secretive, repressed and without support. This is part of their general propaganda war against socialistic North Korea. The aim of this campaign is to justify to the Australian masses the Australian ruling class’ participation in the relentless imperialist drive to crush the DPRK workers state through military, economic and political pressure.
However, the media narrative took a blow when soccer fans coming to watch North Korea’s match against Uzbekhistan as well as Sydney public transport users came across a contingent of supporters of the socialistic DPRK coming to support the DPRK team. The contingent – including supporters of Trotskyist Platform, the Australia-DPRK Friendship Society and the Communist Party of Australia – chanted:
“D-P-R-K! Workers State is Here to Stay!”

Down with the Right-Wing Campaign OF Lies about North Korea!

Above: Democracy in capitalist South Korea? Leftist South Korean parliamentarian Lee Seok-ki shouts as he is escorted into prison by security agents in September 2013. The Unified Progressive Party (UPP) MP was jailed for nine years on bogus charges of inciting a socialist insurrection. Later, the South Korean regime banned the UPP and kicked all its MPs out of parliament. Until it was banned, the UPP was South Korea’s third largest parliamentary party with a vote share equivalent to The Greens in Australia.

“Human Rights” Attacks on Socialistic North Korea & the Trade Union Royal Commission Here:
Both are Campaigns of Lies to “Justify” Attacks on Anyone Standing in the Way of Capitalist Exploitation

22 August 2015: This month, people around the world marked the 70th anniversary of the two most horrific terror attacks on civilians ever perpetrated in the whole of human history. Seventy years ago the U.S. regime, fully backed by the Australian ruling class, was responsible for the nuclear incineration of the people first of Hiroshima and then of Nagasaki. Yet these very same ruling classes have the hide to wage a campaign against the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) over “human rights.”

Indeed, the DPRK is probably the last country that the Western powers should be raising the issue of “human rights” about.  During the 1950-53 Korean War, the U.S. and allied militaries – including those of Australia and South Korea – killed between two to three million North Korean citizens. In the beginning of January 1951, American General Mathew Ridgway ordered the air force to hit the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, “with the goal of burning the city to the ground with incendiary bombs,” which they did in two strikes on January 3 and January 5 (“Consequences of the ‘Forgotten War,’” Bruce Cummings, printed in Le Monde Diplomatique, December 2004). Pyongyang and just about every other city in North and Central Korea was again levelled by U.S. bombing in December 1952. Those North Koreans that survived were by then literally living in caves.

Yet the capitalist powers and the big business-owned media that serve them have never shied away from gross hypocrisy and never been bound by the truth. Recall, for one, their now infamous lie that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons. Such lies are spread for a purpose. In the case of the lie about Iraq it was used to justify the 2003 U.S.–led invasion and conquest of that oil-rich country. Here, the Liberal/National Party regime’s lies demonising our trade unions are used to grease the skids for further union-busting attacks and anti-strike laws.

So why are they lying about North Korea then? Because the workers and farmers of North Korea have dared to adopt a socio-political system that is not based on capitalist exploitation. The masses of North Korea have dared to insist that they will not subordinate themselves to Western imperialism. For this “crime,” the imperial powers have slated the DPRK for destruction. Their outrageous claims about “appalling human rights abuses” in North Korea are used to justify the ongoing stiff economic sanctions on that country as well as the extreme military pressure that the U.S. and its allies exert on the DPRK. Not only are tens of thousands of U.S. troops stationed in South Korea to threaten the DPRK but U.S. aircraft and warships regularly move in and out of North Korean airspace and waters to amplify this threat. Ultimately, the imperialist powers see the “human rights” crusade against North Korea as a means of preparing the population in their own countries for a future, full-scale military assault on that country – something that has to date only been stymied by Red China’s alliance with its socialistic sister, the DPRK.

