news analysis - north korea and US lies

WORKERS, JULY 2004 ISSUE

Charles Pritchard, former US special envoy to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, who recently resigned in protest against Bush administration policies there, has spoken out again. He says that North Korea will not test a bomb or missiles while there are talks, attended also by South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) honoured its side of the 1994 Agreement with the US government, by carrying out its one specific commitment, to suspend its plutonium production facilities. The US, on the other hand, did not carry out its commitments.

The US failed to install the promised nuclear-powered generating capacity to replace the DPRK's plutonium-producing reactors. It failed to move towards the promised full normalisation of political and economic relations, and targeted the DPRK with its nuclear weapons, contrary to the Agreement.

The DPRK had warned that if the USA did not supply the promised alternative energy sources, it would have to restart its nuclear power programme. After the US failed to carry out its side of the Agreement, the DPRK restarted its uranium-enrichment programme.

In January 2002, Bush named the DPRK as part of the Axis of Evil, a US target. Only then did the DPRK declare that it had the right to develop nuclear weapons in response to the US threats.

In October 2002, the DPRK offered to shut down this programme if the USA committed itself to normalise relations, as it had already promised, and not to attack the DPRK. The US government refused and broke off negotiations.

Recognition
The DPRK wants diplomatic recognition from the USA — only the USA, Japan and France do not already recognise it — and a treaty of non-aggression and peace, ending the still-existing state of war with the USA, never resolved after the Korean War when the US government refused to honour the terms of the Armistice Agreement. The October 1953 talks at Panmunjom were ruptured when the US delegate walked out.

In the five years after the armistice, the USA turned South Korea into a military and nuclear base. At the same time, it broke Article 15 of the Agreement, which prohibited any form of blockade against the DPRK: it drew the so-called Northern Limit Line in Korea's West Sea [the Yellow Sea], and began a naval blockade which it maintained for decades.

The USA still has 37,000 troops illegally occupying South Korea, and currently plans to spend an extra $11 billion to strengthen its grip on the South. The DPRK has every right to defend itself against any threats to its independence.

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