The Communist Party USA is shocked and appalled at North Korea's recent nuclear test, as well as its subsequent test firing of at least two missiles.
We see these acts as incredibly provocative and irresponsible. Unfortunately, they are not a surprising departure from the way the DPRK leadership has handled itself in recent years. Even North Korea's most important ally, China, was horrified by, and condemned, the tests. Of course, North Korea is right to say that it has been, and still is, the victim of imperialist aggression, specifically from the U.S. It is true that the United States has never made reparations for the destruction of the Korean War, has repeatedly threatened North Korea, and encroached upon its right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to peacefully use nuclear power. In addition, the United States has helped to isolate North Korea from the rest of the world, encroaching upon its sovereign rights and hindering its economic development, and therefore providing the basis for the problems afflicting the region. It was the United States that fought the Korean War, and partitioned the nation into two separate states. The line of demarcation between north and south is one of the most militarized in the world. Currently, tens of thousands of U.S. troops remain in South Korea, and the U.S. routinely practices joint military drills with south Korea, simulating a ground invasion of the North. Nonetheless, we are resolutely opposed to the use or development of any nuclear weapons by any nation.
Nuclear weapons threaten the very existence of humanity itself. The tests heighten tensions in the region: The sections of Japan's leadership that want to see Japan change its “peace constitution” so that Japan can maintain a standing army have seized upon these provocative tests to push forward the changes they want.
Further, the results of the tests are in direct contradiction to the stated aims of battling imperialism. The general direction of the Obama administration's foreign policy is at odds with that of any administration in the past 30 years, if not longer. While Obama has to navigate the political realities of the U.S., his administration has sought to reduce the nuclear threat, as well as the threat that the U.S. poses to other, oppressed nations. Consequently, powerful sections of the U.S. ruling class have made their aim to derail the Obama administration altogether.
The fight for progressive forces is to make sure that Obama, and the social strata that are part of the Obama movement—the working class, women and the racially and nationally oppressed especially—meets success.
The ultra-right has already seized upon North Korea's nuclear tests to attack Obama, Obama has been forced to respond sharply, and the movement for peace and against imperialism is that much more difficult. We believe peace is possible in today’s world, but this nuclear test, on the contrary, strengthens the ultra-right and imperialism, not the cause of peace.
The Communist Party USA, along with North Korea's neighbors, including socialist China and Vietnam, and many other progressive forces around the world, condemn these tests and urge the North Korean leadership to abandon its policy of brinkmanship. Further, we urge all parties, including the United States and Japan, to exercise restraint in response. As we have always said, the main way to solve the nuclear issue, as well as the problems of Northeast Asia more generally, is through good-faith dialogue, through the six-party talks or some other mechanism, and not through military saber-rattling and brinkmanship from any quarters.