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Korea

Japan: Government statement marking 70 years since WWII end is deceitful

"The Abe administration is composed of and supported by extreme rightists who are trying to rewrite history and glorify Japan’s aggressive war."

August 15, 2015 -- Japanese Communist Party, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Japanese Communist Party chair Shii Kazuo held a news conference on August 14 at the JCP head office in Tokyo, releasing a statement to mark the 70th anniversary since the end of World War II. In the statement, he criticised Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s statement published on the same day as deceitful. The full text of the JCP statement is as follows.

On the 70th anniversary since the end of World War II, the Japanese Communist Party offers its deepest condolences to all victims of the war of aggression and colonial rule by Japan’s militarism.

Now Japan is standing at a historical crossroads between war and peace. The war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution is a treasure embraced by the Japanese people, which they wholly endorsed based on reflection over the past war and the war ravages. The JCP sincerely calls for all peace-loving people to unite in order to protect Article 9 and create a truly peaceful Japan in line with the article, beyond differences in thought, beliefs and political stances.

Barry Sheppard: Three theories of the USSR

"In the US and elsewhere, including Britain, a mass anti-war movement developed against the US war in Vietnam. By 1968, the International Socialists in the US and the IS in Britain changed their line [of neutrality between the 'two imperialisms'] and came out against the US and defended Vietnam. In the US they joined the mass demonstrations to 'Bring the troops home now!'"

Read more by Barry Sheppard HERE.

By Barry Sheppard

June 6, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In this two-part article I examine the ramifications for today of the three theories of the USSR that emerged from the Left Opposition: state capitalism, bureaucratic collectivism and Leon Trotsky’s theory of the degenerated workers’ state. (Read more on the theory of state capitalism HERE.)

Behind the crisis: US tightens chokehold on North Korea

US and South Korean soldiers take part in joint military exercises in Pohang, South Korea.

By David Whitehouse

April 22, 2013 -- Socialist Worker (USA) -- In the 60 years since the end of the Korean War, US policy toward North Korea has fluctuated between the options of "containment" and "rollback".

Sometimes, the policy has shifted in the course of one presidency. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both started out as advocates of rollback -- regime change, either by military force or by provoking an internal collapse -- but ended as caretakers of containment.

Barack Obama -- who campaigned for the White House in 2008 on a promise to conduct direct talks with North Korea, in contrast to the belligerent rhetoric of the Bush years -- seems to have followed an opposite trajectory since his first months in office. Though you wouldn't know it to judge from the US media, this aggressive posture in Washington is a driving factor in the escalating tensions that have landed the Korean conflict on the front pages in recent weeks.

Philippines socialists on the Korean crisis: 'Halt all war preparations! Stop US provocations and intervention!

US sailors aboard the aircraft carrier George Washington prepare to leave for joint military exercises at the port in Busan, South Korea, in 2010.

By Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses), Philippines

Direct political negotiations to defuse Korean crisis! Halt all war preparations!

Stop US provocations and intervention!

Philippines government act responsibly! Halt joint US military exercises! Protect overseas Filipino workers!

For a unified Korea without US and big power interference!

Fidel Castro: The duty to avoid a war in Korea

"Now that [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] has demonstrated its technical and scientific achievements, we remind her of her duties to the countries which have been her great friends, and it would be unjust to forget that such a war would particularly affect more than 70% of the population of the planet." -- Fidel Castro

By Fidel Castro

April 4, 2013 -- Granma International -- A few days ago I mentioned the great challenges humanity is currently facing. Intelligent life emerged on our planet approximately 200,000 years ago, although new discoveries demonstrate something else.

This is not to confuse intelligent life with the existence of life which, from its elemental forms in our solar system, emerged millions of years ago.

South Korea: Struggles by 'irregular' workers multiply, solidarity needed

January 11, 2011, irregular cleaning staff at Hongik University in Seoul protest their unfair dismissal.

[For more background to the South Korean irregular workers’ struggle, see Chris Kim’s excellent article on the Hyundai irregular workers’ strike in Ulsan: “South Korea: ‘Just the first round’ by ‘irregular workers’ at Hyundai Motors”, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, December 16, 2010.]

By Roddy Quines

US imperialist aggression in the early 21st century

Washington has reactivated the US Navy’s 4th Fleet to ensure US power projection over the Caribbean, Central and South America.

[This talk was presented at the regional “socialism conference” was held in Manila from November 27 to 28, 2010. The conference was organised by the socialist Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses) and the socialist-feminist regional network Transform Asia.]

