Masthead for WDIE

Year 2001 No. 53, March 21, 2001 Archive Search Home Page

Socialist DPRK:

Condemn the Reactionary and Dangerous Hard-Line Policy of the Bush Administration

Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :

Socialist DPRK:
Condemn the Reactionary and Dangerous Hard-Line Policy of the Bush Administration

DPRK Warns US Administration against Hard-Line Policy

Seminar: Remembering President Kim Il Sung

Racial Violence on the Increase

41st Anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre

NUJ Calls for Express Journalists’ Action

International News:
Naples, Italy: Militant Protests Oppose Neo-liberal Globalisation
Peaceful Palestinian Women's Demonstration Met With Israeli Violence
Sealing Off Humanity
Forthcoming Arab Summit in Amman

Daily On Line Newspaper of the
Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

170, Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LA. Phone 020 7627 0599
Web Site: http://www.rcpbml.org.uk
e-mail: office@rcpbml.org.uk
Subscription Rates (Cheques made payable to Workers' Publication Centre):
Workers' Weekly Printed Edition:
70p per issue, £2.70 for 4 issues, £17 for 26 issues, £32 for 52 issues (including postage)

Workers' Daily Internet Edition sent by e-mail daily (Text e-mail):
1 issue free, 6 months £5, Yearly £10


Socialist DPRK:

Condemn the Reactionary and Dangerous Hard-Line Policy of the Bush Administration

The Korean people have a deep aspiration for the reunification of their country. There is one Korean nation, not two. The Korean Peninsula has been forcibly divided since the end of the Korean War in 1953 along the line of the armistice that US imperialism had ignominiously to sign. The United States and their puppets in South Korea early on reneged on their agreement to conduct peace talks and for the US to withdraw their troops, and staged one provocation after another, going completely against the letter and the spirit of the armistice agreement. Even now, 37,000 US troops are stationed in South Korea, not to mention their armaments, and their continual staging of provocative war exercises in the seas around the Korean Peninsula.

Thanks to the far-sighted and deeply felt policy of the leadership of the Korean people in the persons of DPRK President, the late Kim Il Sung, and since his death General Secretary Kim Jong Il, great advances were made in movement for Korean reunification when South Korean President Kim Dae Jung visited North Korean capital Pyongyang in June 2000. This opened the path for concrete measures towards reunification and for the deepening of the relations between North and South. It also prepared the conditions whereby the Clinton administration, with no option but to welcome the progressive developments and having despatched then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to visit Pyongyang, was on the verge of sending the US President himself to visit the DPRK, and opening up the prospects for the normalisation of relations between the two governments.

The Korean people’s struggle for the country’s reunification in an independent and peaceful way without interference from outside forces, which is very just and enjoys widespread support from democratic world opinion, seemed on the point of taking on an unstoppable momentum. Great progress had been made in the efforts to ease the tension and to secure peace and security in the Korean Peninsula since the historic North-South Summit.

However, the situation in the Korean Peninsula has recently taken a turn for the worse following the coming to power of the Bush administration. It has given rise to serious concern among the Korean people and progressive people world-wide that the peace process could return to the original state of confrontation of the north and the south, with its inherent danger of another disastrous Korean war.

Recently the Bush administration has been openly clamouring that it would take a "hard-line" stand towards the DPRK. Against all the evidence of the facts, the Bush administration has absurdly asserted that "the DPRK-US Agreed Framework is not transparent and the real intention of the DPRK is not clear". Nothing could be a more complete negation of the actual situation. This is known to all, including the Bush administration itself. The conclusion is therefore that the Bush administration does not want the peace process in the Korean peninsula to go further, wishes to turn back the wheel of history, and through its "hard-line" stance is rekindling the US imperialist ambition to overwhelm socialist North Korea by force.

If this is indeed the case, then the Bush administration is seriously miscalculating. While the US imperialists accuse the DPRK of being a "rogue state", a "failed state", and use this as a pretext for developing the NMD and taking a warmongering stand towards North Korea, they well know that it is the Korean people who are peace-loving and desire a peaceful and sovereign solution to the problem of the division of their country. But this does not mean they are prepared to sacrifice the sovereignty of the DPRK and its socialist system. Far from it. They are fully prepared to defend their country by arms if attacked with arms. This is their sacred right.

