Friday, September 22, 2017

United States : Beacon of Justice or Origin of Evil ?

The US Hidden History of Racist Heroes - Gerald Horne



Gerald Horne on the Counter Revolution of 1776 and the construction of whiteness


https://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/gerald-horne-on-counter-revolution-of.html

DPRK: We Love Peace !

Kim Jong Un antwortet auf die erste UNO-Rede des "geisteskranken" Donald Trump [Deutsch]

조선민주주의인민공화국 국무위원회 위원장 김정은동지께서 성명을 발표하시였다

Kim Jong Un answers to "dotard" Trump first UN speech

"Rude Deed of Shameless Media":Chinese Media's Shameless and Impudent Acts Blasted by North Korea


Democracy and Class Struggle say the Socialism in words and Imperialism in deeds - the Social Imperialist character of Chinese Regime is now obvious - it does not represent the people of China just its elite - time for the people of China to step forward and rectify the shameless position on North Korea.

Chinese Media's Shameless and Impudent Acts Blasted
Pyongyang, September 22 (KCNA)

Following is the full text of a signed article "Rude Deed of Shameless Media":

Some media of China are seriously hurting the line and social system of the DPRK and threatening the DPRK at a time when the U.S. and its vassal forces have reached the extremes in their frantic moves to impose sanctions and pressure on the DPRK over the DPRK's just exercise of its right to self-defence.

The Chinese People's Daily and its sister paper Huan Qui Shibao and websites People's Network and Huan Qui Network insulted the DPRK, saying "it pricked its own eyes with its own hands" and "it was a noose put around its own neck" while shunning the legitimacy of the DPRK's possession of nuclear weapons and the self-defensive nature of its measure for bolstering the national nuclear force. Not content with this, they said "it would face the fate of sun setting in the western sky" and set forth such presumptuous "initiatives" as "international solidarity" and organization of "forum international think-tank" for settling the nuclear issue of the DPRK.

As for the "sanctions resolution" against the DPRK, the dirty excrement of the reactionaries of history, they spouted such extremely ill-boding words that China "did not target the normal living of the people in the DPRK" and "DPRK is fortunate to have China as its neighbor".

In a word, their comment meant that the small country DPRK put itself and the international community as a whole at a "peril" for standing against "the world's superpower" with the manufacture of nuclear weapons, and that there is nothing to be displeased over the step of decrease of food taken to make the DPRK, "chief culprit rendering the world restless" get exhausted.

This can not be construed otherwise than an act of the blind whose eyes are open and the deaf and dumb who look outwardly normal as they can not understand the essence of the nuclear issue of the Korean peninsula nor can they properly see, hear and express the changed international political situation in the wake of the DPRK's possession of nuclear weapons.

Moreover, the news media openly faulted the line of other sovereign state. This makes one think that it was quite natural for them to lose trust from people of their own country and the international community to not a small measure due to their self-complacence and prejudice.

Even though they can be pretexts to shield their clumsy plight of getting dragged on by the U.S., we can not connive at their acts of dare hurting the dignity of the state and people of the DPRK.

As was already emphasized, the DPRK's access to a nuclear deterrence was pursuant to the strategic decision of the party and state of the DPRK to fundamentally terminate the decade-old U.S. hideous hostile policy toward the DPRK and nuclear threat and blackmail, and this finally led the DPRK to possess H-bomb for ICBM, the absolute weapons on the earth.

Even at this moment, the U.S. hatches sinister scheme of provoking a nuclear war and is holding dangerous secret war confab after introducing to the Korean peninsula and the region huge strategic hardware enough to fight several wars while openly calling for "totally destroying north Korea".

History and reality teach a serious lesson that only powerful strength can defend oneself from the tyrannical nuclear weapons.

The military attack on Syria committed in the eyes of neighboring big powers including China in April last showed the world in practice what the "peace by strength" touted by the Trump administration meant, and Beijing might have felt not a great deal.

What matters is that how can The Chinese People's Daily and media under it which had trumpeted about "sovereignty and independence in the road for social progress" and "peculiar sovereign position" spout principle-less nonsense that are mocked even by Trump's twitters.

If they are not novice reptile media devoid of insight and their own view to the international politics, they should be well aware of themselves before commenting on others.

Now heard from DPRK-China border are reflective complaints on who became hopeless as the consequences of the U.S.-manipulated "sanctions resolution" on the DPRK.

A Chinese businessman who was left empty-handed in the trade with the DPRK said: I don't know politics and diplomacy. But one thing is clear. Korea, not a big country, is talking what it wants to say and does what it wants to do while standing against the U.S., the superpower. It's hard to understand what's wrong with China. Lots of minor businesses in three northeastern provinces of China are suffering huge losses. Then why does it kowtow to the U.S. I really feel shame. I am more afraid of the corruption of the state than the corruption of people.

This is the public mindset.

Literally speaking, media styling themselves speaking for the people had better use their heads to read the people's mindset and speak for the people of their own country, rather than admonishing others.


If it is the organ of a party styling itself the initiator of "principle of non-interference" outside, it can stand with dignity before the world people only when it maintains this principle.

As for "good neighbor", the DPRK has much more to say about it.

When the Soviet Union and the U.S. and the whole world released denunciation statements over the first nuclear test carried out by China in the 1960s, it was only the DPRK, good neighbor, which actively supported it and encouraged it through government statement.

When high-spirited White House owner set out on his trip to China, its neighbor DPRK released a worldwide aphorism that Nixon's China visit was not a march of victor but a trip of loser with a white flag in his hand, thus helping the big neighbor save shame and maintain its face. China might know this sincere neighbor more than itself.

Then why is it going under the armpit of the U.S. while holding a white flag to blame the good neighbor.

Nixon, suffering from disease from wrath by the unusual principle and resourcefulness of the DPRK which stopped the historical disgrace which could have been a shame on the socialist camp, had called for a "war with China" till the last day of his leave from office. This is quite alike the act of Trump who is teasing Beijing, caught in the trap of "world economy", under the pretext of "nuclear issue of Korea". It is seen by the whole world.

The DPRK knows which way it should follow.

The DPRK does not have to lie on its face just as China did when it visited the U.S. and there is no need for China to force the DPRK to learn it.

History proved that the path covered by the DPRK for nearly one century has been an un-trodden path through thick and thin but it was far-sighted and promising option as this helped the country escape the tragic events witnessed in Eastern Europe which was mentally disarmed in the face of the imperialists, and as this helped others to evade clumsy situation of not breathing properly being caught in the noose of dollars.

