Statement – Canadians for Peace

Statement – Canadians for Peace and Socialism on Rising Tensions on the Korean Peninsula

November 23, 2010

Prime Minister Harper Inflames War Danger

Reject the Right Wing War Policy of the Minority Conservative Harper Government

Demand the Canadian Government Act to Reduce Tensions and Promote a Negotiated Peaceful Settlement

When the choice is between a Canadian government initiative that could reduce tensions and promote peace and actions that raise tensions and lead to war, Prime Minister Harper chooses war over peace. [1]

Prime Minister Harper’s knee jerk support for the Obama administrations threats against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK - North Korea) inflames the danger of a skirmish becoming a major war. [2] It is the height of irresponsibility to promote war when peace is possible.

Confident that the corporate controlled mass media has prevented the Canadian public from considering the DPRK standpoint, [3] Prime Minister Harper simply re-states the US-NATO-EU script demonizing North Korea and its government couched in the language of threats.

Propaganda only goes so far. It always is eventually overtaken by the truth.

The overriding truth is that the Korean people both North and South do not want a war. There is overwhelming support among the majority of the Korean people for non-interference in their internal affairs and to promote the peaceful path to normalization of relations between their divided people.

The tensions between North and South Korea are artificial and created by US imperialism and its allies.  Tensions are deliberately kept at a high level to enable the USA to pursue its aim of political, economic and military dominance throughout Asia.

A peaceful and demilitarized Korean Peninsula with the complete withdrawal of all US forces and military bases from the region including its disputed base in Okinawa, would force the USA and its Asian supporters, including Japan to retreat from the strategic aim of destroying DPRK socialism. DPRK socialism remains a huge obstacle to the unimpeded export of finance capital to the region and the objective of US imperialism to turn the entire peninsula into a nuclear armed base for the eventual containment and subversion of the sovereignty of the people of China and their socialist gains.

To achieve these aims, US imperialism and its South Korean corporate collaborators must perpetuate tensions by maintaining a large military presence in the region and regularly conduct provocative joint maneuvers as near as possible to sensitive North Korean waters and borders.

The present US imperialist policy of deliberately maintaining tensions is not new. It has been renewed with greater intensity since the election of an extremely belligerent right-wing regime in South Korea headed by South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak.  In his inaugural address on May 24th President Lee renewed the hostile attack on the DPRK with the aim of restoring tensions that had been reduced during the tenure of the previous South Korean Government of Roh Moo-hyun [4]. President Lee is a former corporate CEO of one of South Korea’s largest construction companies. With western backing, he won the election with a slim majority and has since run into stiff electoral opposition in local elections.

Provocative US-South Korean military maneuvers underway near North Korean waters have been underway since last June. The military exercises provoked the latest artillery exchange on the extremely sensitive and disputed Island of Yeonpyeong where over 1000 South Korean military maintain a highly militarized base that monitors naval traffic entering North Korean waters. North Korea asserts it fired the salvo after sending a message to South Korea declaring that it considered military maneuvers on the disputed island were preparations for an attack. The Lee government did not respond to the DPRK warning.

The North Korean action followed a statement by the South Korean Defense Minister that the Lee government was considering inviting the USA to station tactical nuclear weapons on its territory following their withdrawal in 1991. [5]

The North Korean action also followed recent discussions with an unofficial US delegation to North Korea concerning its nuclear program.  DPRK officials are reported to have made further conciliatory statements about the possibility of sending nuclear fuel rods outside of its territory to remove the suspicion that it was engaged in nuclear weapons development. The meeting has been unreported in the Canadian corporate controlled media in spite of its significance for reducing tensions.

The Obama statement, indicating the continuation of the US imperialist strategic policy in Asia, peppered with references to DPRK adherence to 1953 Armistice Agreement and its alleged nuclear weapons program, was given wide support by all of the leaders of the G7 only a day after they had left NATO meetings in Lisbon that re-iterated NATO’s belligerent stance towards the DPRK.

At a time when official delegations of the DPRK have been visiting the People’s Republic of China to negotiate new trade agreements, China has as yet not denounced US imperialist provocations on the Korean Peninsula. Russia’s response to the incident has been tepid and ambivalent.

CPS considers the situation on the Korean Peninsula to be the result of US imperialist provocation. This statement follows CPS statements on the anti-DPRK UN Resolution and an article published by editorial board member Cathy Fischer exposing the canard that the DPRK was responsible for the sinking of a South Korean submarine. [6]

CPS calls upon the Canadian labour and peace movements and the left progressive forces to denounce the latest US-NATO-South Korean intrigues on the Korean Peninsula and demand the Harper Government end its slavish support for US foreign policy objectives.

We call upon the NDP caucus to take an independent stance in Parliament and demand a negotiated settlement to all issue contributing to the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula.

Hands Off the DPRK!  Peace Is Possible! War Is Not the Answer!

Left Turn Canada!