As part of the big lie campaign against the DPRK, the South Korean Consul General in Sydney – in other words the South Korean government – hosted a week of events in Australia from August 17 to August 21 titled “North Korea Human Rights Week.” These events were timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of North Korea from Japanese colonial occupation on 15 August. The Sydney Branch of the Australia-DPRK Friendship Society protested outside the Opening Ceremony of this “Human Rights Week” at Sydney City’s main cinema strip near Town Hall station. Participating in the snap protest were several Trotskyist Platform comrades as well as supporters of the Australia-DPRK Friendship Society including one member from the CPA and a representative from the Supporters of the Iranian Peoples Fadaee Gureillas. Among the placards we carried were signs that read, “Human Rights” Attacks on Socialistic North Korea Are Like the Trade Union Royal Commission Here: A Campaign of Lies Used to Justify Attacks on Organisation/s Standing In the Way of Capitalist Exploitation and “Human Rights” of imperialism = bombing Afghanistan, torture at Guantanamo, killings of Aboriginal people in custody, support for murderous regimes in Egypt, Israel, Philippines and Colombia. How dare they attack socialistic DPRK, China and Cuba over “human rights.” Some passers-by stopped to express sympathy with the protest. Among these were a woman who knew much about the South Korean regime’s jailing of trade unionists and a woman of South Korean origin whose husband was a political activist murdered by the capitalist South Korean regime.

For the brutal, anti-working class South Korean regime to be talking about “human rights” is truly the height of hypocrisy. Yet its attacks on the socialistic North are totally expected. Whilst the DPRK was founded by Korean leftists who heroically fought the Japanese imperialist occupiers and with the vital assistance of the Soviet Red Army freed the Northern part of the peninsula from colonial rule, South Korea was established by the U.S. using many local collaborators with Japanese colonial rule as their henchmen. Among these U.S. henchmen were rich industrialists and big landlords during Japanese rule who defected from the North after the new socialistic power there nationalised industry and divided big landholdings amongst the impoverished poor peasants. Thus for a long time many amongst the Korean masses viewed North Korea as the real Korea and South Korea for what it really was –  a U.S.-occupied puppet state. The South Korean regime and its U.S. patrons could only maintain their rule through the most bloody terror and the support of the occupying U.S. military forces.

14 November 2015, Seoul: Capitalist South Korea’s brutal police unleash water cannon, pepper spray and tear gas to disperse a 70,000 strong anti-government demonstration of workers and civil rights activists.
14 November 2015, Seoul: Capitalist South Korea’s brutal police unleash water cannon, pepper spray and tear gas to disperse a 70,000 strong anti-government demonstration of workers and civil rights activists.

Against the lies being spread by the South Korean regime and the U.S., British, Japanese and Australian ruling classes, we present here some important facts:

