Issued by the Office of the Chairperson
International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples´ Struggle
February 10, 2018
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), laud the efforts of the two Koreas to ease tensions that have resulted from Pres. Donald Trump’s bellicose statements and provocative military maneuvers by the US against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). A high-level meeting was held last January 9th between the two sides to discuss various issues related to improving relations. This meeting was made possible after DPRK President Kim Jong-un in his New Year message wished success for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
At the meeting, which lasted 11 hours, the delegations from the divided country agreed on the participation of athletes from the DPRK in the Winter Olympics. They also discussed other issues related to improving relations such as the possible reunification of families separated by the Korean War. The parties also agreed to hold talks between army officials to discuss ways to avoid dangerous military incidents.
It was the first official meeting by the two sides in more than two years. The negotiations took place in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas. This breakthrough has led one analyst to say that the talks might yet be another example where when the US is sidelined and peaceful solutions can be found by local players.
During the talks, the DPRK chief negotiator and chairman of the DPRK’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, Ri Son Gwon, said that there was no need to discuss the DPRK’s nuclear program. He explained, “All our weapons including atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs and ballistic missiles are only aimed at the United States, not our brethren, nor China and Russia.”
Time and again, the DPRK has made it clear that its nuclear program was only meant as a deterrent from possible nuclear attack from the United States, the only country in history that has used nuclear bombs against civilian populations. It is only reasonable for the DPRK to take the threat seriously and take measures in self-defense.
The Korean War has not officially ended, only an armistice exists. That war was not between North Korea and South Korea but between North Korea and the United States. The US launched that war against the North to “contain communism.”
The arbitrary designation of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) near the 38th parallel forced the separation of many Korean families. The reunification of families separated by the war remains one of the long-running issues between the two Koreas. It also forms the basis of the strong desire for the peaceful reunification of the country.
But the US continues to serve as the main stumbling block. 30,000 US troops remain stationed in South Korea. The US conducts threatening air, sea and ground military exercises at its whim.
Upon assumption to the US presidency, Donald Trump has singled out the DPRK as one of the targets of his arrogant war-mongering rhetoric. He has repeatedly said that the US could use a “military option” in dealing with the DPRK. In his speech at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, he threatened to “totally destroy North Korea.”
Ironically, just a day after the breakthrough talks between the two Koreas, Washington announced that it had approved the sale of four SM-3 Block 2A interceptor missiles to Japan costing $133 million. The US State Department justified the sale as consistent with its policy to reassure allies that are supposedly threatened by the DPRK’s “provocative behavior.”
We, the ILPS, stand for the eventual destruction of all nuclear weapons. But until then every country has the right to develop nuclear weapons to break the nuclear monopoly of imperialist powers and prevent them from using nuclear blackmail to bully other countries.
We support the just aspirations of the Korean people for the peaceful reunification of their country. We demand the withdrawal of US troops and weapons from South Korea.
We demand that the US cease issuing threats of nuclear annihilation, stop imposing economic and military blockade and other forms of sanctions and stop conducting provocative war exercises against the DPRK. We demand that the US negotiate a peace treaty with the DPRK to end the state of war and tensions in the Korean Peninsula. ###