Friday, 23 June 2017

Working for Korean friendship

By New Worker correspondent
Kim Song Gi speaking
Friends and comrades met last weekend for the annual general meeting of the UK Korean Friendship Association (KFA) at the Chadswell Centre in central London that elected new officers to the committee and heard reports of work over the past year. The KFA Chair Dermot Hudson opened on the need to build solidarity with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) within the labour movement. Theo Russell from the NCP spoke about the Korean war and the shameful role of British imperialism in support of US aggression and honoured guest Kim Song Gi from the DPRK embassy spoke about the historic efforts of the DPRK for the peaceful re-unification of the Korean peninsula.
            The KFA had stepped up its activities, which included regular meetings and protest pickets over the last year, but more needs to be done in London and beyond to build solidarity with the DPRK and support the struggling people of south Korea.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

A smash hit in London!

By New Worker correspondent

COMRADES and friends of Korea joined music lovers to see the Democratic Korean Youth Para Ensemble’s final performance of their tour of England with the support of the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled. Their first tour wowed Londoners in 2015. They did the same last week.
The young disabled artistes of north Korea put on a splendid performance at St John’s concert hall in London’s West End last week. Much of the music was Korean folk music played on traditional Korean instruments such as the Kayagum in addition to a grand piano.
It was an incredible evening. One of the performers, a wonderful soprano, was only 14 years old; her singing was equal to that of a very experienced professional singer.
The artistic level was at such a high level. Indeed, in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) every child is taught to play at least one musical instrument.
Equally impressive was the performance of Onegha, a traditional Korean song and dance. The dancers, in colourful traditional Korean garb, were just amazing.
We were treated to a beautiful rendition of the northern Irish folk song Danny Boy as well as the classic Irish-Norwegian ballad You Raised Me Up, and the dancers performed part of the story of Beauty and the Beast.
No doors are closed to disabled people in the DPRK, unlike Britain where the disabled face discrimination and ill-treatment, or south Korea where they are regarded as pitiful and weak and some are sent to work as slaves on remote islands.
The concert concluded with a moving rendition of the time-honoured and renowned Korean folk song Arirang.
Afterwards the chair of the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled, who were the co-hosts of the concert, made a short speech saying how the performance can break down barriers of politics and communication.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Solidly behind Democratic Korea!

Outside the US embassy
by New Worker correspondent

Comrades joined other Korean solidarity activists in picketing the hub of American imperialism in London last week to oppose the deployment of the US THAAD missile defence system in south Korea, and to protest against US war threats and sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
            The protest, called by the Korean Friendship Association (KFA) and supported by the New Communist Party, began outside the puppet south Korean embassy in Westminster and then moved on the US embassy in Grosvenor Square.
KFA Chair Dermot Hudson took the mike to denounce US imperialism saying: “Today the US occupies south Korea with over 30,000 troops stationed there and a thousand nuclear weapons. The south Korean people are forced to pay colonial tribute to the US in the form of upkeep expenses.
“People’s Korea is a peace loving state that does not have a single overseas base, but the US has hundreds of overseas bases and troops that form a global empire straddling across the world.”

Monday, 29 May 2017

Report-back from Korea

Dermot Hudson speaking

 by New Worker correspondent
 THREE members of the Korean Friendship Association (KFA) – Dermot Hudson, Sean Pickford and David Munos, last Saturday gave a very interesting report back from their recent visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) at a well-attended meeting in north London.
Sean Pickford spoke first, giving a detailed account of their visit to a farm and to a family home – modern and with all modern conveniences and appliances, including a computer.
This was typical of thousands of new homes being built in urban and rural areas – and for which the workers are charged no rent. Sean said that wherever they went the same rising standard of living was evident – with no slums of ghettos but also with no posh or exclusive areas.
Contrary to reports in the western media, food production is doing well with good harvests in recent years.
All three speakers emphasised that there was no sense of alarm or panic anywhere as US President Donald Trump made threatening gestures and the western media was spreading fears of an impending nuclear war.
In the DPRK people were going about their daily business completely as normal and the increased sanctions imposed by Trump have had no impact.
Dermot Hudson said that if the US or its puppet regime in occupied south Korea were ever to attack the DPRK they would be repulsed decisively with great injury to themselves.
After the speeches there was a lively question and answer session.
The meeting agreed a letter on congratulating Kim Jon Un and the people of the DPRK on the success of their latest missile test.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

No to BBC propaganda!

