DPRK 70th Anniversary

Again Korea, One Korea

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In the past few months I have been reading extensively about Korean history and Korea in general, as part of my research for a documentary film project in the DPRK. The working title of the film is Again Korea, which is also the title of a book about North Korea written by my father, Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett, in 1969.

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The first chapter of the book opens with this paragraph:

"Come and visit us again," said my host. "Bring your wife and have a good holiday here. But I advise you to come soon if you want to see our country as it is now." He waved his hand toward the window which looked out on a broad, tree-lined boulevard of shining new apartment houses and shops. "It is possible that all this will be destroyed if war breaks out. I say to my comrades that they should not think they can keep our nice theaters and things as they are now; they must realize that as long as imperialism exists, war may break out again. Especially as long as the unification of our country has not been achieved, things may be destroyed again." My host was Premier Kim II Sung of North Korea, the place Pyongyang, the date May 20, 1967.

That was 51 one years ago. And yet it could also be today. As the DPRK is forging ahead, building a developed socialist society, it is also threatened with "fire and fury", or nuclear annihilation, by the same power that reduced most of the country to rubble during the Korean War.

When Wilfred Burchett wrote Again Korea, in 1967, the United States were carpet bombing Vietnam and threatening to bomb the North "back into the stone age".

And that is the true nature and language of imperialism. I no longer call it U.S. imperialism for it has morphed into global imperialism, supported by the entire global capitalist system, that profits from perpetual wars. That includes all the NATO countries and other US allies, in all continents.

Neither do I any longer see Korea as two countries: North and South. Korea is one country, artificially divided first by Japanese colonizers, into collaborators and patriots fighting for independence, then by U.S. imperialists and their allies into "communist" North and "capitalist" South.

It is up to the people of Korea to reunite their country under whatever principle they decide is appropriate.

It is not up to U.S. and Japanese imperialists or the totally discredited so-called "international" community �" that supported the invasion and destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and countless other countries and supports ever more sanctions and other coercive measures against the DPRK, hoping to collapse its socialist system.

No, it is up to the people of Korea. And they need the support of all the people on the planet that are tired of imperialist wars under false pretexts, such as spreading "freedom & democracy". The only thing they are spreading is death, destruction, misery and hatred.

The peace loving people of our much endangered planet must unite in rejecting military solutions to world problems.

The world needs peace, friendship and cooperation between all nations, not division, hatred and war.

Korea is one people, one nation, one nature, one culture �" and two systems. There is no reason for the two systems to not work together to create a united, prosperous, peaceful Korea, where all children go to school and university, where all parents go to work, where grandparents are looked after, where the natural environment is respected and cared for, where the national culture flourishes and thrives and contributes to world culture and understanding between peoples and nations.

Which is what the Ten Point Programme for Reunification of the Country written by the Great Leader Comrade Kim Il-sung on April 6, 1993 calls for.

1. A unified state, independent, peaceful and neutral, should be founded through the great unity of the whole nation.

The north and the south should found a pan-national unified state which can represent all parties, groupings and all the members of the nation from all walks of life, while leaving the existing two systems and two governments as they are. The pan-national unified state should be a federal state in which the two regional governments of the north and the south are represented on an equal footing, and an independent, peaceful and nonaligned neutral state which does not lean to any great power.

2. Unity should be based on patriotism and the spirit of national independence.

All the members of the nation should link their individual destinies with destiny of the nation, warmly love the nation and unite with one will to defend the independence of the nation as its life and soul. With the dignity and pride of our nation, they should reject flunkeyism and national nihilism that erode the nation’s consciousness of independence.

3. Unity should be achieved on the principle of promotion coexistence, co-prosperity and common interests and subordinating everything to the cause of national reunification.

The north and the south should recognize and respect the existence of different ideas and ideologies and systems, and enjoy progress and prosperity together, neither side encroaching upon the other. They should promote the interests of the whole nation before regional and class interests and direct all efforts to the accomplishment of the cause of national reunification.

4. All manner of political disputes that foment division and confrontation between the fellow countrymen should be stopped and unity be achieved.

The north and the south should refrain from seeking or fomenting confrontation, cease all manner of political disputes and stop hurling abuses and slanders at each other. They, the same fellow countrymen, should not be hostile to each other but jointly counter foreign aggression and interference by the united efforts of the nation.

5. They should dispel fears of invasion from the south and from the north, prevail-over-communism and communization altogether and believe in and unite with each other.

The north and the south should not threaten and invade the other. Neither side should try to force its system on the other and to absorb the other.

6. They should set store by democracy and join hands on the road to national reunification, not rejecting each other for the difference in isms and principles.

They should ensure freedom of debate on and activity for reunification and not suppress, make reprisals on, persecute and punish political opponents. They should not charge anyone with pro-north or pro-south tendencies but release and reinstate all the political prisoners so that they may contribute together to the cause of national reunification.

7. They should protect material and spiritual wealth of individual persons and organizations and encourage them to be used favorably for the promotion of great national unity.

Not only before the reunification but after it they should recognize the state ownership, cooperative ownership and private ownership and protect the capital and property of individual persons and organizations and common interests with foreign capital. They should recognize social honor and qualification of individuals in all domains including science, education, literature, art, speech, the press, health service and sports, and continue to ensure the benefits granted to persons of meritorious services.

8. The whole nation should understand, trust and unite with one another through contacts, travels and dialogues.

All the obstacles to contacts and travels should be removed and the door be flung open for travels to all without discrimination.

All the parties, groupings and people of all social standings should be given equal opportunities for dialogue and bilateral and multilateral dialogues be developed.

9. The whole nation in the north and the south and overseas should strengthen solidarity with one another on the way to national reunification.

Things beneficial to national reunification should be supported and encouraged in an unbiased manner and things harmful be rejected together in the north and the south and overseas, and all should keep pace and cooperate with each other, each going beyond his own narrow enclosure. All the political parties, organizations and people of all walks of life in the north and the south and overseas should be allied organizationally in the patriotic work for national reunification.

10. Those who have contributed to the great unity of the nation and to the cause of national reunification should be highly estimated.

Special favors should be granted to those who have performed feats for the great unity of the nation and the reunification of the country, patriotic martyrs and their descendants. If those who had turned their back on the nation in the past return to the road of patriotism, remorseful of their past, they should be treated leniently and be assessed fairly according to their contributions to the cause of national reunification.

Any sane person should support the Ten Point Program and denounce constant threats and coercive measures against the DPRK.

Most Koreans desire the peaceful reunification of their country. The people of Korea  need our support and we should give it to them wholeheartedly.

A world united in peace must denounce and reject imperialist policies of divide and rule.

The world needs a united, peaceful and prosperous Korea, not one divided by an artificial line, by suspicion and hatred, fuelled by hostile propaganda, lies and fabrications, especially against the DPRK.

The world needs peace, not war, one Korea, not two.

During the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the two Koreas competed together, under one flag, showing one Korea. There are other signs that give reason for some cautious optimism.

But as the Great Leader, Comrade Kim Il Sung told my father, journalist Wilfred Burchett:

"It is possible that all this will be destroyed if war breaks out. I say to my comrades that they should not think they can keep our nice theaters and things as they are now; they must realize that as long as imperialism exists, war may break out again. Especially as long as the unification of our country has not been achieved, things may be destroyed again."

It is our duty, as citizens of the world, to do all we can to support the peaceful reunification of Korea and world peace. [kk]

George Burchett
Ha Noi, March 2018

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