U.S. Preparing Blockade Against North Korea

July 1, 2003

The U.S. government is stepping up its pressure against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Within the last month the Bush administration has held a series of meetings with its allies to prepare a blockade against the DPRK.

On June 18, U.S. Secretary of State Powell publicly confirmed the plan. Powell said that there is "no issue of greater urgency to the U.S. than North Korea's nuclear weapons programs." According to press reports, 12 U.S. allies have agreed to intercept aircraft and vessels "suspected" of carrying nuclear materials, rockets, drugs and other materials from the DPRK. Powell also announced that the U.S. had gotten agreements from Japan and South Korea to freeze their initiatives to improve economic relations with the DPRK. In a separate statement also issued on June 18, British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said that the interdiction plan would be "consistent" with the aims of the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq.

The plan to blockade the DPRK is another dangerous, aggressive measure taken by U.S. imperialism which is marching down the road to war against Korea.

The Bush administration has targeted the DPRK as part of the so-called "axis of evil" and is intensifying diplomatic, political, economic and military pressure against the country. The Pentagon has publicly released plans for a nuclear first-strike against the DPRK, beefed up U.S. air and naval power in the region and carried out several joint war "exercises" with the South Korean army. The Bush administration has repeatedly said that the "military option" remains open and top U.S. officials, including Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, have said that the U.S. "should prepare to attack North Korea" and "smash its nuclear reactor."

For its part the government of the DPRK has consistently tried to defuse tensions and resolve outstanding issues through bilateral negotiations with the U.S. The DPRK has called for the signing of a non-aggression treaty between the two countries.

In the absence of any sincere attempt by the Bush administration to find a negotiated solution to various problems and facing the ever-increasing threats and aggressive moves of the U.S., the DPRK continues to strengthen its defense capabilities, including plans for the development of nuclear weapons. This is not only the sovereign right of the DPRK but a necessity imposed on it by the aggressive stance of U.S. imperialism.

On June 18, a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying:

"The U.S. is conducting a psychological warfare and a blockade operation against the DPRK in real earnest. The U.S. is engrossed in a smear campaign to tarnish the image of the system in the DPRK, groundlessly charging it with drug smuggling, counterfeiting of money, suppression of religious freedom, exodus of refugees, human traffic, training of computer hackers and arms sale, etc.

"At the same time, it is barring the routine service of DPRK-flagged trading vessels under various pretexts. This hostile act is, in fact, little short of sea blockade against the DPRK.

"No matter how desperately the U.S. may try to cover up these moves, they are, in the final analysis, acts of scrapping the armistice agreement, a declaration of war and a war action in view of their nature. Some countries are joining the U.S. in its hostile acts against the DPRK....

"In fact, no country in the world so strictly bans the drug smuggling, counterfeiting of money, human traffic and other unethical acts as the DPRK. Any contention that the DPRK may secretly sell nuclear substance and missiles to terrorist groups is a mockery of its firm stand against terrorism. The DPRK government's policy on arms export allows only strictly legal deals in weapons to meet proper requirements of sovereign states for defense. The U.S. reckless false propaganda against the DPRK is to serve the sinister political aim to justify its listing of those countries that court its displeasure as members of an "axis of evil" and seek any justification for its attempt at the "regime change" in the countries.

Another recent commentary appearing in "Rodong Sinmun," organ of the Central Committee of Korean Workers Party, says:

"The Iraqi war proved that disarmament leads to a war. Therefore, it is quite clear that the DPRK can never accept the U.S. demand that it scrap its nuclear weapons program first. The DPRK has already declared that it would regard any sanctions to be applied against it as a declaration of a war....The DPRK has the right to build up a nuclear deterrent force for self-defence, the commentary says, contending that it would exercise all its rights to avert a war, protect the sovereignty and security of the country and the destiny and dignity of the nation."

It must never be forgotten than from 1950-53, U.S. imperialism waged all-out war against Korea, massacring 4 million Koreans, mostly civilians, in the north and south of the country and continues its military occupation of the south with 37,000 U.S. troops.

Today, U.S. imperialism, intent on world domination regardless of the cost to the peoples, is fomenting tensions and militarizing the Korean peninsula in order to prevent the peaceful reunification of Korea, destroy the DPRK and use it as base for extending its domination throughout Asia.

Thus, today as in the past, the Korean people, find themselves in the forefront of the worldwide struggle against U.S. aggression

By standing as an independent and sovereign country, by serving as a reliable base for the struggle for the reunification of Korea and as a bastion of worldwide anti-imperialist struggle, the DPRK and Korean people are making a big contribution to the defeat of U.S. imperialism's "war on terrorism."