On 25 April, North Korea conducted its second nuclear test in three years. It followed this up by restarting its main nuclear reactor, threatening to attack South Korea if it joins US-led inspections of ships suspected of carrying nuclear weapons, and firing five short range missile tests to show its teeth.
The regime walked away from talks last month after the UN Security Council condemned its test-launch of a long-range ballistic missile. Now the Security Council is threatening to strengthen the economic sanctions already in place against North Korea.
North Korea says it no longer considers itself bound by the armistic which ended the Korean war in 1953. As well as the danger of military clashes with South Korea and the US, there is the possibility that North Korea's moves will strengthen the growing militarist faction in Japanese politics.
International socialists oppose both military retaliation and economic sanctions against North Korea. Our organic class hostility to the US government and its allies rules out support for such measures; their effect on the population of North Korea and the increased likelihood of war they bring mandates sharp opposition.
At the same time, we are irreconcilably opposed to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
We would not want a genuine socialist state, ruled democratically by the workers, to have such weapons — which are necessarily instruments of mass murder directed against the working class and poor. Why would we want this lunatic Stalinist regime, probably the most totalitarian state on earth, to have its finger on the nuclear button?
We also condemn the US, Britain, China etc’s nuclear weapons, and their hypocrisy in blathering about disarmament while amassing huge stockpiles.
• For more on North Korea and nuclear weapons see www.workersliberty.org/node/7128