Korea stands strong: Kim Jong-Il in context

Millions mourn Kim Jong-Il

The following is from Fight Back! News

The morning of Dec. 19 started like a normal Monday for the Korean staff at the Hae Dang Hwa restaurant in Beijing. The greeting staff welcomed hungry customers at the front door, the chefs began prepping their fine selection of kimchi and other Korean dishes and the waitresses and waiters began taking down orders for their guests. All of that changed when a China Daily reporter mentioned in a conversation with a waitress that Kim Jong-Il, the head of state for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), had died that morning of a heart attack. In minutes, the entire Korean staff – from the waiters to the chefs in the kitchen – broke down in tears and, after apologizing to the customers, closed the restaurant early for the day so they could grieve the national tragedy together.

Several thousand miles away in Pyongyang, mass sorrow like that experienced in this Beijing restaurant took the swept the capital as men, women and children – from the most esteemed party official to the steel worker – took to the streets to mourn Kim’s death.

Most people in the United States have a hard time understanding the sorrow of the Korean people and the Western media spent the better part of the past few days ridiculing this mass display of grief. After all, it’s inconceivable to imagine the death of any U.S. leader – President or otherwise – eliciting unanimous mourning from the American people. Nevertheless, even the harshest critics could not deny the sincerity of the tears shed by the Korean people, both in the DPRK and abroad, on the morning of Dec. 19.

The Western media tells us that DPRK government is ruthlessly oppressive, and yet the Korean people’s reaction seriously contradicts this image. What is it about Democratic Korea and its leaders that cause its people, even those far away from the eyes of government authorities, to mourn like this?

Misinformation presented by the Western media cause many to see Democratic Korea as a highly repressive, brutal regime with no accountability to the Korean people. A closer look past the slanderous – and often fabricated – claims reveal a strong nation, resilient in the face of more than a century of imperialist aggression that, against all odds, continues to mobilize the Korean masses in the process of building socialism.

Korea is a single nation that was forcibly divided by the United States immediately after World War II. To this day, the DPRK remains committed to reunification. After 35 years of horrifying treatment by Japanese colonizers, the Korean people’s brief hope for a single, unified Korea was dashed when the Truman administration launched a military campaign to violently suppress the Korean revolution. Aided by the Soviet Union and socialist China, the Korean People’s Army (KPA), led by Kim Il-Sung, pushed the U.S led invasion back to the 38th parallel, now the southern border of the DPRK.

Over the course of the Korean War, the U.S. dropped more bombs on Korea than it did in the entirety of the World War II Pacific theater, killing more than a million Koreans and destroying most of the north’s cities. Equally horrific was the execution of hundreds of thousands of suspected communist sympathizers by Syngman Rhee’s U.S.-backed fascist government, which took power in southern Korea.

Despite the destruction caused by the Korean War, the DPRK undertook an ambitious reconstruction effort that allowed them to enjoy a higher GDP and better standard of living than the U.S.-supported regime in the south, which consistently suffered from high unemployment and low wages brought on by Western sweatshops. It wasn’t until the 1980s and the eventual collapse of the DPRK’s largest trading partner, the Soviet Union, that the Republic of Korea would overtake the north in economic productivity.

Even the U.S. government cannot deny the accomplishments of Korean socialism. Written behind closed doors in 1990, a declassified CIA report admits that the DPRK administers outstanding social services for children, guarantees totally free housing to citizens, provides a highly successful country-wide public preventative medical program, oversees a police force with an extremely low level of corruption and has achieved high life expectancy and low infant mortality rates.

The same CIA report points out that there are more college-educated women than men in the DPRK, and admits that the Workers Party of Korea legitimately committed to ‘radical change’ in Korean gender relations. The facts support their conclusion: Prostitution is outlawed, women are permitted to serve in the military, state child-care programs allow women to have independent careers outside of the house and a significant number of high level political positions are occupied by women, including representation in the Supreme People’s Assembly.

The DPRK’s remarkable public health care system – which provides unconditional universal coverage for citizens – continues to perform tremendously well, even in the midst of crippling U.S. sanctions. Just last year in a report to the United Nations on the North Korean health care system, Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), called it “something which most other developing countries would envy.” She pointed out that the “DPRK has no lack of doctors and nurses,” and praised the system for its “very elaborate health infrastructure, starting from the central to the provincial to the district level.”