The Korean people have learned the might of unity and happiness even though they did not lead a plentiful life and they have the perspective and generosity of looking far into the dawning tomorrow in the darkness.

As for the fortune of the DPRK, its people are not such ignorant people who foresee their fortune by money or divination sign.

Though small in territory and population, the people of the DPRK have such fortune which no other country and nation has and therefore, we feel sorrowful at the neighbor seeking money only without its own soul even though it is big.

Lots of countries and peoples of the world are keenly realizing where lies the genuine fortune of each country and nation while viewing the admirable DPRK greeting the great change in its destiny and standing against the "world's only superpower" while taking the lead of the struggle to defend peace of the region and the world, although it had its territory totally usurped by big powers keen on scramble and was trampled down under them in the past because it was weak in strength.

Truly frustrating is the perspective of the political hangers-on who are just satisfied to have their rice bowl safe even though the neighbor is thieved while considering Korea just as a front yard and "buffer zone" for holding back the invasion by robber.

It is the U.S. and other dishonest and hostile forces who are taking issue this or that way while doggedly shunning the reality of Juche Korea.

The light act of China's media openly resorting to interference in the internal affairs of other country, being oblivious of the mission of media which should regard objectivity and impartiality as their lifeline, would be little short of driving a wedge between the two countries and the two peoples, pursuant to the U.S.

The party organ of the socialist country bragging long history denounced socialist Korea so maliciously in collusion with the imperialists. This leaves us think that whether they can be entitled to enter the coming party conference hall only when they register the dirty reptile records of betraying the peoples of the two countries.

The Chinese media had better watch how the DPRK smashes the hostile forces' arrogance and high-handed practices, rather than kowtowing to the ignorant acts of the Trump administration.

They had better mind their own businesses, before impudently pointing an accusing finger at others.

Korea is a land of rising sun as its name implies and one has to turn one's head toward China to watch the sun setting in the western sky in Korea.

The Birth of Chavismo & Its Fight to Survive in Venezuela



Democracy and Class Struggle says the crisis in Venezuela is an opportunity to deepen anti imperialism and build socialism despite whatever criticisms we may have of Chavismo as an ideology.

Are We Going to Witness Catalonia's Independence ?

Kim Jong Un Calls President Trump 'Mentally Deranged' After Threat to Destroy North Korea and schools him on English Language


Democracy and Class Struggle says Kim Jon Un is taking Trump to school in his latest statement introducing words like dotard (old and senile) to describe Trump a man of tremendously limited English vocabulary

(UNITED NATIONS) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called President Donald Trump "deranged" and said in a statement carried by the state news agency that he will "pay dearly" for his threats.

Kim said that Trump is "unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country." He also described the president as "a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire."

"I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK," said the statement carried by North's official Korean Central News Agency in a dispatch issued from Pyongyang on Friday morning.

DPRK is the abbreviation of the communist country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The statement responded to Trump's combative speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday where he mocked Kim as a "Rocket Man" on a "suicide mission," and said that if "forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

Kim characterized Trump's speech to the world body as "mentally deranged behavior."

He said Trump's remarks "have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last."

Kim said he is "thinking hard" about his response and that Trump "will face results beyond his expectation."

It is unusual for the North Korean leader to issue such a statement in his own name. 


It will further escalate the war of words between the adversaries as the North moves closer to perfecting a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike America.

In recent months, the North has launched a pair of intercontinental missiles believed capable of striking the continental United States and another pair that soared over Japanese territory. 

Earlier this month, North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date drawing stiffer U.N. sanctions

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Macron the Neo liberal Sweetheart meets French Labour rights defenders -smash neo liberal reforms

Democracy came from the streets and that is where it will return to renew itself before making history of Macron -long live Democracy and Class Struggle

Trump is Threatening More than Just the Iran Deal

Dockers at the Port of Barcelona will not serve the boats of the riot police sent to prevent the referendum


Dockers at the Port of Barcelona will not serve the boats of the riot police sent to prevent the referendum

The stevedores of the Port of Barcelona have decided in an assembly not to supply the ships that house the riot police of the Spanish police, sent by the central government to prevent the referendum of 1st October 2017

Now some will say that stevedores are "Catalan bourgeois", the mantra that Spanish nationalists repeat over and over again to try to prevent the working class of the whole country from being in solidarity with Catalan, as corresponds to proletarian internationalism.


Obviously, in spite of those who insist on defending the status quo arising from Franco's continuity after Franco's death, it is not a matter of defending that Catalonia is independent or that it does not, - do not forget that the working class forms the majority of all people or nations.

Source  http://cuestionatelotodo.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/los-estibadores-no-daran-servicio-los.html

Solidarity with Catalan struggle from Wales

video


You were born with the possibility of choice are you going to do that ? 

Solidarity from Yr Aflonyddwch  Mawr in Wales



Socialism and Independence

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr in Wales says the Catalan struggle is basically a struggle for democracy against a corrupt bourgeois Spanish State which has taken a national form in Catalonia.

However the bourgeois nationalist Catalan leadership seeks to subordinate Catalonia to a corrupt Brussels and the European Union - this is  not national liberation but a readjustment among the national bourgeois in the Spanish State and Europe.

The Revolutionary Left in Catalonia should oppose both the corrupt Spanish State and the corrupt European Union and NATO and elevate the working class to political leadership of the national struggle for democracy in Catalonia - the working class should win the direction of national liberation.


Support  a unilateral declaration of independence


Catalonian President "It is purely illegal" on Spanish Actions

Solidarity with Catalonia from Ireland

Demonstrations in Catalonia after Spanish Guardia Civil Arrest 14 Members of Catalan Govt



You were born with the possibility of choice are you going to do that ? 

Solidarity from Yr Aflonyddwch  Mawr in Wales



Socialism and Independence

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr in Wales says the Catalan struggle is basically a struggle for democracy against a corrupt bourgeois Spanish State which has taken a national form in Catalonia.

However the bourgeois nationalist Catalan leadership seeks to subordinate Catalonia to a corrupt Brussels and the European Union - this is  not national liberation but a readjustment among the national bourgeois in the Spanish State and Europe.

The Revolutionary Left in Catalonia should oppose both the corrupt Spanish State and the corrupt European Union and NATO and elevate the working class to political leadership of the national struggle for democracy in Catalonia - the working class should win the direction of national liberation.