  • In the DPRK there is full employment. All workers have a right to work. This does not exist in capitalist South Korea and certainly not in capitalist Australia where greedy bosses feel that they can even get away with sacking workers in strongly unionised workplaces by text message!
  • The liberation in the latter part of World War II of the Northern part of Korea from Japanese colonial rule by the Soviet Red Army and communist-led Korean partisans led to the establishment of a workers state in North Korea. This workers state is, however, weakened by bureaucratic deformations. Thus, although the DPRK defends a pro-working class system based on collective ownership of industry, agriculture and services, the bulk of the working class is kept away from political administration which is in the hands of a relatively narrow bureaucratic layer. There is also a personality cult around leader Kim Jong Un and his late father, previous leader Kim Jong-Il and his deceased grandfather, founding head of the DPRK and former anti-colonial resistance leader, Kim Il Sung. Furthermore, those who form the administrative layer of the DPRK have special material privileges (although these pale in comparison to the extreme wealth of big business owners in capitalist countries). Yet despite these bureaucratic deformations, the existence of a workers state in the Northern part of Korea represents a significant conquest for the international working class. Furthermore, fixing the bureaucratic deformations that weaken the DPRK workers state demands relieving her of the tremendous pressure that is bearing down upon her from the imperialist powers and their South Korean ally.
  • Working in a society where workers have guaranteed jobs and are proclaimed as the ruling class means that North Korean workers enjoy a relaxed, friendly work environment. Indeed, if Aussie bosses saw how laid back North Korean workers were and how much they like to talk to each other whilst working on a production line then they would truly have a fit!
  • In contrast to the North, most South Korean workers toil in insecure casual or temporary jobs. Though the trade union movement there has waged many brave struggles for their rights in the face of fierce repression, still workers are forced to work very long hours. In fact, South Korean workers endure amongst the longest working hours in the world and the large number of workers forced to work part-time there means that the statistics, actually, hide the full extent of the reality.
  • Despite an industrialised economy, in capitalist South Korea, large numbers of homeless people sleep every day in railway subway tunnels. Many frail elderly people are forced to collect recyclables for petty cash since an aged pension barely exists in this country. In contrast, in North Korea, homelessness is non-existent and all citizens are guaranteed heavily subsidised public housing.
  • Despite being devastated in the 1950-53 Korean War, over the following two decades the DPRK built the second most advanced economy in Asia. Up until the late 1960s, the DPRK not only had much better health care, social welfare and education than South Korea but a higher average level of income. At that time, the U.S. decided to massively subsidise South Korean economic development as the U.S. rulers feared that hatred of the South Korean regime and sympathy for the North amongst the South Korean masses would lead to revolution. Thus, South Korea’s industrialisation was based on huge U.S. backing as well as cruel exploitation of its own workers.
  • Up until the collapse of the USSR in 1991-92, North Korean citizens continued to enjoy a high standard of living. However, the destruction of the USSR had a devastating effect on the DPRK. Faced with sanctions from the capitalist world, trade and technical exchanges with the former Soviet Union had been the DPRK’s economic lifeline. Furthermore, the USSR acted as a guarantor of the DPRK’s defence. Now, the DPRK had to provide for its own defence (China’s military was, especially at that time, not comparable to the USSR’s and incapable of providing the same deterrent to imperialist threats to the DPRK) at a time when the imperial powers felt more emboldened than ever. This forced the DPRK to divert a much larger proportion of its economy to defence which in turn squeezed her economy. A period of serious hardship in the country followed. However, by the start of the 21st century this started to turn around and especially over the last few years the DPRK economy has picked up. The military encirclement and the sanctions still hurt the DPRK – for example there is a shortage of fuel and spare parts for machinery and automobiles. Yet the North Korean masses are standing strong much like defiant workers who lose wages whilst on strike. Embarking on the struggle against their enemy brings hardships but they stand firm understanding that victory will open the road to a brighter future.