Imperialist aggression against this defiant revolutionary government continues to this day, manifesting itself in more than 28,000 U.S. troops permanently stationed in South Korea and the overhanging threat of U.S. Navy freighters carrying nuclear missiles in the Korean Peninsula.

Seeing the emboldened aggression of U.S. after the fall of the Soviet Union, the DPRK sought to insure their protection from another Korean War by acquiring nuclear weapons. Facing an onslaught of trade sanctions and the threat of invasion, Democratic Korea preserved and announced their first successful nuclear test in 2006, an achievement spearheaded by Kim Jong-Il.

The importance of Democratic Korea acquiring nuclear weapons cannot be overstated. In 2005, the U.S. presented an ultimatum to both Libya and the DPRK, demanding that both surrender their nuclear weapons programs and cooperate with Western imperialism in the ‘war on terror.’ Libyan head of state Muammar Gaddafi played ball. Kim Jong-Il gave the U.S. a figurative middle finger. As we near the end of 2011, having witnessed NATO’s brutal invasion of Libya and the toppling of Gaddafi’s government, it’s painfully clear who made the right choice.

Why do Koreans mourn the death of Kim Jong-Il? It’s because of his courageous defiance of U.S. domination, his commitment to the reunification and the real accomplishments of socialism. In the face of those who wage war for exploitation and oppression, Kim’s decisions represented the aspirations of Korean workers, peasants, women and children – the united Korean nation – for freedom. Although Kim Jong Il has passed away, the Korean people will continue to march forward raising the banner of national reunification, self-determination and revolution.

U.S. Hands off the DPRK!

25 responses to “Korea stands strong: Kim Jong-Il in context

  1. The Korean are very resilient people as the article says. They will overcome their grief and continue their Communist path with the new leader Kim Jong-Un.

    His father Kim Jong-Il was an outstanding man. It is a shame he passed away so suddenly and so soon, but at least he did not have to suffer from a long-drawn illness.

    As for the Western mindset: ridiculing what they do not understand is one of its first and foremost traits. The western capitalist world is selfish and shallow. They do not even want to look behind the screen of lies put up by their brainwashing, lying press.

    North Korea is right to keep its borders closed to Westerners. Who would want to have vermin crawling all over, poisoning everything they touch and defiling everything with their foul breath and nasty words !

  2. ‘Westerners’ = ‘vermin’ That’s a rather odd assertion to make in defense of ML.

    I’ve heard a few reportbacks from the DPRK from people close to me who have actually visited there. While not disagreeing with many of the points made above, the article above hardly tells the whole story; there’s a rather obvious and considerable downside as well. But I’m confident that in due time, we’ll best hear it from the Koreans themselves.

    But yes, ‘US, Hands Off the DPRK!’

  3. “In 2005, the U.S. presented an ultimatum to both Libya and the DPRK, demanding that both surrender their nuclear weapons programs and cooperate with Western imperialism in the ‘war on terror.’ Libyan head of state Muammar Gaddafi played ball. Kim Jong-Il gave the U.S. a figurative middle finger. As we near the end of 2011, having witnessed NATO’s brutal invasion of Libya and the toppling of Gaddafi’s government, it’s painfully clear who made the right choice.”

  4. Regarding the ultimatums Western Fourth Reich has given to many nations of the world – Cuba, Libya, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar – Western imperialists can be called “vermin” indeed. As soon as they see fit, they invade, poison, destroy. They are ugly toads and deadly snakes. Beware !

  5. The point was not aimed more narrowly at ‘Western imperialists’ but at ‘Westerners’–not a small difference, or at least I’d hope that you would agree on that.

  6. Bakshshal wrote:

    “In 2005, the U.S. presented an ultimatum to both Libya and the DPRK, demanding that both surrender their nuclear weapons programs and cooperate with Western imperialism in the ‘war on terror.’ Libyan head of state Muammar Gaddafi played ball. Kim Jong-Il gave the U.S. a figurative middle finger. As we near the end of 2011, having witnessed NATO’s brutal invasion of Libya and the toppling of Gaddafi’s government, it’s painfully clear who made the right choice.”