Dermot Hudson with the mike

by New Worker correspondent
London comrades joined other Korean solidarity activists outside Broadcasting House on Saturday to protest at the BBC’s inaccurate and biased coverage of Democratic Korea. Called by the Korean Friendship Association (KFA) and supported by the New Communist Party (NCP), the picketers gave out leaflets and held high the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) flag and the banner of the KFA.
The KFA Chair Dermot Hudson took the mike to ridicule the BBC for the nonsense it’s been spouting over the years, including claims that generals are shot on the whim of the DPRK leader Kim Jong Un; that thousands languish in labour camps and that the rest live on starvation rations. The fact that all these lies originate from the puppet south Korean propaganda centre is never directly acknowledged by the BBC, although they have been forced to retract some of their most outrageous lies.
Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, for instance, claimed that patients at the Okryu Children’s Hospital were not ill at all but child-actors. But in May 2016 he signed a statement admitting that his reporting was biased and inaccurate.
Now the BBC World Service is broadcasting daily propaganda broadcasts to the DPRK in support of south Korea and US imperialism’s psychological warfare campaign against Democratic Korea. It is also an attempt at imperialist and bourgeois ideological and cultural infiltration into the DPRK in order to undermine its socialist system from within. In the past the BBC World Service played a role in undermining the former USSR and the people’s democracies of eastern Europe. It shows that the British ruling class is working behind the scenes, hand in glove with the US imperialists, to overthrow the DPRK and make the northern half of Korea a colony of world imperialism.
A representative of the BBC came out to meet the picket and engaged in discussion with us about our grievances whilst some passers-by supported the KFA demands.
Dermot Hudson made a final address on the mike, saying: "Licence payers are expected to pay for the BBC's appalling propaganda against the DPRK. This is wrong. The BBC has even invited so-called defectors with criminal records to slander the DPRK. We support the DPRK because it is an independent socialist state based on the Juche idea of independence, self-sufficiency and self-reliance. We will come back again and picket the BBC!"

Friday, 5 May 2017

Trump Spits Fire: DPRK Stands Firm!

By New Worker correspondent

Imperialist war-lord Donald Trump continues to spit fire at north Korea whilst his armada stands off the Korean peninsula and his nuclear bombers hover over the occupied south. The Americans want the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to unilaterally and unconditionally abandon its nuclear deterrent, threatening all sorts of nonsense if this doesn’t happen. The US imperialists warn that the “era of strategic patience” is over whilst their emissaries go into top gear across Asia to drum up support amongst their vassals and puppets for renewed American aggression.
Some believe Trump’s brinkmanship is largely to speed up the deployment of the US THAAD missile system in south Korea and influence the puppet regime’s forthcoming elections in favour of the most aggressive and venal sections of the south Korean ruling class. Others fear that it marks a new stage in the US bid to control both sides of the Pacific Rim and extend their hegemony throughout Asia.
Two American B-1 Lancer supersonic bombers conducted joint exercises with south Korean war-planes on Monday, before staging a separate drill with fighter jets from the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier that heads the naval strike group in waters near the Korean coast.
The DPRK called the exercises an "extremely reckless move” that was pushing the region towards nuclear war; and the Korean People’s Army staged its own show of force with live-fire exercises along the coast that involved 300 heavy artillery pieces, the largest drill in the army’s history.
This week Trump said he was prepared to meet DPRK leader Kim Jong Un "under the right circumstances”. "If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honoured to do it," Trump said – but his officials later said that such a meeting is unlikely in the near future.
   Meanwhile People’s China is urging urged all parties to take on their responsibilities and find a breakthrough to resume peace talks at an early date.
Trump is publicly urging China to pressurise the DPRK into halting its missile and nuclear defence programmes following apparently successful talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in April.
No-one knows what was agreed behind closed doors at the Trump mansion in Florida last month, or whether the halt to imports of north Korean coal reflects a new rapprochement between Washington and Beijing.
Overall trade between the DPRK and China has risen this year despite sanctions, which in any case do not apply to all north Korean exports. What is true is that China broke ranks with the Russians at the UN Security Council last month by refusing to join the Kremlin in vetoing a US-led motion that sought to sanction Syria for the poison gas attack in a rebel-controlled area last month.
Although the Democratic Korean government has said nothing directly about the Chinese stance, the DPRK’s national media ran a commentary last week denouncing a “neighbouring country” for “dancing to the tune of others”.
It said: “Not a single word about the US act of pushing the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a war after introducing hugest-ever strategic assets into the waters off the Korean peninsula is made, but such rhetoric as ‘necessary step’ and ‘reaction at decisive level’ is openly heard from a country around the DPRK to intimidate it over its measures for self-defence.”
This country: “is talking rubbish that the DPRK has to reconsider the importance of relations with it and that it can help preserve security of the DPRK and offer necessary support and aid for its economic prosperity, claiming the latter will not be able to survive the strict ‘economic sanctions’ by someone.
“Its official media claimed on 18th April that the DPRK's pursuance of a nuclear and missile programme made the US, which had been its rival in the past, its supporter now. The question is what the DPRK should call that country and how the DPRK should deal with it in the future…
“If this country keeps applying economic sanctions on the DPRK while dancing to the tune of someone after misjudging the will of the DPRK, it may be applauded by the enemies of the DPRK but it should get itself ready to face the catastrophic consequences in the relations with the DPRK. The DPRK will defend its dignity and build a paradise for the people with its own efforts, rallied close around the respected Supreme Leader.”

Friday, 28 April 2017

No to new Korean war!

By New Worker correspondent

Londoners picketed the American embassy in Grosvenor square last week to demonstrate against a new Korean war brought nearer by the provocations of US war-lord Donald Trump in recent days. Stop the War and CND called the emergency protest outside the US embassy to protest at Trump's aggression and the British government's shameful support for his policy.  Hundreds of Londoners joined the protest against the new US threat to peace that has created a frightening stand-off with nuclear-armed Democratic Korea. This, combined with missile attacks on Syria and the use of a weapon of mass destruction (MOAB, the so-called Mother of All Bombs) in Afghanistan, signals a sharp turn to intervention that is ratcheting up tension around the world.