    The Australian capitalist regime that attacks the DPRK over “human rights” has overseen the death of over 500 Aboriginal people in state custody since 1980. Some of the more well-known cases of Aboriginal people being outright murdered by racist police or killed as a result of racist treatment while in custody include: Eddie Murray (Top Left) who was killed by police in June 1981 in Wee Waa, northern NSW, within an hour of being arrested (merely for being allegedly drunk); 17 year-old TJ Hickey (Top Right) who in February 2004 was chased by racist police in Redfern who then rammed his bicycle causing him to fly through the air and be impaled on a fence; Mulrunji Doomadgee (Bottom Left) who was barbarically beaten to death by racist police officer Chris Hurley in Palm Island in November 2004 and Julieka Dhu (Bottom Right) who while imprisoned in WA’s South Hedland watch house in August 2011 was repeatedly denied medical assistance by racist police as she cried out for help. When eventually taken to hospital on two occasions she never got to see a doctor as police lied to hospital staff that, “she was faking it.” She eventually died as a result of this torture-like denial of medical assistance 48 hours after being jailed for unpaid fines.
    The Australian capitalist regime that attacks the DPRK over “human rights” has overseen the death of over 500 Aboriginal people in state custody since 1980. Some of the more well-known cases of Aboriginal people being outright murdered by racist police or killed as a result of racist treatment while in custody include: Eddie Murray (Top Left) who was killed by police in June 1981 in Wee Waa, northern NSW, within an hour of being arrested (merely for being allegedly drunk); 17 year-old TJ Hickey (Top Right) who in February 2004 was chased by racist police in Redfern who then rammed his bicycle causing him to fly through the air and be impaled on a fence; Mulrunji Doomadgee (Bottom Left) who was barbarically beaten to death by racist police officer Chris Hurley in Palm Island in November 2004 and Julieka Dhu (Bottom Right) who while imprisoned in WA’s South Hedland watch house in August 2011 was repeatedly denied medical assistance by racist police as she cried out for help. When eventually taken to hospital on two occasions she never got to see a doctor as police lied to hospital staff that, “she was faking it.” She eventually died as a result of this torture-like denial of medical assistance 48 hours after being jailed for unpaid fines.
  • In the above sense, North Korean defectors can be compared to weak workers who sneak back to work during a strike because they are looking for short-term economic security at the expense of the long-term well-being of their fellow workers. Some of these defectors, either out of the quest for fame or because of cajoling from the South Korean and Western governments and anti-communist NGOs, have given harrowing tales of life in North Korea. Yet such tales have often been exposed as lies. These included the tales told by the most famous North Korean defector, Yeonmi Park. Her lies were so blatant that even anti-communist news agencies had to report on it. Meanwhile, hundreds of defectors disillusioned with the cut-throat life in the capitalist South with its unemployment and underemployment have, actually, defected back to the North.
  • Even despite the hardships that being squeezed by powerful capitalist powers brings, the North Korean masses manage to have their basic needs met. Contrary to the utter lies of the Western mainstream media there is no starvation in North Korea. Indeed, even statistics compiled by Western agencies hostile to the DPRK reveal this. Thus, the list of the percentage of a country’s population under the age of five who are underweight due to malnourishment estimated by the CIA – an institution thoroughly hostile to and biased against the DPRK – shows that North Korea is not only not among the top ten countries with the highest proportion of malnourished children but not even in the top 40! Indeed, not only do India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have much higher rates of malnourished children but so do other strong Western allies like Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.
  • Similarly, the UN’s World Health Organization estimates life expectancy in the DPRK at 70 years. This is not only decisively higher than in India, Pakistan and PNG but also, actually, slightly higher than in Russia (suffering as Russia is, of course, from the capitalist counter-revolution that dismantled the world’s first workers state, the Soviet Union, in 1991) as well as the Philippines.
  • Despite the external pressure it faces, the DPRK has completely free health care and education. As a result, the DPRK has one of the highest literacy rates in the world for both women and men and a highly educated population.
  • North Koreans enjoy a rich social and cultural life. Peoples’ favourite hobbies include sports, dancing and playing music. As in much of Asia, people love karaoke. A recent craze there are amusement parks which have started springing up all over the country.
  • North Korea is a sports mad country and you can often see people jogging in the streets, playing in parks or training in the country’s many sports pavilions. At the last Olympic Games in London, the DPRK finished 20th in the medal tally – punching above its weight for a country of its size.
  • Many North Koreans play musical instruments and sing. Classical Korean and classical Western music, light semi-classical Korean tunes and pop music are all popular. The most popular band in North Korea at the moment, the extremely talented, all-female Moranbong Band plays all these styles alongside Western pop pieces.