By Rasti Delizo

Martin Hart-Landsberg: What’s happening on the Korean Peninsula?

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

December 31, 2010 -- Reports from the Economic Front -- What’s happening on the Korean peninsula? If you read the press or listen to the talking heads, your best guess would be that an insane North Korean regime is willing to risk war to manage its own internal political tensions. This conclusion would be hard to avoid because the media rarely provide any historical context or alternative explanations for North Korean actions.

For example, much has been said about the March 2010 (alleged) North Korean torpedo attack on the Cheonan (a South Korean naval vessel) near Baengnyeong Island, and the November 2010 North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island (which houses a South Korean military base).

The conventional wisdom is that both attacks were motivated by North Korean elite efforts to smooth the leadership transition underway in their country. The take away: North Korea is an out-of-control country, definitely not to be trusted or engaged in negotiations.

But is that an adequate explanation for these events? Before examining the facts surrounding them, let’s introduce a bit of history. Take a look at the map below, which includes both Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong Islands.

Tariq Ali on Mao Zedong and communism in China

"Mao images are for sale, popular in China and not just with tourists, his ideas on protracted war used frequently for `guerrilla marketing'. His fate, like that of Che, seems now to be that of a treasured commodity—all that is missing is a Chinese equivalent of the Motorcycle Diaries."

Review by Tariq Ali

Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World
By Rebecca E. Karl
Duke University Press: Durham, NC 2010
paperback, 216 pages, 978 0 8223 4795 8.

November-December 2010 -- New Left Review -- The emergence of China as the world’s economic powerhouse has shifted the centre of the global market eastwards. The People's Republic of China’s (PRC) growth rates are the envy of elites everywhere, its commodities circulating even in the tiniest Andean street markets, its leaders courted by governments strong and weak. These developments have ignited endless discussion on the country and its future.

South Korea: `Just the first round' by `irregular workers' at Hyundai Motors

Hyundai Motors workers' sit-in at Hyundai's plant in Ulsan.

Chris Kim reports on strikes and factory occupations at Hyundai Motor Company in South Korea, which is building solidarity among regular and irregular workers, and among workers internationally.

December 16, 2010 -- Socialist Worker (US) -- "Even a worm will squirm when it is being stepped on" is an old Korean idiom that basically means that even the most powerless creature reacts against an aggressor. However, when such a worm is transformed into a fearful dragon, it will do a lot more than just squirm, to the point that you had better think twice about stepping on it.

That's what happened at one of South Korea's most profitable companies, Hyundai Motors, when the company's irregular workers mobilised with strikes and factory occupations during the middle of November, after decades of being "stepped on". Before we start with that fateful day of November 15, we need to take a look at how it progressed.

South Korea: Epic Ssangyong workers' strike remembered

South Korea: First-hand report -- Day 1 of the anti-G20 Seoul International People's Conference -- Army of cops prevent march

Roddy Quines is a Socialist Alliance of Australia member living in South Korea. This is his first-hand account of the first day of anti-G20 actions on November 7, 2010, in Seoul.

* * *

On the afternoon of November 7 I attended an event called the Seoul International People's Conference. It was organised by trade unions, NGOs and church leaders as an alternative to the G20 conference. The People's Conference is taking place from November 7 to 10. Topics to be discussed include, among others, “Alternatives for the global economy”, “Climate change and civil societies” and “Structural adjustment and labour's strategies for resistance”. November 11 is reserved as a day for direct action with a planned rally and march, and on the morning of November 12 a press conference and strategy meeting are planned. 

South Korea: Ssangyong trade unionist's appeal

Han Sang Kyun.

By Australia Asia Workers Links

August 3, 2010 -- On February 13, 2010, Han Sang Kyun, the chairman of the Ssangyong Motor Company Union, was sentenced to four years in prison. Australia Asia Workers Links is campaigning for his release.

People's Republic of China at 60: Maoism and popular power, 1949–1969


Youth demonstrate during the Cultural Revolution.

[Click HERE for more analysis of the Chinese Revolution and its evolution.]

By Pierre Rousset

With the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) found itself at the head of a country three times larger than Western Europe, with a population of some 500 million. The internal situation was favourable to the revolutionary regime. At the end of a long series of civil and foreign wars, the population sought and relied on the new leaders to achieve peace while the ongoing people’s mobilisation opened the way for a deep reform of society.

