New Imperialist Threats in East Asia: Hands off North Korea!

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 12.3.2013. Supported by the Internationalist Socialist League (Israel / Occupied Palestine) on 13.3.2013

1. The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously for a US-drafted resolution which tightens the sanctions on North Korea. The RCIT denounces this decision as an attempt of the imperialist Great Powers – first and foremost the USA – to pressurize and subjugate North Korea. Worse, it could present the pretext of an US-led imperialist war against North Korea. The international workers movement must oppose these sanctions and mobilize against such a possible war. In case of a military conflict the RCIT calls for the defeat of the imperialist forces and their allies and for the defense of North Korea.

2. The official justification of these reactionary sanctions is that North Korea conducted its third nuclear test. This is completely ridiculous! Take the five permanent members of this UN Security Council which impose these sanctions: USA, Russia, China, France and Britain. According to the 2012 issue of the SIPRI Yearbook, these Great Powers possess currently – 8,000, 10,000, 240, 300 and 225 nuclear warheads. North Korea possess according to all serious reports zero nuclear warheads! And these arrogant imperialist powers take the liberty to impose sanctions against a small country like North Korea because it … conducts its third nuclear test!

3. A similar laughable lie is the claim that North Korea poses a threat to the region or even the USA itself. Such a threat exist only in the fever fantasy of reactionary dumb US film makers who display the scenario of a North Korean paratrooper invasion of the USA in the recently published and unintended comical film Red Dawn. North Korea is a poor country of 24 million people with a GDP roughly equal to North Dakota’s! While North Korea never attacked the USA, this biggest imperialist power indeed waged war against North Korea in 1950-53 in which one million people died. Since then the USA has built military basis in South Korea and currently stations there 28,500 soldiers. It is US imperialism and its allies who pose a threat to North Korea and not the other way round.

4. This shame sanctions show once more the reactionary character of the United Nations. It is an imperialist-dominated body which is only effective when the Great Powers agree on a common reactionary policy. If the Great Powers disagree, the UN becomes a toothless talking shop (see the charade resolutions which criticize the racist Apartheid state Israel). Only in the fantasy world of petty-bourgeois day-dreamers as well as social democratic and Stalinist bureaucrats the UN can play a progressive role. The RCIT rejects all those reformist and pacifist strategies which appeal to the UN to solve any of the world’s conflicts. It is only the consistent proletarian class struggle against imperialism and against reactionary ruling regimes leading to the international socialist revolution which can remove these threats to peace for once and all.

5. North Korea is a Degenerated Workers State. This means that a counter-revolutionary Stalinist bureaucracy rules over the working class. Its economic basis however remains a planned economy. Such proletarian property relations are superior to the anarchy of capitalism and have to be defended. However the regime of Kim Jong-un is a particularly grotesque form of Stalinist dictatorship. Its policy of national autarky leads to impoverishment and misery for the people. The regime does not allow any form of democracy – not to speak about working class councils. It opens its economy to foreign capitalists. In the so-called “Kaesŏng Industrial Park” – a North Korean region at the border to South Korea – 123 South Korean corporations operate currently. Under the strict control of the North Korean repression apparatus, they have produced commodities worth US$470 million in 2012. The South Korean capitalists make massive profits from the super-exploitation of 53,500 North Korean workers employed at the industrial park who receive wages of only about $160 per month. This is one-fifth of the South Korean minimum wage, and about a quarter of an average Chinese wage. What a disgusting example of “peaceful co-existence” between the Stalinist rulers and the capitalist exploiters on the back of the workers!

6. The North Korean working class, while defending its country against imperialismand its allies, must aim to prepare for a political revolution with the goal to overthrow the Stalinist regime and to create a healthy workers state based on workers and peasant councils and militias. Part of such a revolution must be its extension to South Korea whose proletariat has demonstrated a proud tradition of class struggle in the past decades. The rallying cry must be: “For the revolutionary unification of the Korean peninsula!” and “For a Korean Workers and Peasant Republic!”

7. US imperialism escalates its war-mongering against North Korea in order to strengthen its position in the increasingly important region of East Asia and to weaken its biggest rival, emerging imperialist China. In such a situation the international workers movement must not remain passive. It must oppose the imperialist sanctions and mobilize against a possible war in broad united front actions. Transport workers and their trade unions must attempt to break the sanctions.