Support  a unilateral declaration of independence


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Serious Satire Warning : Rocket Man by Steven Colbert and Elton John





Iranian Filmaker Majid Adin Reimagines Rocket Man - Rocket Man 2 will be Iranian North Korean Production

Spain: 'Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) party deputy Rafael Rufian in Spanish Parliament says 'Remove your filthy hands from Catalan institutions'

Spanish "Coup" in Catalonia ? has Guardia Civil Storm the Catalan Government

The Guardia Civil stormed the Catalan government on Wednesday morning, 20 September. The Spanish police invaded the Ministry of Economy and various Catalan finance agencies including the Treasury Agency and the Ministry of External Affairs. The Guardia Civil arrested the Catalan Finance Minister Josep Maria Jové. The police also stormed the Catalan Ministry of Social Affairs. "We are in a state of siege! It's a shame ! "Said Minister of Social Affairs Dolors Bassa.



The interventions of the Guardia Civil multiply in Catalonia. A dozen officials of the Catalan administration were arrested.

Pablo Iglesias, leader of Podemos, said the people arrested there this morning are "political prisoners".

Carles Puigdemont, President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, convened an extraordinary meeting with the main leaders of the parties of the Catalan Parliament.

The spokesman of the same Government called for calm. The ANC, Assemblea Nacional Catalana, the main engine of the independence movement, did the same, calling also a great mobilization of the citizens before the ministries and places of power Catalan.La Guardia Civil stormed this Wednesday 20 September in the morning, the Catalan government. The Spanish police invaded the Ministry of Economy and various Catalan finance agencies including the Treasury Agency and the Ministry of External Affairs. The Guardia Civil arrested the Catalan Finance Minister Josep Maria Jové. The police also stormed the Catalan Ministry of Social Affairs. "We are in a state of siege! It's a shame ! "Said Minister of Social Affairs Dolors Bassa.

Pablo Hasél - Referèndum o feixisme - Referendum or Fascism



Democracy and Class Struggle view of the struggle in Catalonia and Marxism Leninism Maoism and the National Question here :

https://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/mlm-and-national-question-national.html

Socialism and Independence

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr in Wales says the Catalan struggle is basically a struggle for democracy against a corrupt bourgeois Spanish State which has taken a national form in Catalonia.

However the bourgeois nationalist Catalan leadership seeks to subordinate Catalonia to a corrupt Brussels and the European Union - this is  not national liberation but a readjustment among the national bourgeois in the Spanish State and Europe.

The Revolutionary Left in Catalonia should oppose both the corrupt Spanish State and the corrupt European Union and NATO and elevate the working class to political leadership of the national struggle for democracy in Catalonia - the working class should win the direction of national liberation.


At UN, Trump Continues Assault on Iran Nuclear Deal

Trump's Threat to "Totally Destroy" North Korea is illegal says Phyllis Bennis


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Gregory Elich says by blocking North Korea’s ability to engage in international trade, the United States has succeeded in weaponizing food by denying North Korea the means of providing an adequate supply to its people.

                                                     Smash United States Imperialism


Amid renewed talk by the Trump administration of a military option against North Korea, one salient fact goes unnoticed. The United States is already at war with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK – the formal name for North Korea). It is doing so through non-military means, with the aim of inducing economic collapse. In a sense, the policy is a continuation of the Obama administration’s ‘strategic patience’ on steroids, in that it couples a refusal to engage in diplomacy with the piling on of sanctions that constitute collective punishment of the entire North Korean population.

We are told that UN Security Council resolution 2375, passed on September 11, was “watered down” so as to obtain Chinese and Russian agreement. In relative terms, this is true, in that the original draft as submitted by the United States called for extreme measures such as a total oil embargo. However, Western media give the impression that the resolution as passed is mild or mainly symbolic. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The resolution, in tandem with previous sanction votes and in particular resolution 2371 from August 5, is aimed squarely at inflicting economic misery. Among other things, the August sanctions prohibit North Korea from exporting coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, and seafood, all key commodities in the nation’s international trade.  The resolution also banned countries from opening new or expanding existing joint ventures with the DPRK. [1]

September’s resolution further constrains North Korea’s ability to engage in regular international trade by barring the export of textiles. It is estimated that together, the sanctions eliminate 90 percent of the DPRK’s export earnings. [2] Foreign exchange is essential for the smooth operation of any modern economy, and U.S. officials hope that by blocking North Korea’s ability to earn sufficient foreign exchange, the resolutions will deal a crippling blow to the economy.

For North Korea’s estimated 100,000 to 200,000 textile workers the impact will be immediate, plunging most of them into unemployment. “If the goal of the sanctions is to create difficulties for ordinary workers and their ability to make a livelihood, then a ban on textiles will work,” specialist Paul Tija wryly notes. [3]

With around eighty percent of its land comprising mountainous terrain, North Korea has a limited amount of arable land, and the nation typically fills its food gap through imports. Sharply reduced rainfall during the April-June planting season this year reduced the amount of water available for irrigation and hampered sowing activities. Satellite monitoring indicates that crop yields are likely to fall well below the norm. [4] To make up for the shortfall, the DPRK has significantly boosted imports. [5] How much longer it can continue to do so remains to be seen, in the face of dwindling reserves of foreign exchange. In effect, by blocking North Korea’s ability to engage in international trade, the United States has succeeded in weaponizing food by denying North Korea the means of providing an adequate supply to its people.

The September resolution also adversely impacts the livelihoods of North Korea’s overseas workers, who will not be allowed to renew their contracts once they expire. They can only look forward to being forced from their jobs and expelled from their homes. [6]

International partnership is discouraged, as the resolution bans “the opening, maintenance, and operation of all joint ventures or cooperative entities, new and existing,” which in effect permanently kills off any prospect of the reopening of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. With only two exceptions, all current operations are ordered to shut down within four months. [7]

A cap is imposed on the amount of oil North Korea is allowed to import, amounting to about a thirty percent reduction from current levels, along with a total ban on the import of natural gas and condensates. [8] Many factories and manufacturing plants could be forced to close down when they can no longer operate machinery. For the average person, hardship lies ahead as winter approaches, when many homes and offices will no longer be able to be heated.

What has any of this to do with North Korea’s nuclear program? Nothing. The sanctions are an expression of pure malevolence. Vengeance is hitting every citizen of North Korea to further the U.S. goal of geopolitical domination of the Asia-Pacific.