Industrial action for peace: The Communist Party of Australia and antiwar activity before 1960

[Douglas Jordan was politicised in England in the late 1960s. After arriving in Australia he joined the Socialist Youth Alliance/Socialist Workers League/Socialist Workers Party, in which where he remained a member for 14 years. Today he is a community activist and co-presenter of the City Limits radio program on Melbourne's 3CR.

[After working as a tram conductor in Melbourne and Adelaide he was replaced by a ticket machine in 1998 and so lost his lifetime profession. He returned to study and is now writing his PhD thesis. The thesis -- of which this article is an excerpt -- is a detailed examination of the extent to which Communist Party of Australia union activists raised political issues in their unions.

[In particular it looks at the peace movement, attitudes to the post-war migration program and the Aboriginal struggle for human rights. There was been a general perception that Communist Party union activists were nothing more than industrial militants. The thesis aims to challenge this and show that CPA members often raised political issues and sought support for them from their co-workers.]

* * *

By Douglas Jordan

South Korea: Ssangyong workers occupy plant, win partial victory -- Class war in midst of economic crisis

Ssangyong worker is greeted by family member at the conclusion of the occupation, August 6, 2009.

[See also South Korea: Graphic photos, video -- Ssangyong sit-in workers' appeal: `Our lives are at stake'.]

By Young-su Won

August 6, 2009 -- After days of harsh and inhumane assaults by riot police and company thugs on striking workers occupying the Ssangyong Motor plant in Pyeongtaek, near Seoul, the Korean Metal Workers Union (KMWU) and management reached an agreement: the union accepted part of the company’s redundancy proposal, saving about half the strikers’ jobs, while the rest will apply for voluntary retirement or unpaid long-term leave, or accept another job with the spin-off company.

(Updated August 5) South Korea: Graphic photos, video -- Ssangyong sit-in workers' appeal: `Our lives are at stake'


(For best results: allow video to load on `pause' before pressing play.)
[Go to ``South Korea: Ssangyong workers face brutal police/thug attacks as factory occupation continues'' for the backgound to the sit-in.]

Urgent appeal by the Korean Metal Workers Union and Korean Confederation of Trade Unions

[Please send solidarity messages to the KCTU at inter@kctu.org]

 

(Updated August 4) South Korea: Ssangyong workers face brutal police/thug attacks as factory occupation continues

* * *

See also the statement by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, ``Call to Action: Stop Police Suppression against the Striking workers of Ssangyong Motors!''

* * *

Scroll down for earlier coverage.

Urgent Appeal: Ssangyong Motor workers’ lives in danger! Solidarity urgent!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Korean Metal Workers Union (KMWU)

inter@metal.nodong.org

Dear friends,

We urgently request your solidarity regarding Ssangyong Motor Workers’ dispute. It is urgent for the Korean government to step up and play a role toward a peaceful settlement!

Our union members’ lives are in danger.

How Obama pardons capitalism for its misdeeds in Africa

By Emilie Tamadaho Atchaca (Benin), Solange Koné (Ivory Coast), Jean Victor Lemvo (Congo Brazzaville), Damien Millet (France), Luc Mukendi and Victor Nzuzi (Congo Kinshasa), Sophie Perchellet (France), Aminata Barry Touré (Mali), Eric Toussaint (Belgium), Ibrahim Yacouba (Niger)[1]. Translated by Maria Gatti

July 20, 2009 -- After the G8 summit in Italy, US President Barack Obama flew off to Africa with a so-called gift: an envelope of US$20 billion to distribute over three years, so that “generous” donors in the rich countries could “help” reduce world hunger. While the promise to eradicate hunger has been made on a regular basis since 1970, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) published a report last month indicating that the number of undernourished people has passed the 1 billion point, that is 100 million more than the year before. At the same time, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) sounded the alarm bell and announced that it had to cut

South Korea’s rollback of democracy

Candlelight protests in Seoul, June 10, 2008.

By George Katsiaficas

May 25, 2009 -- The suicide of former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun on May 23, 2009, left South Korea in shock. All over the country, tens of thousands of tearful people sought to eulogise and memorialise Roh — to find ways to express their grief and anger. Conservative government politicians were blocked by local residents from joining tens of thousands people who made the journey to Roh’s small hometown the day he died. Not only were they refused admittance, many people splashed them with water and chanted that they should get out — shaming them into leaving. Opposition party spokesperson Kim Yu-jeong expressed what is in many people’s hearts when he blamed Roh’s tragic death on the conservative government’s relentless and disrespectful offensive against him: “The people and history know what made the former president do something so tragic.”

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