    North Korean children having fun at a playground near a housing complex. Photo: Trotskyist Platform
    North Korean children having fun at a playground near a housing complex. Photo: Trotskyist Platform
  • In South Korea (the Republic of Korea), the very tough work environment for workers and the cut-throat nature of the capitalist society in general has led to it having the second highest suicide rate in the world. To put this in perspective, the suicide rate in South Korea is more than two and a half times that of Australia’s and nearly four times that of the Peoples Republic of China.
  • Despite having the hide to attack the DPRK over “human rights,” it is South Korea that has an appalling record of crushing the human rights of workers. The Seoul regime regularly arrests and imprisons trade union activists, including several trade union leaders who were arrested only two months ago .
  • Many people are persecuted under South Korea’s draconian National Security Law. In 2010 a woman was given a two year jail term for possessing MP3 files of instrumental music that was alleged to have pro-North Korea titles!
  • Last December, the South Korean regime banned the country’s third largest party in parliament, the left-leaning Unified Progressive Party (UPP), and stripped its MPs of its parliamentary seats. The UPP was accused of organising a pro-North Korea rebellion as the party’s actually quite critical attitude to the DPRK is, however, not hard line enough for the South Korean authorities. The UPP had won over two million votes (just over 10% of the total) in the proportional representation side of the last South Korean elections in 2012.
  • Capitalist rule in South Korea was consolidated by fanatical right-wing terror. From April 1948 to May 1949, the U.S. military government and their South Korean henchmen killed over 30,000 people on South Korea’s Jeju Island after the population rose up following repeated police shootings of pro-communist activists. Even the South Korean regime’s own commission – some 60 years after the fact – accepted that at least 20,000 people jailed for participation in the Jeju uprising were later massacred shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War.
  • More broadly, at the start of the Korean War, the South Korean rulers with the connivance of the U.S and Australia killed communists and those suspected of being communist sympathisers in what was known as the Bodo League massacres. Estimates of the number of people murdered ranged from 100,000 to 1.2 million. For decades in South Korea those who even spoke of these massacres were jailed. Although today South Korea flaunts an image of “democracy” and finally acknowledges, in part, the Bodo League massacres, it remains ruled by a brutal anti-working class regime.
    In May 1980, the South Korean military and police massacred over 2,000 people in the city of Kwangju after leftist students and workers there staged a rebellion demanding an end to martial law and an increase in minimum wages.
  • The South Korean regime for decades either pressured or coerced local women to work as “comfort women” prostitutes for stationed American troops. They then stigmatised the women and left them to live in poverty. Over 120 surviving comfort women are now suing the South Korean regime.
  • The South Korean regime is far from the only hypocrite amongst those falsely attacking the DPRK over “human rights.” So are the rulers of the U.S., Britain, Australia and other Washington allies. In Vietnam, these forces killed over two million Vietnamese people in their cruel but, ultimately, futile and losing war against the heroic Vietnamese revolutionaries. Over the course of the 1991 First Gulf War attack on Iraq, the subsequent starvation-causing UN sanctions on Iraq and the 2003 invasion and occupation, the U.S., British and Australian regimes caused the death of over one and a half million Iraqi people. In 2001, they invaded Afghanistan to replace the fundamentalist cutthroats that they, themselves, had helped bring to power with a new lot of misogynist tyrants that are, however, even more slavish to them. In the process they bombed Afghanistan back to the stone-age and massacred thousands of civilians in countless “accidental” air strikes on wedding parties and civilian travel convoys. In neighbouring Pakistan, U.S. drone strikes unleashed against the wishes of Pakistan’s government kill hundreds upon hundreds of civilians. Meanwhile, four years ago, the NATO imperialists, egged on by the Australian government, violently deposed the then Libyan government. In doing so they not only killed tens of thousands of Libyan people in savage air strikes but turned that once peaceful and affluent country into a nightmarish “failed state” ruled by rival gangs of religious extremists and warlords and caused tens of thousands of Libyans to flee in dangerous boat trips to Europe.

    Workers at North Korea’s Taedongang Tile Plant. North Korea has a relaxed and friendly work environment where at least two people are stationed at assembly line node points that would, in places like Australia or Indonesia, have only one worker doing all the work. Photo: Trotskyist Platform
    Workers at North Korea’s Taedongang Tile Plant. North Korea has a relaxed and friendly work environment where at least two people are stationed at assembly line node points that would, in places like Australia or Indonesia, have only one worker doing all the work. Photo: Trotskyist Platform
  • As part of all these neo-colonial wars of conquest, the U.S. and their allies have used torture to advance their goals. There was the notorious torture of Iraqi political prisoners by the U.S. at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, NATO’s torture in Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base and the ongoing U.S. hellhole prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.
  • The Australian capitalist ruling class has perpetrated such atrocities not only as junior partners of the U.S. but sometimes from neo-colonial interventions it has itself led. In the late 1980s, when the people of the PNG-controlled island of Bougainville rose up to resist the terrible destruction of their livelihoods by Australian mining company CRA (this company which operated the huge Panguna mine in Bougainville with callous disregard to the local people later merged with British RTZ to form Rio Tinto), the Australian regime and its PNG government henchmen orchestrated a brutal war and naval blockade against the Bougainville people. As a result 15,000 to 20,000 Bougainville people perished – all for the sake of the profits of Australian capitalist bigwigs.
  • Here at home, the Australian rulers who attack the DPRK over “human rights” continue to preside over genocidal attacks on Aboriginal people, including forcibly closing down Aboriginal communities, stripping Aboriginal children from their families and police killings of Aboriginal people in custody. Meanwhile, refugees arriving in this country are thrown into hell-hole offshore detention camps where they face beatings, torture and in some cases murder at the hands of camp guards.
  • In the U.S., racist police and white supremacists murder blacks, Asians and Hispanics at an alarming and seemingly ever increasing rate. Meanwhile, the U.S. has the largest prison population in the world – more than the entire population of Brisbane! The rate of imprisonment in the U.S. is close to four times that of Venezuela and nearly six times that of China.
People get set for a ride in one of North Korea’s many fun parks. Visiting amusement parks is one of the latest crazes in North Korea. You certainly would not know that from the mainstream Western media coverage about North Korea which seeks to do everything possible to demonise the society. Photo: Trotskyist Platform.
People get set for a ride in one of North Korea’s many fun parks. Visiting amusement parks is one of the latest crazes in North Korea. You certainly would not know that from the mainstream Western media coverage about North Korea which seeks to do everything possible to demonise the society.
Photo: Trotskyist Platform.