Like North Korea, India, Pakistan, and Israel are non-signatories to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and have nuclear and missile arsenals.

India and Pakistan launched ICBMs earlier in the year. North Korea is singled out for punishment, while the others receive U.S. aid. There is no principle at stake here. 

For that matter, there is something unseemly in the United States, with over one thousand nuclear tests, denouncing North Korea for its six. The U.S., having launched four ICBMs this year, condemns the DPRK for launching half that many. Is it not absurd that the United States, with its long record in recent years of bombing, invading, threatening, and overthrowing other nations, accuses North Korea, which has been at peace for several decades, of being an international threat?

North Korea observed the fate of Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya, and concluded that only a nuclear deterrent could stop the United States from attacking. It is the “threat” of North Korea being able to defend itself that has aroused U.S. ire on a spectacular scale.

The U.S. war on the North Korean people does not stop with UN sanctions. In a recent hearing, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce called for Chinese banks that do ordinary business with North Korea to be targeted: “We can designate Chinese banks and companies unilaterally, giving them a choice between doing business with North Korea or the United States…It’s not just China. We should go after banks and companies in other countries that do business with North Korea in the same way…We should press countries to end all trade with North Korea.” [9]

At the same hearing, the Treasury Assistant Secretary Marshall Billingslea mentioned that his department had worked with the Justice Department to blacklist Russia’s Independent Petroleum Company in June, along with associated individuals and companies, for having shipped oil to North Korea. Despite the fact that there was no UN resolution at that time which forbade such trade, the U.S. seized nearly $7 million belonging to the company and its partners. [10]

Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton was, if anything, more aggressive in her rhetoric than her colleagues, announcing that “we continue to call for all countries to cut trade ties with Pyongyang to increase North Korea’s financial isolation and choke off revenue sources.” She cautioned China and Russia that they must acquiesce to U.S. demands, warning them that if they “do not act, we will use the tools we have at our disposal. Just last month we rolled out new sanctions targeting Russian and Chinese individuals and entities supporting the DPRK.” [11]

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had threats to deliver, as well, warning China that if its actions against North Korea fail to live up to U.S. expectations, “we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the U.S. and international dollar system.” [12] Since all international financial transactions process through the U.S. banking system, this threat is tantamount to shutting down Beijing’s ability to conduct trade with any nation. It was a rather extravagant threat, and undoubtedly a difficult one to pull off, but one which the Trump administration is just reckless enough to consider undertaking.

There is nothing illegal or forbidden in a nation trading with North Korea in non-prohibited commodities. Yet, a total trade blockade is what Washington is after. U.S. officials are preparing sanctions against foreign banks and companies that do business with North Korea. “We intend to deny the regime its last remaining sources of revenue, unless and until it reverses course and denuclearizes,” Billingslea darkly warns. “Those who collaborate with them are exposing themselves to enormous jeopardy.” [13] In essence, Washington is running an international protection racket: give us what we demand, or we will hurt you. This is gangsterism as foreign policy.

China opposed the UN sanctions that the Trump administration presented at the UN Security Council in September. However, according to U.S. and UN officials, the United States managed to extort China’s acquiescence by threatening to hit Chinese businesses with secondary sanctions. [14]

Before the August UN vote, similar threats were conveyed to Chinese diplomats at the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, as U.S. officials indicated that ten businesses and individuals would be sanctioned if China did not vote in favor of sanctions. [15]

As a shot across the bow, the U.S. sanctioned the Chinese Bank of Dandong back in June, leading to Western firms severing contacts with the institution. [16]

Washington’s threats prompted China to implement steps in the financial realm that exceed what is called for by the UN Security Council resolutions. China’s largest banks have banned North Korean individuals and entities from opening new accounts, and some firms are not allowing deposits in existing accounts. [17] There is no UN prohibition on North Koreans opening accounts abroad, so the action is regarded as a proactive measure by Chinese banks to avoid becoming the target of U.S. sanctions. [18]

The demands never cease, no matter how much China gives way. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently insisted that China impose a total oil embargo on North Korea. [19] China refused to go along, but it can expect be subjected to mounting pressure from the U.S. in the weeks ahead.

U.S. officials are fanning out across the globe, seeking to cajole or threaten other nations to join the anti-DPRK crusade. Since most nations stand to lose far more by displeasing the U.S. than in ending a longstanding relationship with the DPRK, the campaign is having an effect.

In April, India banned all trade with North Korea, with the exception of food and medicine. This action failed to satisfy the Trump administration, which sent officials to New Delhi to ask for the curtailing of diplomatic contacts with the DPRK and help in monitoring North Korean economic activities in the region.[20] The Philippines, for its part, responded to U.S. demands by suspending all trade activity with North Korea. [21] Mexico and Peru are among the nations that are expelling North Korean diplomats, on the arbitrary basis of responding to U.S. directives. [22] In addition to announcing that it would reduce North Korea’s diplomatic staff, Kuwait also said it would no longer issue visas to North Korean citizens. [23]

Many African nations have warm relations with the DPRK, dating back to the period of the continent’s liberation struggles. U.S. officials are focusing particular attention on Africa, and several nations are currently under investigation by the United Nations for their trade with North Korea. [24] The demand to cut relations with North Korea is not an easy sell for Washington, as Africans remember the U.S. for having backed apartheid regimes, while the DPRK had supported African liberation. “Our world outlook was determined by who was on our side during the most crucial time of our struggle, and North Korea was there for us,” says Tuliameni Kalomoh, an official in Namibia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [25] This is not the kind of language Washington likes to hear. U.S. economic power is sufficient to ruin any small nation, and with little choice in the matter, Namibia cancelled all contracts with North Korean firms. [26]

Egypt and Uganda are among the nations that have cut ties with the DPRK, and more nations are expected to follow suit, as the United States turns up the heat. Outside of the United Nations, the Trump administration is systematically erecting a total trade blockade against North Korea. Through this means, the U.S. hopes that North Korea will capitulate. That aim is premised on a serious misjudgment of the North Korean character.

The Trump administration claims that UN sanctions and its policy of maximum pressure are intended to bring North Korea to the negotiating table. But it is not the DPRK that needs to be persuaded to talk. President Trump has tweeted, “Talking is not the answer!”  U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert laid down a stringent condition for negotiations: “For us to engage in talks with the DPRK, they would have to denuclearize.” [27] The demand for North Korea to give the United States everything it wants upfront, without receiving anything in return, as a precondition for talks is such an obvious nonstarter that it has to be regarded as a recipe for avoiding diplomacy.