The Bush administration must drop its "hard-line" stand towards the DPRK and put a stop to the "policy of strength" which US imperialism is adopting. This is not only a reactionary and imperialist policy but is fraught with danger for the Korean Peninsula, East Asia and the whole world. WDIE vigorously condemns the reactionary and dangerous hard-line policy of the Bush administration towards the socialist DPRK, and calls on the British working class and all the progressive and democratic forces to join in condemning US imperialism and taking a stand in solidarity with the Korean people and their steadfast, revolutionary and principled attitude towards all the threats of the Bush administration.

We also call on the British government to completely dissociate itself with the stand of the Bush administration on this question. The British government recently established diplomatic relations with the DPRK and only a matter of days ago sent Permanent under-secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office John Kerr and his party to visit the DPRK to discuss the positive development of bilateral relations between Britain and the DPRK, including in the fields of politics, the economy and culture. We call upon the government to make their deeds match their words, and play their part in ensuring the US administration of George W Bush is totally isolated on its "hard-line" stance, and should think twice before pursuing its interests in this reactionary and dangerous way.

We are confident that final victory rests with the progressive and popular forces. But this victory rests upon the stand of these forces world-wide for what is just and against what is unjust. The Korean people can rest assured that in standing up to the warmongering policy of George W Bush, they stand shoulder to shoulder with all the forces in struggle for a new society and against imperialist warmongering and intervention, and this is their most reliable support.

Article Index



DPRK Warns US Administration against Hard-Line Policy

The US imperialists have announced that they intend to deploy four sophisticated helicopters "MH-47E" for special operations in South Korea. They are contemplating the delivery of various types of military equipment, including "F-15K" fighter-bombers. The US is steadily escalating hostile acts and war exercises against the DPRK, creating tension in the Korean Peninsula.

Although the Bush administration claims that the DPRK’s stand to the DPRK-US Agreed Framework is not transparent and that it is a "rogue state", it is the US that is not "transparent" towards the Agreed Framework (AF). The construction of light water reactors, a core point of the AF, is being indefinitely delayed due to the deliberate negligence of the US. The DPRK is suffering heavy economic losses because of this.

The US is pursuing a strategy of unipolar globalisation which is threatening the independence of nations and the sovereignty of peoples. To this end, under the pretext of combating "rogue states", US President Bush is stepping up his programme to put in place the dangerous "National Missile Defence" system.

In this increasingly dangerous situation for the DPRK and the world’s people, the people and government of the DPRK are warning that they will never tolerate these adventurist moves, and will deal telling blows at US imperialism or at whoever else might dare to attack their country. They point out that it is preposterous for the US imperialists, who are the most dangerous force for aggression, to label any other country as a "dangerous state". The DPRK in these circumstances is being compelled to strengthen its defence capability through a policy of self-reliance and building up the strength of the Korean people’s army and the readiness of the Korean people as a whole.

Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the Workers’ Party of Korea, in a signed article on March 18, says that the anti-US struggle at present is the common duty and prime task of all the people the world over and the main strategy of global independence in our era. The newspaper points out that without the struggle against the US imperialists, world peace and security cannot be defended, nor can the sovereignty of the nation be achieved. The anti-imperialist and independent forces of the world, it says, should strengthen their unity and fight against the US imperialists with concerted efforts and give no place for the US to set foot.

The newspaper continues that it is one of the basic methods applied by the US imperialists to embroil all reactionary forces in the campaign against the anti-imperialist and independent countries. Therefore, it is an important part of the anti-US struggle to fight against the stooges and followers of the US imperialists.

The article stresses that the US imperialists are trying to establish a unipolar world under their domination, resorting to high-handed and arbitrary practices even under the circumstances where multilateral international relations are being established in the 21st century. It concludes that the progressive people of the world should squarely see the aggressive nature and true colour of the US imperialists and join the ranks of the struggle against this common enemy of humankind.

Article Index



SEMINAR:

REMEMBERING PRESIDENT KIM IL SUNG

The Korea Friendship and Solidarity Campaign is holding a Seminar on the President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the late Kim Il Sung

To mark the 89th anniversary of his birth, the KFSC has invited two speakers who knew President Kim Il Sung personally to discuss his contributions to the anti-imperialist, non-aligned and socialist movements in Korea, Asia and the world.

SPEAKERS:

Dr Vishwanath:
Director General, International Institute of the Juche Idea
Secretary-General, International Kim Il Sung Prize Council
Publisher, Kim Il Sung Encyclopaedia

Dr Vishwanath met the President on 22 occasions between 1974 and 1994. He has also met General Secretary Kim Jong Il twice.

