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Proletarian issue 47 (April 2012)
Korea’s satellite – a tribute to a great leader
Hysterical propaganda is aimed at hiding the fact that imperialism seeks to monopolise space technology.
On 16 March, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced proudly that in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Comrade Kim Il Sung, the founding President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, it will be launching a polar-orbiting earth observation satellite, Kwangmyongsong-3, to be blasted off southward from the Sohae satellite launching station in Cholsan county, North Phyongan province between 12 and 16 April, lifted by carrier rocket Unha-3.

The Korean authorities stressed (a) that the satellite’s purposes are purely peaceful; (b) that care has been taken to ensure that no neighbouring country will be affected by any debris; and (c) that everything connected with the satellite and its launch is fully transparent and internationally verifiable.

One can just imagine the jubilation that would be displayed in this country if British industry, in celebration of the Queen’s diamond jubilee, were to be launching a satellite that had been made in Britain by means of a rocket that was also entirely home-produced. There would be no end to the euphoria.

Korea’s satellite, however, and its rocket launcher, are entirely made in the DPRK, and the launch that is the pride and joy of the Korean people has brought out the most unpleasant and niggardly condemnation from the various imperialist powers.

In its rage at the continued ability of the DPRK, thanks to its socialist system, to develop technology to the highest level, notwithstanding all the sanctions that imperialism can throw at it, US imperialism is threatening to cut off recently-promised food aid to the DPRK when the launch goes ahead, as it will.

The DPRK constantly attempts to normalise relations with the imperialist powers. It merely asks to be left alone to develop in its own way – but this imperialism cannot allow, as Korea’s way is socialist and socialism cannot be allowed to flourish anywhere in the world, since imperialism’s continued domination depends heavily on people believing the myth that socialism as a system ‘doesn’t work’ and ‘has failed’. Hence sanction after sanction being heaped on the DPRK.

And hence the outraged disbelief when, in spite of everything, the DPRK is able to maintain an advanced industry, to say nothing of its high cultural level and the self-confidence and happiness of its empowered working class and peasantry. Imperialism’s response is to try ever harder to make them suffer!

It was only in February this year that, in an attempt to reduce tensions, the DPRK, which has long been pressing for the resumption of the six-party talks on an equitable basis, agreed – despite 67 years of unremitting bad faith on the part of the imperialist powers – to imperialist terms that it “would suspend uranium enrichment, allow United Nations inspectors back into the country and place a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests in return for 240,000 tons of food aid over the next year. In Washington, the State Department said that agreement explicitly forbade missile tests or satellite launchings, among other military actions.” (‘North Korea says it will launch satellite into orbit’ by Choe Sang-hun and Steven Lee Myers, New York Times, 17 March 2012)

Once again, the imperialists have simply used Korea’s concessions as a launch-pad for yet another propaganda war.

As it has done in the past, imperialist propaganda has transformed the rocket launchers that will bear Korea’s satellite into space into ‘ballistic missiles’, being launched supposedly in contravention of some 2009 UN resolution. Surely nobody can be taken in by such primitive trickery? Why should the DPRK be prevented from launching satellites? Could it be that US imperialism wants to monopolise the ability to keep watch from space over what its opponents are up to?

This is how the BBC, currently running a series called In Orbit, How Satellites Rule Our World, describes the importance of satellites in the modern world:

[S]atellites have revolutionised exploration, communication, location-finding and spying ... they have transformed, not only the way we see our planet, but our understanding of the dangers within it, like volcanoes and earthquakes. Plus ... the jaw-dropping power of the technology used by satellites to make our lives run smoothly.

Imperialism wants to deny Korea the right to deploy this power. It shall not succeed!

Kim Il Sung: 1912-94
Korean communists determined to maintain socialist road
Eye witness to socialism in Korea
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