8. In case of a military conflict the RCIT calls for the defeat of the imperialist forces and their allies and for the defense of North Korea. A successful defense of North Korea against US imperialism would weaken the biggest power and hence the biggest enemy of the world’s working class and oppressed people. It would encourage the anti-imperialist liberation struggle all over the world. This is why the international workers movement – including the social democratic, Stalinist, Maoist and centrist parties and trade unions – must unite in waging all forms of class struggle resistance. For demonstrations, strikes, sabotage etc. in order to stop such a reactionary imperialist war! They must strive to turn such a war into a defeat for the imperialist rulers. The RCIT denounces the cowardice of the reformists and centrist left who hardly can bring themselves upon an unambiguous stand to defend North Korea against sanction and wars.

9. At the same time there must be not an inch of political support for the reactionary regime of Kim Jong-un. The workers and peasants of North Korea should organize and prepare for the coming political revolution against the corrupt and repressive clique which runs the country in its comfortable palaces in Pyongyang. Down with the Stalinist dictatorship! For the political revolution! For a Workers and Peasant Republic!

International Secretariat of the RCIT

11 Comments to "New Imperialist Threats in East Asia: Hands off North Korea!"

  1. Ian's Gravatar Ian
    March 20, 2013 - 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that this documents says that North Korea is a ‘degenerated workers state’, and the LRP is supporting this statement.

    Can I take it that the LRP is accurate, and that you comrades have changed your position on the former Soviet bloc?

    I understand that there is a document that explains your new position on the ‘workers state’ question. Are you planning to publish it? I would be very interested to read it. Or can you please forward me a copy?



    • Boris Hammerschlag's Gravatar Boris Hammerschlag
      March 20, 2013 - 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Yes, comrade, the majority vote in the ISL has returned to a higher level of analysis of the countries in which the bourgeoisie was eliminated and the property relations shifted towards a transitional form of state property.

      To us the workers’ states which were taken over by counterrevolutionary elements of the bureaucracy were, and still are transitional societies (neither capitalist nor socialist) of counterrevolutionary character, on the move towards reverting to capitalism, each at its own pace.

      We differ from other groups with similar analyses by the fact that we refuse to support this counterrevolutionary leadership politically and ascribe it any progressive character, while protecting the nationalized transitional form of property relations.

      A full document is not ready yet for public review but will be in the near future.

      • Gerry Downing's Gravatar Gerry Downing
        April 10, 2013 - 11:12 pm | Permalink

        “We differ from other groups with similar analyses by the fact that we refuse to support this counterrevolutionary leadership politically and ascribe it any progressive character, while protecting the nationalized transitional form of property relations.” That is the Trotskyist position which most groups calling themselves Trotskyist would support, or at least individuals who havemadeany serious study of Trotskyism. So there was a “makority” vote – which side was Yossi on? And how about the bloc with the ‘Islamists’ in Syria?

    • Gerry Downing's Gravatar Gerry Downing
      April 10, 2013 - 11:09 pm | Permalink

      The LRP are not supporting this statement as can be seen from tjheir webnsite, ian. You probably do not know that the ISL have broken from the LRP. They remain state capitalists although I am sure they would defend north Korea, though not because it was any king of a workers state, degenerated ot not.

      • Ian's Gravatar Ian
        April 28, 2013 - 1:07 am | Permalink

        My post above contained an unfortunate typo. I was questioning the ISL about their position on North Korea, and whether what the LRP said about their position was true but I garbled the their names and could not edit my post … anyway, I got my answer.

        Its a shame, since the LRP are right in a world-historic sense on Stalinism – the bankruptcy of modern day ‘Trotskyism’ is ultimately a result of terrible, crippling errors and betrayals that derive from this problem. I don’t think those who move back and forth on this issue have much future to be honest….

  2. Dónal's Gravatar Dónal
    June 1, 2013 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

    It’s very disappointing to see the ISL’s politics deteriorate so markedly. In concrete terms, how are the “proletarian (state) relations (forms)” of property in North Korea superior to more ‘traditional’ capitalist societies?

  3. Boris Hammerschlag's Gravatar Boris Hammerschlag
    June 5, 2013 - 3:25 pm | Permalink

    They had no choice – they did that because the bourgeoisie was too weak to prevent a working class revolution. They prevented working class revolutions by eliminating the bourgeoisie and wielding state power to keep the workers down and atomized until it was time to restore capitalism. Lacking revolutionary leadership, the working class was unable to fight back.

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