    * * *

    The difference between Libya and North Korea:

    North Korea had/has a very strong Communist neighbour, China, to back it and to be relied on. Also the Soviet Union backed North Korea. It has dissolved, but the Federation of Russia is still friendly towards North Korea and supportive.

    The Socialist Libyan Jamariya had nobody to help them ! Great Brother Leader Muammar Gaddafi tried to build up and financed the African Union, but its members let him down, even betrayed him – first and foremost the immature and stupid current President of South Africa, who keeps licking US boots, yet Nelson Mandela had received plenty of money from Libya to build up South Africa. But the current South African president either has a short memory or does not know history at all. He prefers marrying new, young wifes and dancing wedding dances to the tam-tam.

    Another disappointment for the Libyan Jamahiriya was/is the treacherous Arab League: little sheikdoms, gobbling US dollars, selling their brethren to Western Fourth Reich. Qatar ! A little Chihuahua state barking loudly, feeling strong with its petro-dollars. But they might be gone soon.


  7. Thanl you — THANK YOU — to the author of the article for pointing out Gaddafi’s erroneous decision. So many comrades wax about how poor Gaddafi was manhandled by the West, but the fact is that he already sold himself to the West, just like Saddam. Naturally, nothing good could have come of it. World leaders flocking to the West are like cats drinking from a puddle of antifreeze, because it never ends well.

  8. What about that South African president ? Isn’t he “flocking to the west” as well ?

    How come he has not been persecuted and killed yet ?

    Or is it because South Africa has no oil ?

  9. The Snow on The Streets of Pyongyang

    The snow on the streets of beautiful Pyongyang,
    Swept away by streets cleaners and bitter tears
    of grief of the Korean people in these days of darkness.
    But they do not give away to sorrow or tears,
    The streets bustle with life, as always,
    Buses and metro stations are full of human words that
    are like the millions of snowflakes that fall upon
    Baekdu Mountain, the spirited mountain.
    Now, the North Korean people climb the stairs leading
    to a memorial, where they place wreaths and flowers…
    Their leader, in his death, did not forget them,
    Ordering that trays and baskets of herring
    and walleye Pollack
    be given to the people, this his last gift,
    the day before he died.
    The snow in Pyongyang is a banner of resilience….

    Luis Lázaro Tijerina

  10. Nice poem Luis.in relation to the other writers we should lament the lost of Mr Gadaffi,i believe his intentions were honorable.He had seen treacherous behaviour of both African and middle eastern governments before but always stayed loyal to his people,internationalism and anti imperialism.Now there are only dark clouds for the people of libya as they struggle against islamo fascism and the theft of their natural resources from rapacious finance capital and its new medievel government that nato bombers installed,against the will of the libyan people.It would appear that the only way to gaurente the survival of ones independance is to aquire nuclear arms,i say this regretfully,but i think it is so…I think that this has been the conclusion of the DPRK.

    • Thank you for the kind words regarding my poem, Mark H. As for your other commentaries, I essentially agree with you regarding North Korea’s right to nuclear weapons for defensive purposes… as a former academic student of military history and diplomacy, I recommended that you read in translation A.A. Sidorenko”s brilliant work called “The Offensive”. It was translated under the auspices of THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE IN 1970 has had a profound influence on me regarding a fist strike nuclear situation.
      AS for your view on Gadaffi, I differ with you on that position in that I feel he was naive in the first place in ever trusting the imperialist Western nations.
      They are your diplomatic friends by day and your killers in their strategic offices by night.

      Sincerely, Luis Lazaro Tijerina
      Burlington, Vermont

  11. The Great Brother Leader Muammar of Gaddafi is not dead. This is treacherous Western Fourth Reich’s propaganda to weaken the Libyan Resistance.

    In reality they killed a double. Muammar has gone underground and is coordinating the Libyan Resistance from abroad. They are executing the foreign imposed rabble rats on a daily basis.


  12. Whatever its achievements in the past or stands in the present, the dominant ideology of the DPRK has moved a long way from anything any of us would recognize as Marxism. Someday that edifice will crack–perhaps sooner, perhaps later. Unless you don’t mind ending up with a lot of egg on your face, to use an American idiom, take all this with a grain of salt, a more ancient idiom.