North Korea contacted the Obama administration on several occasions and requested talks, only to be rebuffed each time and told it needed to denuclearize. This sad disconnect continues under Trump. In May, the DPRK informed the United States that it would stop nuclear testing and missile launches if the U.S. would drop its hostile policy and sanctions, as well as sign a peace treaty ending the Korean War. [28] The U.S. may not have cared for the conditions, but it could have suggested adjustments, had it been so inclined. Certainly, it was an opening that could have led to dialogue.

It is not diplomacy that the Trump administration seeks, but to crush North Korea. If the ostensible reason for UN sanctions is to persuade a reluctant party to negotiate, then one can only conclude that the wrong nation is being sanctioned. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was scathing in her criticism of American and British leaders: “They are the loudest when it comes to sanctions, but nowhere to be found when it comes to making efforts to promote peace talks. They want nothing to do with responsibility.” [29] The months ahead look bleak. Unless China and Russia can find a way to oppose U.S. designs without becoming targets themselves, the North Korean people will stand alone and bear the burden of Trump’s malice. It says something for their character that they refuse to be cowed.

Notes.

[1] SC/12945, “Security Council Toughens Sanctions Against Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2371 (2017), United Nations Security Council, August 5, 2017.

[2] “UN Security Council Toughens Sanctions on North Korea,” Radio Free Europe, September 12, 2017.

[3] Sue-Lin Wong, Richa Naidu, “U.N. Ban on North Korean Textiles Will Disrupt Industry and Ordinary Lives, Experts Say,” Reuters, September 12, 2017.

[4] “Prolonged Dry Weather Threatens the 2017 Main Season Food Crop Production,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, July 20, 2017.

[5] “North Korean Food Imports Climb in June: KITA,” NK News, August 18, 2017.

[6] “Fact Sheet: Resolution 2375 (2017) Strengthening Sanctions on North Korea,” United States Mission to the United Nations, September 11, 2017.

[7] SC/12983, “Security Council Imposes Fresh Sanctions on Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Including Bans on Natural Gas Sales, Worth Authorizations for its Nationals,” United Nations Security Council, September 11, 2017.

[8] “Fact Sheet: Resolution 2375 (2017) Strengthening Sanctions on North Korea,” United States Mission to the United Nations, September 11, 2017.

[9] Opening Statement of the Honorable Ed Royce (R-CA), “Sanctions, Diplomacy, and Information: Pressuring North Korea,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing, September 12, 2017.

[10] “Testimony of Assistant Secretary Marshall S. Billingslea,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing, September 12, 2017.

“Treasury Sanctions Suppliers of North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Proliferation Programs,” U.S. Department of Treasury, June 1, 2017.

[11] “Statement of Susan Thornton, Acting Secretary of State,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing, September 12, 2017.

[12] Ian Talley, “U.S. Threatens China Over North Korea Sanctions,” Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2017.

[13] Ian Talley, “U.S. Threatens China Over North Korea Sanctions,” Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2017.

[14] “Clear and Present Blackmail: US Coaxes China to Back Anti-N Korea UN Resolution,” Sputnik News, September 12, 2017.

[15] Yi Yong-in, “US Pledges to Sanction Ten More Chinese Entities if China Doesn’t Cooperate in NK UNSC Resolution,” Hankyoreh, July 22, 2017.

[16] Matthew Pennington, “US Blacklists China Bank, Revving Up Pressure Over NKorea,” Associated Press, June 30, 2017.

Joel Schectman and David Brunnstrom, “U.S. targets Chinese Bank, Company, Two Individuals Over North Korea,” Reuters, June 20, 2017.

[17] “China’s Biggest Banks Ban New North Korean Accounts,” Financial Times, September 12, 2017.

[18] Stephen McDonell, “China Banks Fear US North Korea Sanctions,” BBC News, September 12, 2017.

[19] Nick Wadhams, “China Rebuffs U.S. Demand to Cut Off Oil Exports to North Korea,” September 15, 2017.

[20] Indrani Bagchi, “Scale Back Engagement with North Korea, US Tells India,” The Times of India, July 30, 2017.

[21] “Philippines Suspends Trade with N. Korea,” Yonhap, September 9, 2017.

[22] “North Korea-U.S. Te4nsions Are Not Mexico’s Business: Diplomat,” Reuters, September 8, 2017.

“Peru Says Expelling North Korean Ambassador Over Nuclear Program,” Reuters, September 11, 2017.

[23] “Kuwait Decides to Reduce N.K. Diplomatic Staff, Stops Issuing Visas for N. Koreans,” Yonhap, September 16, 2017.

[24] Kevin J. Kelley, “UN Probes Tanzania and Uganda Deals with North Korea,” East African, September 13, 2017.

[25] Kevin Sieff, “North Korea’s Surprising, Lucrative Relationship with Africa,” Washington Post, July 10, 2017.

[26] George Hendricks, “North Korean Contracts Terminated,” The Namibian, September 15, 2017.

[27] Heather Nauert, “Department Press Briefing,” U.S. Department of State, June 15, 2017.

[28] Jeong Yong-soo, “In May, North Offered to End Testing if Washington Backs Off,” JoongAng Ilbo, September 5, 2017.

[29] “Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Regular Press Conference on August 30, 2017,” (China) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, August 30, 2017.

Gregory Elich is on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute and the Advisory Board of the Korea Policy Institute. He is a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea, a columnist for Voice of the People, and one of the co-authors of Killing Democracy: CIA and Pentagon Operations in the Post-Soviet Period, published in the Russian language. He is also a member of the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific. His website is https://gregoryelich.org Follow him on Twitter at @GregoryElich

SOURCE: https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/19/trumps-war-on-the-north-korean-people/

Wilkerson: Trump a 'Diplomatic Fiasco' at the UN

MLM and the National Question by Nickglais : The National Question in the Basque Country and Catalonia



The National Question in the Basque Country and Catalonia


Democracy and Class Struggle opposes the Imperialist States of Britain and France and Spain - these Imperialist States arose by conquering the nations within those states and practiced in many cases colonial practices on those conquered nations  - before exporting those colonial practices  to overseas colonies  - it is time for the nations in these states to begin their process of National and Social Liberation.

