Tuesday, November 23, 2010

North Korea's Songun-bolstering attack on Yonpyong-do: An ante upped?

On the drive home I caught Professor Brian Myers (author of The Cleanest Race, which deals with the nationalist cultism of North Korea) on the BBC, which was being broadcast, as it usually is at this time of night, through the local NPR affiliate.

His opinion echoed my own, that North Korea's Tuesday attack on South Korea's Yŏnpyŏng-do Island [aka Yeonpyeong-do] could only have happened because the ROK failed to retaliate in any meaningful (read: proportionate or greater military response) when the Ch'ŏnan was sunk. He also focused heavily on how this kind of thing would be necessary in a country whose raison d'être lies with its military, hence the so-called Songun [선군/先軍, sŏn•gun] policy.

I couldn't find a BBC link to the Professor Myers interview, but here's a link to him appearing on NPR, where he may echo similar thoughts.

His talk of Songun Policy reminded me that just the other day, in my search of KCNA news items for mentions of Kim Jong-un, I ran across what seemed even before the attack to be two quite notable Songun-praising editorials. One talks about the importance of the Songun spirit, but the second seems eerily but opaquely foreshadowing, given Tuesday's events:
The sovereignty of the country and peace cannot be achieved without frustrating the high-handed and arbitrary practices of the imperialists and their moves for aggression. In order to win a victory in the fierce confrontation with the imperialists it is necessary, first of all, to bolster the military capability in every way.

Rodong Sinmun Thursday observes this in a signed article.

Songun politics provides a sure guarantee for defending the sovereignty of the country and peace and attaching importance to the military affairs serves as a principle to be always held fast to under the situation where the imperialists exist and the danger of war persists due to them, the article notes, and goes on:

Independence can neither be defended by mere talking nor can the prosperity and development of a country be achieved by begging.

Military capability provides the surest guarantee for the prosperity and development of a country and nation. Only when a country is strong in its military capability can it emerge victorious in the confrontation with the imperialists.

It is of particular importance for the countries exposed to the imperialists' great threat of aggression to augment the might of Songun. At present the imperialists regard those countries which assert an independent stand and those countries situated in the strategically important regions as the main targets of their invasion and military interference, while making every possible effort not to deteriorate their relations with big countries. Therefore, the developing countries and small countries should build up their military capability in order not to fall victim to the imperialists' invasion and war.

Any illusion about the imperialists means a death. To harbor any illusion about the imperialists is little short of surrendering before them with their hands raised. One should not be taken in by the "appeasement" policy of the imperialists.

It is necessary to always hold fast to the Songun politics, the most effective all-powerful treasured sword in the present times. This provides the master key to foiling the imperialists' policy of strength and accomplishing the human cause of independence, the cause of peace.

The Korean people will as ever bolster the defence capability of the country in every way and consolidate the unity and cohesion of the revolutionary ranks with the People's Army as the core to be unbreakable ones under the uplifted banner of Songun in view of the evermore undisguised moves of the imperialists for aggression and thus reliably protect the sovereignty and security of the country and make a positive contribution to ensuring the world peace.
War is peace. Military-first is the people first. Freedom is slavery. We have always been at war with Southkorea.

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