People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 14

April 12, 2009


DPRK Satellite Launch Rattles Imperialism

Suneet Chopra

THE Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea has the honour of being the first power to defeat the USA and its gaggle of allies in history at the end of the Korean war. But US imperialism is still smarting under that defeat so that sanctions, false propaganda and threats have regularly been used against the DPRK to little effect. Its leader, a popular figure among the masses who he interacts with regularly, is called “a recluse”. A country with only 18 per cent of arable land is said to be starving. But what the propaganda does not state is how an energy and food embargo prevents genuine help from reaching Korea. Nor are we told of how the DPRK built up a powerful heavy industry based on an advanced system of education and research to be able to offset its lack of agricultural land. That is why its regime has been stable for over sixty years.

More than that, it is one State that has been able to keep the USA on tenterhooks as it has brought every conspiracy to destabilise the regime to grief. A spy ship was sent by the CIA into Korean waters but the DPRK captured it and it is now docked in the Taedong river in Pyongyang for tourists to see. The US broke the promise of giving a heavy water reactor to Korea and oil in return for the DPRK honouring the NPT and tried to push the country into an energy famine by refusing to deliver on time. Not only did the DPRK withdraw from the treaty as it is perfectly entitled to do, but went ahead with a nuclear test in 2006, convincing the world that it was not a lack of capability preventing a nuclear test but rather, its determination to keep its nuclear policies peaceful.

Unable to blame Korea for breaking its word as the USA had done, the UN resolution (UNSCR 1718) while it could not accuse DPRK of violating the NPT, merely asked it to retract its withdrawal from the Treaty and desist from activities related to ballistic missile launches. Now, when the DPRK registered a major advance by launching a satellite “with their own wisdom and technology”, the Kwangmyongsong-2 on Sunday 5 April, from the Tonghae Satellite launching pad in Hwadae County on an Unha-2 missile.

The USA, however, claims it was a Taepo-Dong 2 missile. Why does it resort to fraud? Because, first, the DPRK is not bound by anything in the UNSCR 1718 that tries to prevent its peaceful activity in keeping with the tenets of the UN charter. Secondly, that its satellite launch is not anything related to its ballistic missile programme. And finally, Article I of the 1966 Outer Space Treaty declares: “Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies”. So the DPRK has every right to experiment its technology in space.

It is evident that the threats of the USA, Japan and South Korea (a “Republic” kept in check by some 47,000 US troops) is a shameless attempt by imperialism and its allies to ensure the evolution of an unequal world. The DPRK has given their bluster a fitting reply. India too, was threatened by a similar Resolution UNSC 1172 after Pokhran II. It would be in order then for the government of India to stand by the DPRK in its principled stand against the criminal attempts of US imperialism to restrict all possibilities of scientific development to itself and its dependencies. The DPRK has shown that a multipolar world can be worked for and realised. So the successful satellite launch of April 5, 2009 is something to be lauded in the pursuit of a more equal relation between States.

The best thing for the USA to do would be to accept this advance with grace and carry forward the process of Korean reunification which only the US army presence is preventing today. That would help to convince the world that the present administration truly wants change. So far there is very little proof of that.