The truth is that the only “rights” that those waging the anti-DPRK “human rights” campaign are truly concerned about is the right of greedy corporate bigwigs to exploit the toil of working class people and the right of their mouthpieces to propagate the “virtues” of such a system. These rights do not, thankfully, exist in North Korea. And let’s keep it that way!

Defend the DPRK workers state! Down with the right-wing campaign of lies about North Korea! U.S. troops get out of South Korea and Japan! End all sanctions against North Korea! Remove the U.S. troops from Darwin and the U.S. spy facilities at Pine Gap and elsewhere in Australia which are used primarily for furthering U.S.-Australian ruling class threats against the DPRK and the Peoples Republic of China!

Apart from facilitating attacks on the socialistic DPRK, the lies about the “human rights” situation in the DPRK are used to distract the masses in South Korea, the U.S.A and Australia from the distinct lack of rights that working class people have in their own countries. So we demand: Repeal South Korea’s fascistic National Security Law! Revoke the ban on South Korea’s Unified Progressive Party! Free all imprisoned trade union activists in South Korea! Free all the refugees in Australia! Down with the police murder of Aboriginal people in state custody in Australia! End the Australian regime’s forced closure of remote Aboriginal communities! For the guaranteed right to a full-time job in Australia – just like people enjoy in North Korea!

Supporters Greet Arrival of DPRK Soccer Team for Asia Cup Finals

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6th of January 2015 Sydney Airport Supporters Greet Arrival of DPRK Soccer Team for Asia Cup Finals.

When the DPRK soccer team arrived in Sydney for the January 2015 Asia Cup Finals, the capitalist-owned media went all out to demonise the team as highly secretive, repressed and without support. This is part of their general propaganda war against socialistic North Korea. The aim of this campaign is to justify to the Australian masses the Australian ruling class’ participation in the relentless imperialist drive to crush the DPRK workers state through military, economic and political pressure.

However, the media narrative took a blow when people at Sydney Airport coming to pick up their arriving friends and relatives found an enthusiastic group of DPRK supporters welcoming the arrival of the team. Supporters of Trotskyist Platform, the Australia-DPRK Friendship Society and the Communist Party of Australia rallied at Sydney Airport to welcome the DPRK soccer team.

An Eyewitness Account of North Korea and Its People

An Eyewitness Account of North Korea and Its People:

Bravely Building a Friendly, Socialistic Society While in the Cross Hairs of Imperialism

As my trip to North Korea approached, I started to feel excited. I was going to see for myself what this country was really like – this country that has been so vilified by the mainstream Western media.

