Workers Vanguard No. 938

5 June 2009


Nuclear Test Rattles Imperialists

Defend North Korean Deformed Workers State!

MAY 31—North Korea’s successful May 25 test of a nuclear weapon, reported to be substantially more powerful than a weapon tested in 2006, caused howls of outrage from the U.S. imperialists, who wield their nuclear arsenal as a threat against any regime that gets in their way. Over the next few days, Pyongyang carried out test launchings of several short-range missiles off the North Korean coast. North Korea has also reactivated its Yongbyon nuclear reactor, which the imperialists had earlier pressured it to dismantle. From the moment landlord-capitalist rule was overturned over 60 years ago, the North Korean deformed workers state has been in the gun sights of both Democratic and Republican Party administrations. It was under Democrat Bill Clinton that the U.S. prepared to bomb North Korean nuclear facilities in 1994. The Spartacist League/U.S., section of the International Communist League, supports North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons and development of effective delivery systems as a necessary defense and deterrent against the imperialists.

The bloody U.S. imperialists and their allies responded to the recent North Korean tests by immediately ramping up threats, with the Obama administration promising to “take action.” Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared that the U.S. “will not stand idly by” as Pyongyang develops nuclear capability. The imperialists have also threatened increased United Nations sanctions and the interception of North Korean ships. In 2001, the Japanese coast guard sank a North Korean vessel in Chinese waters, claiming it was a spy ship.

The idiosyncratic Stalinist regime of North Korea is very rationally seeking to arm itself against the bloodiest power on earth. The U.S. is the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons—incinerating 200,000 Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki out of racist spite and to send a message to the Soviet Union in the opening shot of the Cold War. As Seumas Milne wrote in the London Guardian (27 May), “In April 2003, North Korea drew the obvious conclusion from the US and British aggression against Iraq. The war showed, it commented at the time, ‘that to allow disarmament through inspections does not help avert a war, but rather sparks it’.”

Our defense of North Korea is based on the fact that, under the protection of the Soviet Army following World War II, the workers and peasants expropriated the capitalists and landlords. However, the North Korean workers state was deformed from its inception, with the working class deprived of political power under the rule of Kim Il Sung’s regime, a nationalist and parasitic bureaucratic caste resting atop the collectivized economy. We stand for the unconditional military defense of North Korea and the other remaining deformed workers states—China, Vietnam and Cuba—against imperialist attack and domestic counterrevolution. To renounce the defense of states that have overturned capitalism is to renounce the fight for international socialist revolution.

Were it not for the nuclear arsenal of the former Soviet workers state acting as a deterrent, U.S. imperialism would have had free rein to crush the revolutions in China, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba. The U.S. and its allies, under the flag of the UN, killed some three million people during the Korean War of 1950-53. This was part of the drive to crush the revolutionary upsurge of Korean workers and peasants in the South and to overturn the social revolution in the North—intended as a stepping stone to overturning the 1949 Chinese Revolution. Since it was fought to a stalemate by Korean and Chinese forces, the U.S. has maintained a massive military presence in South Korea, with some 28,500 troops stationed there today. This past week the U.S. and South Korean military went on high alert, elevating its “Watch Conditions” to “Stage Two,” its second highest level. All U.S. troops and bases out of South Korea now!

A strategic goal of U.S. imperialism is the restoration of capitalism in China, the largest of the remaining deformed workers states. This makes it all the more criminal that the Chinese Stalinist bureaucracy expressed its “resolute opposition” to North Korea’s nuclear weapon test. Beijing has also called on North Korea to return to the “six nation talks,” aimed at disarming North Korea. This demonstrates the bankruptcy of the nationalist program of the Stalinist bureaucracy, which promotes the anti-Marxist dogma of building “socialism in one country.” In practice, this has always meant opposition to the perspective of international workers revolution and accommodation to world imperialism, as can also be seen in the North Korean regime’s call for “peaceful reunification” with the capitalist South.

As we noted following a North Korean rocket launch in April (“Defend North Korea!” WV No. 934, 10 April):

“What is desperately needed is the forging of a Leninist-Trotskyist party with a proletarian internationalist perspective to lead the struggle for the revolutionary reunification of Korea—for a socialist revolution in the South and workers political revolution to oust the Stalinist bureaucrats in the North. The fight for revolutionary reunification must be linked to the struggle for proletarian political revolution in China and the extension of proletarian power to Japan, the industrial heartland of Asia, as well as to the U.S. imperialist colossus.”