Our Comrades in Wales statement on Catalonia captures the democratic content of these national struggles.

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr says the Catalan struggle is basically a struggle for democracy against a corrupt bourgeois Spanish State which has taken a national form in Catalonia.


However the bourgeois nationalist Catalan leadership seeks to subordinate Catalonia to a corrupt Brussels and the European Union - this is  not national liberation but a readjustment among the national bourgeois in the Spanish State and Europe.


The Revolutionary Left in Catalonia should oppose both the corrupt Spanish State and the corrupt European Union and NATO and elevate the working class to political leadership of the national struggle for democracy in Catalonia - the working class should win the direction of national liberation.


Democracy and Class Struggles says we must oppose revisionism on the National Question which does not recognize these popular mass struggles as part of the democratic class struggle for socialism and develop the Marxist Leninist Maoist Position on Imperialist States and national struggles within those States.

Whether it was Marx ridiculing Paul Lafargue who said that socialism had abolished nationalities has he addressed the First International in French language which nine tenths of the audience did not understand - to Lenin in a bout of criticism and self criticism who castigated those that oppose pure socialism to the national struggle something he had been prone to do before the First World War .

Lenin had opened his eyes wide open to Imperialism and the National Question  in 1916 as a result of the Easter Rising and we thank James Connolly for his education of Lenin on this question.

Lenin denounced Imperialist Economism on the National Question

It was the doctrine that it was sufficient for a workers’ party to prefer proletarian demands, and that democratic demands were not their business. 

Imperialist Economism is something that pervades vast sections of the erstwhile Left Today even those that have the pretense to be revolutionary and is one of the contributing factors to the renewed strength of the political right.


Stalin was even critical of his pre First World War Marxism and The National Question article because its was a pre Imperialist analysis of the the National Question.

Stalin Wrote :

“Stalin’s pamphlet was written before the imperialist war, at the time when the national question had not yet assumed world-wide significance in the eyes of Marxists, and when the basic demands concerning the right to self-determination were considered to be, not a part of the proletarian revolution, but a part of the bourgeois-democratic revolution. It would be absurd to ig-nore the fact that since then a fundamental change has taken place in the international situation, that the war on the one hand and the October revolu-tion in Russia on the other has converted the national question from being a particle of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into a particle of the proletar-ian-socialist revolution.”

Revolutionary Marxism Leninism did not stop developing its work on the National Question in the 1920's but was further developed by Ibrahim Kaypakkaya who was inspired by Mao Zedong Thought in Turkey in the 1970's with his path breaking  work on the Kurdish National Question which brought clarity to the communist movement on the Kurdish Question unlike the Post Nationalism of Abdullah Ocalan which has brought nothing but confusion.

Ibrahim Kaypakkaya is a solid base on which to develop a Marxist Leninist Maoist View of the National Question and Imperialism in the 21st Century in the spirit of Marx Engels Lenin Stalin and Mao Zedong.

Democracy and Class Struggle is a platform for the further development of Marxism Leninism Maoism on the National Question and Imperialism.



                                     A Europe of Nations

READ OUR ARTICLE ON FUTURE OF UK AND EUROPEAN UNION

https://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/article-50-and-national-and-social_29.html




Sunday, September 17, 2017

Pablo Hasel - Resiste Venezuela (y que duela)



Democracy and Class Struggle says the Venezuelan People can only ultimately defeat US Imperialism with People's War.

Gente do "Sendero Lumininso" ( People of the Shining Path)



Democracy and Class Struggle says 25 years after the arrest and imprisonment of Chairman Gonzalo what became of the movement and the ideas he developed in Ayachuco Peru ?

The movement certainly suffered a setback and Harsh Thakor analyses some of the reasons here

However in the last 25 years the ideas of Marxism Leninism Maoism have spread like wildfire - with notable MLM movements in India and Nepal, Philippines and Turkey  MLM has also arisen in North America and Europe and Africa and Middle East.

The revolutionary ideology of  MLM is still under development and application - but history will record it as one of Chairman Gonzalo's immortal contributions to have systematized and summarized the contribution of Chairman Mao Zedong as the third stage of communism. 


Democracy and Class Struggle says Chairman Gonzalo's immortal contribution is a summation of Mao Zedong's contribution - it was not merely local Mao Zedong Thought but universal Marxism Leninism Maoism an idea that cannot be imprisoned that is rapidly developing in the real world in the last 25 years - that was summarized by Chairman Gonzalo.

The Path Shines bigger and brighter today around the world -  thanks to the people of Ayachuco who lit the first flame.


The Future of Warfare by Andrew Feinstein

Saturday, September 16, 2017

MLM for Red Power by Tjen Folket - Serve the People - Norway



The following is the keynote speech given by an activist during Serve the People – Norway’s summer camp in 2016 for the study subject “MLM – Party and Ideology”. Some parts have been edited for print.

A: Maoism is Today’s Marxism

Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) was formulated in the 1980s, not by Mao or the Chinese communists who lived in his time, but by revolutionary communists waging people’s war in Peru, and later internationally by the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) and the parties waging people’s war in the Philippines, Nepal, Turkey, and India.

Prior to this, there were several who claimed to be building on “Mao Zedong Thought”. However, this is not the same as MLM. They recognized Mao as a great revolutionary leader and his thoughts as a creative expression of Marxism-Leninism in the specific case of China, but they did not speak of Maoism as a new and higher stage of Marxism.

We say that Maoism IS Marxism today. Maoism is not a “Chinese Marxism”—it is today’s Marxism for today’s world. Marxism must develop in order to be Marxism. It cannot become rigid like some religious dogma. Just as Leninism was Marxism yesterday, Maoism is Marxism today. Today, pre-Maoist Marxism is rigid dogmatism that belongs to another time.

B: Three points about what Maoism is and what it is not


1) Maoism is not about Mao as an individual. It is not a cultivation of Mao’s character. Mao and his name are symbols for the third stage of development of revolutionary science for the proletariat. This is why Mao’s personal life is nowhere near central when we discuss Maoism. What is central is the political development and future of our ideology.

Stalin claimed that theory only becomes a material force when the masses seize it, make it their own, and use it to change reality. This is also the case for Maoism. It was not until the masses took Mao’s teachings in the struggle against Soviet revisionism, in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and later in other people’s wars that it became a material force. Material forces are the only reason MLM is of interest to the proletariat.