Professor Mohammed Arif:
General Secretary, British Afro-Asian Solidarity Organisation

Professor Mohammed Arif met President Kim Il Sung in 1990.

Thursday, March 29, 2001

7:30pm

Marx Memorial Library, 37A Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1 (Nearest tube: Farringdon)

Further details: KFSC, BM Box 1322, London, WC1N 3XX

Article Index



Racial Violence on the Increase

Two years after the Macpherson Report into the handling of the Stephen Lawrence case, the Institute of Race Relations reports that racial violence is becoming more serious and prevalent.

Nineteen people have lost their lives in Britain in racially motivated attacks since February 1999, according to a new report published by the Institute. Increasingly, serious racial violence is being perpetrated against members of newly-arrived and asylum-seeker communities. Despite the fact that half of Macpherson's recommendations were about racial violence, especially how the police and Crown Prosecution Service should act over such cases, families of victims remain dissatisfied with the lack of will to take such racism seriously, the report says.

The IRR’s report, Counting the cost: racial violence since Macpherson, was commissioned for London Boroughs Grants, a funder for London’s voluntary sector. It is not clear whether the report succeeds in identifying the source of racial violence. For example, it appears to defuse the Macpherson Reports’ charge of "institutional racism" in the police and Crown Prosecution Service by suggesting that voluntary groups themselves need to meet the challenge of racial violence by further tackling the ways their personnel and structures contribute to an "inadvertent racism".

It has been well-known for some time that state-organised racist violence and racial discrimination are the problems which are of concern to all members of the polity.

Article Index



41st Anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre

Today, Wednesday, March 21, marks the 41st anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre. In this massacre by the inhuman apartheid regime of South Africa, 69 people were killed in the black township of Sharpeville, 40 miles south of Johannesburg, when police fired in cold blood on a peaceful demonstration against apartheid in 1960.

The massacre took place during a campaign launched by the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania against the pass laws. These laws required non-white South Africans to carry identity papers at all times, and were not only a pretext for carrying out widescale arrests and brutal treatment of the Azanian people, but were a fundamental affront to their dignity as human beings and underlined their status as "inferior" humans in the eyes of the white racist minority regime which had the backing of imperialism.

To commemorate this anniversary, as well as to mark the UN International Day against Racial Discrimination, community radios across five continents are staging a 24-hour joint broadcast co-production campaign.

The broadcast, Radio voix sans frontières, is co-ordinated by AMARC, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, and will be hosted by the Centre for Democratic Communications in Johannesburg. The broadcast will be streamed on the Internet at http://www.amarc.org/vsf

Among the features of the broadcast are: a co-production of broadcasters from southern Africa (South Africa, Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho); a live feed from the UN headquarters in New York, where a special conference on the empowerment of youth is being held, with statements from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, and from the organisers of the world conference against racism and xenophobia in Durban, which will take place in September; and an interview by FIRE (Feminist International Radio Endeavour) in Costa Rica, with Gabriela Rodriguez, Special Rapporteur of the UN for Human Rights and Migration, who is to talk about women in armed conflict and the need for education about their rights.

Full programme and satellite details are available on the broadcast website.

Article Index



NUJ Calls for Express Journalists’ Action

Jeremy Dear, the NUJ’s national newspaper organiser, has issued a warning to staff on the Express newspaper that industrial action is the only way to prevent large-scale redundancies. The warning follows a meeting last Friday of the Express Newspapers NUJ chapel.

At this meeting, an overwhelming vote to prepare a ballot for industrial action was passed, with four votes against and 11 abstentions. Jeremy Dear gave his warning following speculation over the weekend that an overwhelming number of journalists would push for voluntary redundancy. Last week it was confirmed that Express Newspapers would make 145 journalists redundant.

Article Index



International News

Naples, Italy:

Militant Protests Oppose Neo-liberal Globalisation

From March 15-17, the Third Global Forum was held in Naples, Italy. This year's theme was "Fostering Democracy and Development through E-Government". On March 17, reports indicate that up to 30,000 demonstrators converged on the city, staging militant demonstrations opposing the forum as a ruse for neo-liberal globalisation.