  13. Eternal Glory to Comrade Kim-Jong-Il,we won’t forget his work!

  14. The ideology of the DPRK is a mixture of Marxism-Leninism, Maoism, and North Korea’s idea of Juche, self-reliance, developed by the late Eternal Leader Kim Il-Sung.

    I do not believe that there will be any “crack” in this edifice. It has resisted Western Fourth Reich’s attacks so far in a most remarkable way.

    We salute you, Comrades of the DPRK.

  15. I doubt you’ll find any ‘Maoism’, and these days you may find some ‘Marxism’ tucked away in a small closet. “Juche” means whatever they want it to mean as they go along, and even it has evolved considerably fro the time of the grandfather, Kim Il Sung. In any case, don’t say you weren’t forewarned.

  16. I think in order to maintain independance a nation must have a predominantly state run and owned economy.Independence would not be possible with private interests running the show.A socialist system would be inevitable in the absence of the domination of private capital,wether it is what some would call socialism or not is a moot point as socialism is not going to happen without independence.As for the talk of collaspe and edifaces opening up all i can say is that i am not Korean and have not experienced the struggles,the occupations,the brutality of the fights that has been foisted upon the peoples of that country by hegemonistic imperialism that attacked and divided their homeland,i havnt had to ware the cost of having to maintain a huge standing army to defend myself.I dont know what its like to fight for my life and live with threats of extermination from nuclear war across the border,to be occupied and enslaved by Japanese and American forces,to have war because i chose a different path to my neighbours.Sadly there has not been a country on the planet, that when it has chosen a different path of political economy,has been left to stand or fall on its own merits,subversion,economic warfare and open aggression are the order of the day.To truly understand the situation we should walk a mile in their shoes,then maybe we could understand better the much maligned DPRK and see all she has suffered.

  17. An excellent comment, Mark, thank you.

    It hever hurts walking in other people’s shoes.
    US Americans will never know what it means to be threatened by extermination, they have never experienced occupation, they have never been the victim. They have occupied other countries and exterminated other nations. They are aggressors, predators.
    Some of the articles I have read in the Western Fourth Reich press about the late Kim Jong-il are not only aggressive and malignant, but truly obscene.

  18. Long live the memory of Kim Jong Il!

    Long live the memory and legacy of Kim Il Sung!

    Long live the Workers Party of Korea!

    Long live the DPRK!

    Long live the friendship between British and Korean workers!

    Fight warmongering imerialism!

    Korea is One!

  19. To all fellow comrades, may I remind you of the challenge that the Juche ideal presents to real, anti-revisionist Marxism-Leninism. The entire philosophy, as proven by legitimate Kim Il-Sung documents and the North Korean constitution itself, not the lying capitalist media, spits in the face of proletarian internationalism with its radical nationalist ideology of complete national self-reliance, or rather isolationism to the extreme. While Marxist-Leninists, like myself and my fellow comrades, might find the policies of the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea attractive considering its long-waged war against the global monster that is imperialist capitalism, we must not forget that such a profound revision to the Marxist-Leninist master plan, as is Juche, cannot survive in this age of collapsing Communism. The Government of North Korea must find a way to make its nation more like the Republic of Cuba, in the way that it should introduce more democratic-republican values to its government and open itself up to the point that it can still protect its nation, but also introduce a more friendly and international face to the communist movement. No one can deny that North Korea remains isolated from the rest of the world, even from fellow communist nations, save the neighboring People’s Republic of China. North Korea must move to show the people of the world that socialism can work, as does the Republic of Cuba, best exemplified during their May Day celebrations in which they invite international delegates to join in the festivities.
    Concerning North Korea’s “military first” policy, I find no practical error in its implementation, but I do find that it presents a danger to anti-revisionism. In the Marxist-Leninist tradition, the party, the people, and the central government bodies, not individuals or the military, have the monopoly on state power. Even glorious Comrade Stalin, one of the most militant leaders of the Soviet Union, kept power over the State away from the hands of the Red Army. North Korea can continue to extensively fund its military, but when the military becomes the center of the State structure, it can pose a threat to the development of socialism, and open doors for the development of nationalism, as, I argue, already occurred. Honestly, comrades, I do not find the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to be a true socialist nation, not because of the lies presented to me by the capitalist media, but just from simple research of their own documents. North Korea has become a haven for a kind of monarchical and overtly militant government that is run more by an individual than a party. Nevertheless, it is important for Marxist-Leninists to recognize that North Korea is caught in a war for its life; a war waged by the capitalist-imperialist forces to prevent socialism from developing in North Korea (Somewhat, they have succeeded, causing North Korea to abandon its socialist rhetoric for nationalism). Yet, despite them being caught between a rock and a hard place, they still have the capabilities to find a path to reform, not capitalist reform as the imperialist world is wishing for, but reforms that give the Korean people more hope than the pathetic and paranoid obsession that the government has with nationalism. Reforms must be made to return the nation to real Marxism-Leninism, and push it away from the nationalism that is the Juche ideal. Until then, while Marxist-Leninists should deny Juche at the philosophical level, we must still show support, however minimal, for the North Korean fight against capitalism, even if it is done more with nationalism than socialism.