We do not display Mao’s face as some object for worship, but rather as a symbol for an ideological direction and to openly show who we are and what we stand for.

2) Maoism’s core is the line for establishing proletarian political power, red power, through protracted people’s war and cultural revolution. The question of political power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, is the key question in Marxism, in Leninism—and in Maoism.

Maoism offers new concepts for Marxism’s teachings on proletarian power:

The protracted people’s war is the proletarian political-military strategy for liberating areas from the bourgeoisie’s control and building red power and socialism there.

Proletarian cultural revolution must continue under socialism, all the way to communism, in order to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat in all areas.

The mass line as a method, standpoint, and perspective—based the fact that it is the people and the people alone who are the driving force of changing history and the application of this fact in our work.

The three tools; the party, the front, and the army, as a proletarian necessity for carrying out people’s war, building the new worker’s state and grasping political power.

This clear formulation is fundamentally new content that lifts ML to MLM—and distinguishes MLM from all the other tendencies that call themselves revolutionary and Marxist. It provides a general line for the development of the proletarian struggle all the way from capitalism’s vale of tears to a communist world.

This line does not give us ALL of the answers, but it provides us with the theoretical tools we need to find the answers from the biggest questions to the smallest concerns.

3) MLM is a science, and like every other science, it must be tested against experiment and it must develop according to new facts. This is precisely how the current form of MLM was established. A former politician of Rødt [Red Party, a parliamentary party in Norway] once told me that naming ideologies after people was an old European priestly tradition. But this is not true. Within several scientific disciplines, this is the norm. We speak of Newton’s Law and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. We speak of Darwinism and a stone statue of Darwin sits in front of the natural history museum in London.

When MLMs are given flak for using people’s names and faces, it is nothing but rhetoric. People must be encouraged to focus on the political content we offer, on Maoism’s strategy and Maoism’s line. When we present the Five Great Teachers and speak of MLM, it is a fundamentally honest approach where we allow people to see us for who we truly are. We make it possible for people to genuinely research what it is we stand for, by understanding what we base ourselves on and why. This is a scientific approach to politics—in stark contrast to the bourgeoisie and other opportunists, who are most often notorious liars who deceive and knowingly or otherwise obscure the source of their thoughts and theories.

MLM is a tool for revolutionary practice, and it has proven itself to be a reliable resource. In a number of countries, it has been Maoist people’s wars that have shown themselves to be the most advanced revolutionary struggles of our time.

The world is constantly changing. Marxism was developed in the 19th century. Leninism was formulated in the 1920s. We have had nearly 100 years of class war, revolutions, counterrevolutions, cultural revolutions and people’s wars since Lenin—and it has been over 150 years since Marx and Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto. Yet, there are those who can suggest that we need to “return” Marxism to Marx, or that Marxism-Leninism stopped developing in 1922. This is a dogmatism that fails to take into account the huge leaps that the people have taken since then—nor does it take into account the failures. We should not accept these ideological errors if we are serious about crushing capitalism.

C: Can we be in a hurry for a long time?

Serve the People – Norway has phrased our main objective in the following way: we must create the conditions for establishing a true communist party in Norway. Such a party will serve and lead the proletariat and all the people in their struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

We live in exciting times. People are rebelling in France against worsened working conditions and labour laws, Brits want to leave the EU, the bourgeoisie themselves are fearing serious crises in the near future, Ukraine is in a low-intensity civil war, Syria is being torn to pieces by war and imperialism, Libya is constantly being bombed by NATO planes, politicians in the West have record-low approval ratings, the old parties are losing their influence and votes, thousands of Western youth are becoming jihadists for ISIS—the world burns and the world still cries out for revolution. It will never stop!


The capitalists will never become greens. They will never voluntarily stop killing ocean life and destroying the forests. They will never give everybody food, a job, and a home. They will continue to practice violence and terror to keep the people down and split and oppress the proletariat.

They will continue until the proletariat stops it. Nobody else will. And we can only do this with a scientific revolutionary political line and a real communist party in the leadership. But perhaps we need to break with two dangerous ideas—the first one, that says that we have plenty of time, and the second one that says that we will win a quick victory. Perhaps we should insist that despite the fact that we have extremely little time—not a second to lose—it will still take a very long time to motivate, mobilize, and organized the proletariat over and over again for revolution and communism. Maybe MLM is a resource that can help us to remain in a hurry over an extended period of time.

This task will be extremely difficult! It will not be easy! Even the best tools in the world demand blood, sweat and tears if they are to be used to create anything on the order of what we want to create. But without these tools, it would be impossible to reach our goal, a goal that is worth all the exhaustion and struggle: a communist world built on the ashes of capitalism.

SOURCE: https://tjen-folket.no/sentralt/view/12445

SEE ALSO:

https://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/25-years-since-arrest-of-chairman.html

Japanese Education already a problem on Second World War now seeks to exclude real North Korean History for Korean Students by withdrawing subsidy to Korean Schools in Japan




Democracy and Class Struggle says the Japanese Education System teaches justificatory education for Japanese Imperialism now also seeks to attack Korean Schools in Japan which teach the real North Korean History of Korea not the fake military history taught in South Korea.

Recent changes by Moon Jae-in Presidency to allow more honest versions of history in South Korean schools as advocated by Korean Teachers Union shows the importance of history for resolution of inter Korean Conflict.

This action cannot be taken in isolation from other anti Korean acts in Japan and a total inability of Japan to deal with its past with its neighbours and play a necessary constructive role in resolution of the Korean conflict.



Rohingya: Hate Speech, lies and media misinformation



Democracy and Class Struggle says Burma has a problem recognizing minority groups be they Karen or Rohingya their inability to extent rights to non Buddhist minorities bodes ill for Burma's future - we trust Burmese Maoist Communist revolutionaries can take on the problems its bourgeoisie cannot solve and help all Burmese People to a bright future.



Mode of Production in India - Semi feudal and Semi Colonial - N.Venugopal

Should Catalonia be independent from Spain?




Democracy and Class Struggle says the Catalan struggle is basically a struggle for democracy against a corrupt bourgeois Spanish State which has taken a national form in Catalonia.

However the bourgeois nationalist Catalan leadership seeks to subordinate Catalonia to a corrupt Brussels and the European Union - this is  not national liberation but a readjustment among the national bourgeois in the Spanish State and Europe.