According to news reports, demonstrators from around Italy and Europe were joined by thousands of people from Naples itself. Flags, banners and placards denounced the neo-liberal agenda and many Italians put forward demands to their government. After gathering at the train station, demonstrators marched toward the Naples Royal Palace where, behind its 30-foot walls, the forum was being held. News sources report that police fired teargas and rubber bullets at demonstrators when they met the barricades and steel fencing which ringed off a half-mile area in the centre of the city. Seventy protesters were injured along with 50 police, and over 100 arrests were made. Over 5,000 regular police, Carabinieri (military forces with civic duties) and tactical squads were brought to Naples in the week before the forum.

The Third Global Forum was sponsored by the Italian government in association with the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations. The forum involved 800 delegates from 120 governments and international organisations. Delegates to the forum included Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, interior ministers from several European and African countries, senior officials of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the chief executives of dozens of global corporations.

Subsidiary themes of the conference included "governance issues in the on-line era", "e-government" and "e-democracy". In the weeks leading up to the conference, protesters hijacked conference websites, redirecting visitors to websites of protest organisers.

Article Index



Peaceful Palestinian Women's Demonstration Met With Israeli Violence

A peaceful women's march protesting against Israel's multiple siege policy on the Palestinian territories ended violently on Monday, March 19, with the Israeli army's excessive and indiscriminate use of force. Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets and stun-grenades at the demonstrators, lightly injuring more than five people. These included the Secretary General of MIFTAH (The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy), and Palestinian Legislative Council Member, Dr Hanan Ashrawi.

The march, which was organised by the General Union of Palestinian Women, passed through the Qalandia Israeli army checkpoint, as a symbolic gesture of protest against Israel's blockade on Palestinian villages, towns, and cities.

The demonstrators marched on peacefully to the next checkpoint at Al-Ram. The Public Information Department of MIFTAH explains that the march, which included Palestinian women activists and leaders, as well as civil society advocates, was intended to voice Palestinian rejection of the Israeli occupation in a non-violent manner, but with a human message of peaceful resistance to the brutality of Israel's occupation.

The Israeli army's use of force against Palestinian demonstrators is another proof of Israel's disregard of the rights of the Palestinians and a blatant and unjustifiable suppression of the Palestinian people's right to freedom of expression, as well as freedom of movement in their own land.

Earlier this month, a similar rally protesting against Israel's destruction of the Ramallah-Bir Zeit road ended with the killing of 28-year-old Abdel-Qader Hamdan, after Israeli soldiers stationed around the village of Surda opened fire with live ammunition at peaceful demonstrators.

WDIE strongly condemns Israel's inhuman treatment of the Palestinian people and calls for an immediate end to the siege on the Palestinian territories, to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and for a sovereign Palestinian state, and an end to all outside interference in the Middle East so that the Israeli and Arab peoples may settle their problems justly and peacefully.

Article Index



Sealing Off Humanity

WDIE is reproducing the following article written by Naomi Chazan, dated March 16, for the information of our readers. Ms Chazan is a member of the Israeli Knesset and a founding board member of Bat Shalom of the Jerusalem Link. Bat Shalom is an organisation of women working towards a just peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours. Bat Shalom, together with The Jerusalem Centre for Women, a Palestinian women’s peace organisation, comprise The Jerusalem Link.

This week, Israel's policy of blockading the villages and towns of the West Bank and Gaza reached pernicious and horrifying heights. Closures, sieges and embargoes have been part of Israeli policy since the beginning of the al-Aqsa intifada, but never before has their implementation been so cruel and senseless.

Residents in the territories have not been able to move beyond the limited perimeters of their homes. Children are prevented from attending school, people cannot get to work, the sick remain without medical care. Food supplies, already scarce, are dwindling. People are truly suffering.

Collective punishment of civilians is a gross violation of human rights. The imposition of a "choking closure", or for that matter a "breathing closure" (note the insensitivity of official terminology), is effectively strangulating millions of Palestinians and creating immense human misery.

The purposes of the closure policy are as ambiguous as they are counterproductive. Ostensibly, the blockade of Palestinians is meant to curb terrorist acts. Defence sources boasted that a specific attack was thwarted at the beginning of the week (although the perpetrators were not apprehended). But for every terrorist caught in such a net, tens are bred in the morass of hunger, anger and frustration evoked by these persistent restrictions.

On a broader level, if some policymakers actually entertained the notion that collective immobilisation may end violence in exchange for bread, then the solidarity evoked by Palestinians in the face of growing impoverishment should disabuse them of such thoughts. Indeed, the simplistic barter equation bandied about to defend the closures has in all probability achieved the opposite: a growing desire to strike out against those who humiliate, oppress and harass. The closure, in reality, is a time bomb that can explode at any moment.