    Long live real Marxism-Leninism and long live North Korea!

    • All sounds very nice Lewis but the reality is that the DPRK is the most sanctioned country on the planet.It is still technically at war and has been asking for a official peace treaty for most of its existence.Can you tell me more regarding what you call the Marxist Leninist”master plan”?.I am also unsure what you mean as to your comment ”juche,cannot survive the age of collapsing communism”can you elaborate?The isolationism you talk of is not the doing of the DPRK,it is imperialism that has forced this.Juche is a logical outcome of the struggles the DPRK finds itself in,now and throughout history.As for internationalism.What do you think the DPRK should do to prove its internationalist credentials?The DPRK is in a fight for its very survival,this is the reality.It has to rely upon its own resources because it seems no one else is helping her as much as they could..

      • Several points in the above comment are not quite correct:

        1) Cuba is just as sanctioned as is North Korea.

        2) North Korea is not “fighting for survival”. This is a myth, told to the brainwashed world by Western Fourth Reich’s propaganda press. In fact, North Korea is doing quite well – thank you ! – with China’s and Russia’s help.

        3) It is true that the DPRK is a self-reliant country, with strong and sturdy people, but it is not true that “no opne else is helping”. China and Russia are first and foremost helpers, but there are many others as well. If you care to read KOREAN NEWS (DPRK) it will enlighten you further on this subject matter.

        Please do not spread common place platitudes. They do not help the DPRK. Thank you.

  20. Your probably right Olivia.In terms of sanctions,i always thought the DPRK had them even more than Cuba,wich now trades with some south American countries.When i say fighting for survival i refer to the military threats to her,the long standing refusal of the US to sign a formal peace treaty and fairly recent setbacks with inclement weather destroying a good deal of agricultural produce.I certainly think that if the west attacks the DPRK it will be with nuclear weapons so a good deal of social energy is used in defence.As for assistance to the DPRK,i think that more could be done to help with energy supplies and fuel.May be you know more on these points than myself and if so please share what you know,it is vital to communicate and correct points that may need clearing up.Thanks

  21. To Mark:

    US governments have been gnawing their teeth that they cannot get at the DPRK, due to its atomic weapons and Big Brother China, a friendly neighbour protecting the North Koreans.

    Who cares if that “peace treaty” will be signed ! As long as the DPRK survives, nobody gives a damn about it. It’s all Western Fourth Reich propaganda, signing or refusing “peace treaties”. They should be called “war treaties” instead ! Just like US war monger Bomboomer got the latest “Nobel War Prize”.

    I like the Chinese Confucius Peace Prize better. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of the Russian Federation received it. The next one should go to the “Great Successor” Kim Jong-Un. I am sure he will know how to protect peace in the DPRK.

    As for energy/fuel supply, they receive some oil from Iran via China. They also receive gas from Russia via China. Thank goodness for Communist China !

  22. Yes China has helped.China is well aware of the US plans to surround her miltarily.The US in order to revive its depression ridled economy needs to crack open new markets to export its crisis,China,in the eyes of capitalism has the biggest market with an educated work force.A comradely relationship between the DPRK and China is of benefit to both peoples as a common defence against the US plans for dominance and the prevention of the US plans for war.

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