The Importance of International Solidarity: DPRK and the Struggle Against Apartheid

The friendship between the popular masses of Korea and many other oppressed countries were shaped and wielded together through their common struggle to fight imperialism and goal to build socialism. They also share a common history of oppressive colonial rule. Just as the Korean people fought its oppressors of Imperial Japan, so did also for one example, the Zimbabwean people fight the successor colonial state of Rhodesia, previously the British colony known as Southern Rhodesia. As in many African countries, the Korean People’s Army fought alongside anti-colonial fighters and training was also provided to the armed wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) – the Zimbabwean African National Liberation Army (ZANLA). ZANU (merged with Zimbabwe African People’s Union in 1987 and formed ZANU-PF) were demonised by racists such as Margaret Tatcher and David Cameron, for the very same reason that Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress were demonised by the very same people. What the racists feared were democratic African states, governed by the indigenous people and an abolishment of the apartheid regimes who governed. When the imperialists supported the apartheid regimes of South Africa, South-West Africa (now Namibia) and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) the progressive forces sided with the struggling people. President Kim Il Sung, who many struggling peoples of the third world recognised as a champion of socialism and national liberation, had his arms open to those who needed his assistance. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) might be a small country, but President Kim Il Sung’s Korea was always open to those who needed support. By the time the peoples who suffered under apartheid regimes defeated the racist governments, there hadn’t been one single victorious national liberation movement who did never enjoyed the support of the DPRK.

DPRK’s support started as early as the 1960’s when the wars of national liberation started. Many fighters of the different national liberation armies travelled to the DPRK to receive training by the Korean People’s Army, and throughout the wars, they enjoyed unlimited support in different fields of the comrades in the DPRK. On the other hand, imperialist powers such as the United States, Britain and of course the apartheid state Israel, supported the racist regimes. The friendship have since the liberation and defeat of apartheid grown even deeper between the DPRK and the African countries who have suffered under apartheid. Sam Nujoma, the first president of Namibia, as well as his successors, have enjoyed great relationships with the DPRK. Comrade Kim Yong Nam, President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, visited Namibia in 2008 and signed several agreements to strengthen the bilateral co-operation in fields such as trade, commerce, transport, energy and defence. President Sam Nujoma was awarded the Order of the National Flag (First Class) and the International Kim Il Sung Prize. The Order of the National Flag is only awarded to longstanding friends of the DPRK, and the International Kim Il Sung Prize is only awarded to those who have contributed in the study and dissemination of the Juche idea.

Ever since the defeat of the apartheid regimes, the vicious imperialists have tried to make their comeback through proxy groups. As they managed to sneak back into South Africa and viciously brought back apartheid in practice, so have the imperialists and reactionaries tried for a long time to bring back apartheid in Zimbabwe. Since the defeat of the colonial forces, the US and Britain have been in so called “negotiations” with the government of Zimbabwe to compensate the people for the land that was forcibly stolen. As the imperialists weren’t interested in providing any compensation, the government of Zimbabwe decided to introduce the land reform, where the land was redistributed to the people and farm workers. The land reform were introduced in the 2000’s – two decades after the liberation. Just as the DPRK, Zimbabwe is also a target of sanctions and military threats by the imperialists. Trigger happy Tony Blair who wholeheartedly backed the US invasion of Iraq was also considering to invade Zimbabwe in order to bring down the revolutionary government of ZANU-PF and President Robert Mugabe. Since a military intervention was ruled out, US and Britain have started their own creation in order to try to bring down the popular government of Zimbabwe in the form of the so called “Movement For Democratic Change” (MDC). MDC whose aim was to portray itself as a social democratic, all inclusive, non-tribalistic foundations, was soon exposed for what it really was – a group whose goal was to cause ethnic tensions and it lost the confident they tried to build with the trade unionists and academics. Now it is nothing without the financial support it receives from the imperialists.

Earlier this year the Namibian government has confirmed that DPRK’s state-run construction company, Mansudae Overseas Projects, built an arms and ammunition factory in the Namibian capital of Windhoek that was completed in 2005, and is in the process of executing other contracts for the construction of the country’s first military academy, military barracks and a new headquarters for the Ministry of Defense (MoD). The US have tried hard to put pressure on the Namibian government to have them severe the ties with the DPRK, but as the Deputy Prime Minister of Namibia, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said: DPRK and Namibia have a long history of military cooperation, which dates back to the struggle for independence.

namibia-kim-yong-nam-675x368
Deputy Prime Minister (Namibia), Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah meet with President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly (DPRK).

No matter how hard the imperialists are trying to blackmail and threaten Namibia to end its longstanding friendship with the DPRK, they won’t succeed. Maybe it would have been different if the US would have shown that they were a friend of the anti-colonial fighters and not one of the apartheid governments who oppressed the Namibian people. Those who have suffered under imperialism knows very well that the US are no friend of them.

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