The Revolutionary Left in Catalonia should oppose both the corrupt Spanish State and the corrupt European Union and NATO and elevate the working class to political leadership of the national struggle for democracy in Catalonia - the working class should win the direction of national liberation.




RED SALUTE TO COMRADES IN CATALONIA - DESTROY THE SPANISH IMPERIALIST STATE

UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF CATALAN INDEPENDENCE 



Friday, September 15, 2017

Korean Tragedy by Tim Beal - The Failure of Moon Jae-in


Democracy and Class Struggle says we like many others have been very disappointed by the new President of South Korea given that his actions today are the opposite of his words yesterday - Tim Beal  has written a three part article on the failure of Moon Jae-in - 

We publish the third part but strongly recommend you read the parts one and two which we have linked to our pages get a better understanding of Moon Jae-in's failures and what South Korea needs to do to improve inter Korean Relations. 


Since parts one and two of this article were published on 15 August (by a cruel irony the anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonialism), events have moved rapidly and decisively to confirm that Moon Jae-in’s failure to seek autonomy from American dominance and his enthusiastic embrace of the client status manifested in the US-SK alliance is pushing his country, the peninsula and perhaps the world deeper into danger.

The major events in this short period were North Korea’s test of a Hwasong-12 intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) on 29 August and the nuclear test, purportedly of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)-compatible H-bomb on 3 September. Both tests demonstrated North Korea’s rapid progress in developing a nuclear deterrent, and although development has been faster than American experts expected, the tests were predictable.

As long as the US refuses to engage in meaningful negotiations, Pyongyang has little choice but to press ahead. Moreover North Korea is in a perilous situation at the moment–the period between America’s realisation that before too long it will have the capability to deliver a high-yield bomb to the US mainland, and the attainment of that capability.

This imparts great urgency to North Korea’s programme. Once it has the perceived capability of hitting the US mainland, it is probably safe from US attack–unless that were part of a war against China. Until then, at least in the eyes of President Trump, it will be a question of a war that ‘…will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here.’

In truth, deaths might number millions, including more than 300,000 American civilians and soldiers in the region who would be vulnerable, but the principle holds good. The costs of war would be paid mainly in Korea and the immediate region, and would not be shared by the United States. 

President Moon’s confidence that he can forbid the US from going to war seems misplaced.

Whilst the nuclear test was very important in demonstrating North Korea’s ability to construct an advanced nuclear device, one capable of obliterating Seoul, it was the missile test that perhaps best highlighted the foolishness and dangers of Moon’s policy. 

The Hwasong-12 was not, as in previous tests, notably that of the Hwasong-14 ICBM in July, on ‘lofted trajectory’ where it would fall short of Japan, but on a standard trajectory whereby, given the constraints of geography, it had to overfly Japan.

It was sent on the safest possible course, over the Tsugaru Strait between Hokkaido and Honshu and would have been well above Japanese airspace, as a map in the New York Times makes clear.

Although the Japanese government made as much fuss as it could, stirring up public opinion with sirens, with Abe Shinzo seeing this as another opportunity to advance Japanese remilitarisation, in fact the Hwasong-12 test posed little danger to Japan. 

Indeed, North Korea’s development of long-range missiles actually lessens the risk.

The nuclear deterrent is a matter between the United States and North Korea.

The US threatens North Korea, despite the sanctimonious and dishonest spin from Mattis and Tillerson.


North Korea threatens retaliation if attacked.

Given that its deterrent arsenal is very limited, it will focus on the United States.

Japan would suffer collateral damage, because it is part of the American war machine. 

However long-range missiles are designed for distant targets – Guam and then the continental US – and not for Tokyo.

In that calculus, the more North Korea is able to strike back directly at the US, the less likely it is to waste resources on Japan.

Making use of a perceived threat from North Korean IRBMs and ICBMs makes sense for Abe because it furthers his aim of remilitarisation, revising the constitution and making Japan a ‘normal country’.

For Moon the situation is rather different. As with Japan, and for the same reasons of geography and technology, North Korean long-range missiles have no direct military significance and produce a constraint on precipitate American action.

Yet Moon’s response to the Hwasong-12 test was as belligerent as that of Abe, or of Trump. Moon had declared on 17 August that a North Korean ICBM would be a ‘red line.’ This was a particularly strange thing to do.

It is usually considered that drawing ‘red lines’ is an unwise strategy, because it yields the initiative to others. 

Here it was even more foolish, because an ICBM test would be a matter of US-North Korea dynamics over which South Korea would have no control and precious little influence.

Moon’s statements demonstrated and deepened the predicament into which his failure to distance himself from the US has brought him and his country. 

He is reduced to waving the American flag more vigorously than the Americans themselves and to no avail.

Trump has publicly chastised him for not being loyal enough – the charge of ‘appeasement’ towards the enemy – and has indicated that he will withdraw from the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) and inflict various other economic and social damages on South Korea.

There is little gratitude there for Moon’s subservience.


THAAD deployment is being expanded, despite local protests and the great damage done to its relations with China. Hyundai is closing down plants in China, and Beijing appears to have made it clear that Moon will not be invited to China this year.

The meeting with President Putin in Vladivostok seems to have been polite but perhaps a little frosty – certainly there was no agreement on the North Korean issues, and Putin explicitly rebuffed Moon on oil sanctions.

The only foreign leader who seems to agree with Moon on North Korea is Abe Shinzo.

Moon Jae-in has not promoted peace when he could have, either bilaterally, such as by reopening Kaesong, or on the international stage by supporting the Chinese/Russia freeze-for-freeze tension–reducing proposal.

On the contrary, his interventions have reinforced American intransigence. His call for China to stop oil exports to North Korea was a mix of the impotent – it is unlikely that China will oblige – and the malevolent – if China did cut back it would have impact not on North Korea’s military capability but on the welfare of the people.

So far President Moon’s public support is holding up remarkably well, but then the media gives him an easy ride.

The liberal press supports him, because he is one of theirs and the conservatives, grudgingly, because he is following their programme in respect of North Korea.

But ultimately he can satisfy the conservatives no more than he can Trump, and the dissatisfaction of both will grow.

He remains popular with ordinary people, because his personal style is a refreshing contrast to that of Park Geun-hye. 

Moreover in a time of crisis, people tend to rally around incumbent authority.

However it is uncertain how long Moon’s levitation can defy gravity; leaders that embody great promise on their road to power but betray those aspirations when in office can suffer a precipitate decline in popularity.