I will not pretend that I went to North Korea with no pre-conceived ideas. This is unlike the Western capitalist media who pretend to be “unbiased”, “neutral” observers who are supposedly “shocked” when they go to North Korea for an “investigative” report. Before I went to North Korea – or, as it is properly known, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea – I understood it to be a workers state. By this I understood that capitalist rule had been smashed in North Korea and a state defending socialistic, collectivised property to be ruling there. This represented a huge step forward for social progress and for the global struggle of socialism against capitalism. However, the way that the socialistic system was run in the DPRK was somewhat deformed from the way a truly socialist order would be run because the administration of the country was monopolised by a bureaucratic layer that kept the masses out of real decision making power. Nevertheless, the DPRK was courageously holding out for socialism in the face of both economic sanctions and the most intense military threats from U.S. imperialism and its South Korean capitalist and Japanese and Australian imperialist allies. I understood that this intense pressure on the DPRK brought hardship to the North Korean people and made the bureaucratic deformations to its socialistic system more significant. Yet despite these difficulties, as a workers state embodying great gains for the exploited and oppressed of the whole globe, the DPRK must be unconditionally defended from military or propaganda attacks by capitalist countries and from external or internal forces seeking to undermine socialistic rule there. Continue reading An Eyewitness Account of North Korea and Its People

An Eye Witness Account of Capitalist South Korea

An Eye Witness Account of Capitalist South Korea

Seoul’s subway at 7pm where 33 or more homeless people are resting. This situation in South Korea is in stark contrast to that in its northern socialistic neighbour where housing has been expropriated from the landlords and collectivised to provide free public housing.
Seoul’s subway at 7pm where 33 or more homeless people are resting. This situation in South Korea is in stark contrast to that in its northern socialistic neighbour where housing has been expropriated from the landlords and collectivised to provide free public housing.
An elderly working class man doing it tough in South Korea: it is common to witness many resorting to collecting recyclables for petty cash in a country where an aged pension is virtually non-existent.
An elderly working class man doing it tough in South Korea: it is common to witness many resorting to collecting recyclables for petty cash in a country where an aged pension is virtually non-existent.
South Korean Ssangyong workers armed with metal pipes during their 2009 industrial struggle with the car company. In South Korea workers have a strong history of resisting their exploiters and subsequently being brutalised by the capitalist state.
South Korean Ssangyong workers armed with metal pipes during their 2009 industrial struggle with the car company. In South Korea workers have a strong history of resisting their exploiters and subsequently being brutalised by the
capitalist state.

I met relatives for the first time at Incheon Airport, South Korea. As we travelled towards Seoul, I looked out the car window. Out there were signs of highly urbanised life: tall, twenty storey buildings clumped together in the distance and we hadn’t even reached Seoul, the capital city, just yet. I remember being eager to see every aspect of South Korea, especially the ‘development’ of an ‘Asian Tiger Economy’ under capitalism. In the following article I will share my experiences of and some of my discoveries about South Korea: conversations with the people, a rally for workers’ rights that I attended and my thoughts on the situation in general of socialists and left-wing activists in South Korea. Continue reading An Eye Witness Account of Capitalist South Korea

2011 Feb, Rally Leaflet: Down with the Capitalists’ Provocations Against Socialistic North Korea!

Do you hate capitalism? Well if you truly do then you must take a stand with the socialistic DPRK against the intense threats it is facing from capitalist states.

Rally to demand: U.S. Military Get out of the Korean Peninsula and the Yellow Sea!

Down with the Capitalists’ Provocations Against Socialistic North Korea!

12 February 2011, Saturday 2pm, Sydney Town Hall Square

The governments of the U.S., Japan, South Korea and Australia have launched a volley of threats against North Korea. It is only support for the DPRK from the Peoples Republic of China that has thus far prevented an all out U.S.-led invasion of North Korea.

Continue reading 2011 Feb, Rally Leaflet: Down with the Capitalists’ Provocations Against Socialistic North Korea!

Speakout Demands: Stop The Capitalists’ Provocations against Socialistic North Korea!

Yeongpyeong Island, Korea, December 2010: Troops from capitalist South Korea prepare for a highly provocative live fire exercise in this military outpost, lying in disputed waters.

Speakout Demands:

Stop The Capitalists’ Provocations against Socialistic North Korea!

Late last year the capitalist countries, led by the U.S., were on the verge of provoking a full-scale war with North Korea. This followed a clash on November 23 between the militaries of U.S.-backed, capitalist South Korea and the North Korean workers state. Continue reading Speakout Demands: Stop The Capitalists’ Provocations against Socialistic North Korea!