The steps taken by the North and South Korean heads of state, with the backing of the White House, at their Sept. 18-20 summit to press forward efforts to reduce military tensions, increase links between the two countries and push forward talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula are good for the working class, not just in the United States and Korea, but in Japan, China and across the world.
The SWP has campaigned for decades for the U.S. rulers to get their troops, bombers and warships out of Korea. When the U.S. imperialist rulers invaded North Korea in 1950, SWP National Secretary James P. Cannon wrote to President Harry Truman and to Congress, demanding, “Withdraw all American armed forces so that the Korean people can have full freedom to work out their destiny.”
The party aims to cut through the lie that Washington’s foreign policy is “ours.” U.S. military might is used to serve the predatory interests of the ruling capitalist families, as they extend abroad the assaults they carry out on workers and farmers at home and battle capitalist rivals for markets and influence. Workers need our own party, a labor party, and our own foreign policy, independent of the bosses that exploit us, one that starts from the common interests of workers worldwide.
“The weakening of the US rulers’ seven-decades-long effort to keep its boot on the Korean people’s neck is a welcome aspect” of the decay of “the liberal imperialist world order,” Steve Clark wrote in a Sept. 7 letter from the Socialist Workers Party National Committee to Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea.
Standing in solidarity with fellow toilers, the labor movement should demand Washington unilaterally and unconditionally dismantle its nuclear stockpile and that other governments holding these weapons do so too.
“No one should have the right to produce nuclear weapons, much less the privileged right demanded by imperialism to impose its hegemonic domination” on the world, explained Fidel Castro, the central leader of the Cuban Revolution. The Cuban people and their socialist revolution, he explained, “possess a weapon as powerful as nuclear power. It is the immense justice for which we are struggling.”
Castro started from the capacities of millions of Cuban working people to organize and fight. Through their battle to overthrow the U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista dictatorship and defend their socialist revolution since, Cuban workers and farmers transformed themselves. They have fought to advance the interests of the exploited and oppressed worldwide over decades.
Washington should take immediate steps to move forward talks aimed at ridding the Korean Peninsula of all nuclear weapons. Such steps create better conditions for working people to advance our struggles against the capitalist rulers; and to overcome the division of the Korean Peninsula imposed in 1945 by Washington and Moscow, against the will of the Korean people. Korea is one!
The U.S. government devastated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki when it dropped atomic bombs there, the first and only time nuclear weapons have ever been used. Workers and farmers in Japan would hail the elimination of nuclear weapons in the region as a historic victory.
The U.S. government should sign a peace treaty now ending the murderous war it fought and lost against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the 1950s. It should make permanent the suspension of all its provocative war games with South Korean and Japanese military forces. And it should end the economic sanctions it imposes on the people of North Korea.