Korean Rocket Launch and Nuclear Deterrence

Yesterday’s successful rocket launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a smack in the face to imperialist and globalist interests and shows what a determined people can accomplish even in the face of isolation, sanctions, and threats.  The controlled media in many Western countries couldn’t help but gloat over any glitch or delay in this launch, and predicted failure, yet despite economic sanctions and the constant threat of war, the DPRK put a rocket into orbit.  The successful launch of the satellite is a proud accomplishment for the Korean people, and is a historic milestone in the development of science, technology and economy by fully exercising independent right to use space for peaceful purposes.

Western media have been quick to launch accusations that this same technology could be used to launch nuclear weapons. The Western governments and their arms of propaganda are constantly clamoring with frantic desperation about the supposed threat of “rogue states” acquiring nuclear weapons, or “non proliferation” of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, even whilst themselves continuing research in these areas or giving such WMD’s to their puppet states and allies.  The nuclear weapons tests by the DPRK in 2006 and 2009 had its enemies greatly concerned over the potential to tip the balance of power in the Korean peninsula. While Westerners may believe the media and see this as a provocative act, or one that “destabilizes” the region, it is important to look closer at the reason for these tests and the importance of the nuclear deterrent. The DPRK, is constantly being smeared in the media as an “isolated, impoverished state run by a dictatorship” but the truth of course, not that simple and in many ways the DPRK has accomplished a great deal given the acts of war against it.

Mission control diligently prepares for the launching of the DPRK’s Unha rocket (Courtesy KCNA)

Lest we forget history, we should remember that 600,000 tones of bombs were dropped on Korea during the Korean War over one third as many as were dropped in World War II in its entirety. Millions of Koreans were displaced, and millions more were killed.  The peninsula has been divided ever since, with American troops posted along the border, the most heavily militarized border in the world.  Despite all this, and in the face of world-wide sanctions which were intended to cripple the government of the DPRK, under the leadership of the General Kim Il-Sung, the Korean nation managed to overcome all the ravages of war to build a nation based uniquely on the principle of Juche.  Since the end of the Korean War, tensions have flared up and the looming threat of another conflict have not ceased. Given that the South Korean government receives tremendous support from the American government and suffers no restriction, it is no surprise that the South is in better shape economically today. This on top of the fact that it also sits on far better land, than the less arable, mountainous northern half and has a far larger population, the DPRK’s troubles become far more understandable. The two sides are still technically at war, and there are military exercises on both sides of the border, so  the DPRK has been forced to allocate a large portion of its resources on its conventional weapons and standing army at the expense of civilian goods and comforts. Having nuclear weapons would allow it to deter invasion and threats and free up some of the resources and manpower it uses on its conventional arms for the pursuit of civilian programs that would benefit its population.

Any talk of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, or of any state not called a “great power” by the West must be taken with great caution, if not dismissed outright as imperialist rhetoric. It is a matter of fact that a state with nuclear weapons is treated with greater respect than one without. The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, mentioned in a recent interview how his country denuclearized after the fall of the USSR, and how this seeming goodwill gesture only opened his country up to threats of sanction and such when he pursued an independent path towards economic growth. Indeed, in 2010 he announced that Belarus would be keeping the enriched uranium produced in the Soviet era in response to sanctions by the west. This move is wise, as it reflects the principle of a nation’s right to defend itself, and as cooperation with the West does not pay for any country which seeks to pursue an even halfwise independent path.  The fate of Qaddafi and Libya are a prime example of this. After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Qaddafi announced he would entirely open up his weapons facilities to inspectors, and cooperate with the west on terrorism. For a time it seemed Libya was one of the few successes in “the war on terror” in that the Qaddafi government seemed to be “turning a new leaf” and cooperating with the American government. This did not save the Libyan government in 2011 when the American government and its NATO allies began targeting it in military strikes under the pretext of “protecting civilians”, despite the fact that these strikes cost thousands of lives. The NATO governments quickly forgot the token hand of friendship extended by the Libyan government, and in the aftermath Qaddafi and his supporters have been massacred. Perhaps the west would have treated the matter far more delicately had Qaddafi maintained a nuclear arsenal?

Let there be no doubt, that nuclear weapons are terrible, destructive and dangerous beyond any conventional weapons known, and we in no way are advocating their use or nuclear war which would be disastrous to the world as a whole. Ideally these weapons would not exist anywhere, and the only thing that would decide who wins a war would be bravery on the battlefield. But time cannot be rolled back and these weapons are here whether we want them or not. We merely wish to see an even playing field, rather than one entirely dominated by the interests of international finance and a corrupt political class. There is no greater hypocrisy than the one we see today where the west threatens Iran over a perfectly legal pursuit of nuclear power for civilian use, yet remains completely silent on Israel’s rogue nuclear stockpile, or the hypocrisy of the United States’ threats against nations with nuclear weapons when it remains the only nation in history to have dropped nuclear weapons, destroying two Japanese cities and leaving hundreds of thousands dead!

About Ray Wilson

Ray Wilson is a New York City resident with a degree in history.