Others have suggested that the rationale behind the closure is to increase opposition to the Palestinian Authority and to undermine its leadership, in the hope of forcing a change in Palestinian policy. In other words, sealing off Palestinian civilians is seen as a way to break their will. But there is precious little evidence that such a process is occurring. To the contrary, despair is a powerful cement binding the Palestinians together against the occupation.

If the goal is to bring about the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, then perhaps the time has come to analyse the implications of anarchy in the territories. For Israel the breakdown of Palestinian institutions spells nothing short of disaster. People with nothing to lose, whose leaders are local activists and warlords, and who possess no central authority, constitute a clear and present danger for Israelis and for any viable future.

The events of the last few months should have driven home the obvious, that Yasser Arafat and the PLO, however problematic and erratic, do maintain a modicum of control in the West Bank and Gaza. They are, for better or for worse, Israel's adversaries and only viable negotiating partners.

Perhaps, at root, the sealing off of Palestinians is meant to show confused and fearful Israelis that something is being done to fight terrorism and stop the violence. But these are short-term measures to temporarily allay raw emotions. They will not solve the problem and, short-sighted as they are, do not help to manage the conflict in these very difficult circumstances.

The punishment of innocent people to achieve ill-conceived objectives cannot but backfire. In fact, the instinctive reactions of Prime Minister Sharon and Defence Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer intimate, once again, that army actions may have become a substitute for a defined, well-thought-out policy. In any country, even for a government in transition, such a vacuum is intolerable. This is all the more true for Israel today.

The damage wrought by the closure is unspeakable. Israel has exposed itself to justifiable international condemnation. It has escalated the situation on the eve of the Arab summit. It may invite what it has sought to prevent: international intervention in the conflict.

Above all, Israel has directly caused untold human misery. As long as the territories captured in 1967 are under Israeli control, Israel bears full responsibility for what occurs in those areas. Protestations notwithstanding, the paralysis of Palestinians is an Israeli action, and the moral onus is Israel's to bear – a most shameful and ethically indefensible burden indeed. It should neither be excused nor condoned.

The blockades must be lifted and the policy of closures must be stopped now. Such a move is imperative for Israel's security, its international standing, its morality, and its human face.

Article Index



Forthcoming Arab Summit in Amman

An Arab Summit is due to take place next week in Amman, the Jordanian capital.

The Prime Minister of Jordan said that the Amman meeting, the first regular Arab summit in more than a decade, would be a milestone in concerted action after years of discord. He was careful to say that the summit could not be expected to solve overnight long-standing Arab differences that had been aggravated by Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. "The advantage of this summit is that it is regular and so (its results) gradual and accumulative," the Jordanian Prime Minister, Ali Abu al-Ragheb told reporters on Tuesday.

Unlike last October’s emergency summit, which was convened to show support for the Palestinian people in their intifadah, the Amman summit has a pre-set agenda covering a range of topics. As well as Iraq, on the agenda are the question of a pan-Arab free trade zone, aid to poorer member states, and the revival of the Arab boycott of Israel.

Jordan was hopeful that differences over Iraq would not mar the summit, the Jordanian Prime Minister said. He said that he believed an Arab consensus would emerge on lifting UN economic sanctions to alleviate the suffering of ordinary Iraqi people, despite disagreement over how to handle the issue of the "state of affairs between Iraq and Kuwait". He stressed, "I do not think there are Arab countries that do not call for lifting of economic sanctions on Iraq. We see a consensus."

Jordan hoped that the summit would strongly condemn expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territory and the dangers this posed to regional stability, Ali Abu al-Ragheb said.

The Vice-President of Iraq, Taha Yasin Ramadan, as reported on Baghdad Radio on Monday, has warned the Arab leaders who will attend the summit that his country will not remain idle if there are attempts to turn the summit into a forum where cards are shuffled to mislead Arab public opinion and weaken the intifadah. In his address to the sixth meeting of the Arab Popular Forces Conference, the Iraqi Vice-President said that the Palestinian question should be the central issue on the agenda of the Arab summit.

Taha Yasin Ramadan called for revoking all the "humiliating" agreements with the "Zionist enemy" and for closing the door to further negotiations and concessions. He also called for bringing the "war criminals" that used depleted uranium against Iraq and former Yugoslavia to an international tribunal.

Article Index



RCPB(ML) Home Page

Workers' Daily Internet Edition Index Page