The role of Canada’s military in enforcing unjust and deadly sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is of great concern. These activities come at a time the peoples of the world are opposing foreign intervention in all its forms and are calling for peaceful, diplomatic means to resolve issues within and between countries. The high-handed U.S.-led sanctions against the DPRK undermine the achievement of conditions conducive to inter-Korean relations and peace negotiations between the U.S. and DPRK, and are blocking them from going further.
A statement issued by the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) on June 15 informs:
On June 3, the Department of National Defence (DND) announced that the Canadian military will be deploying HMCS Regina, Naval Replenishment Unit Asterix and a CP-140 Aurora aircraft under the name Operation NEON, “to ensure sanctions are imposed against north Korea.” The DND announcement quotes Lieutenant-General Mike Rouleau, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command, stating that Operation NEON is “Canada’s contribution to this multinational initiative in support of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.” Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is also quoted: “Canadians can be proud of the work the Canadian Armed Forces are doing alongside our allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region. This includes contributions to Operation NEON as part of the United Nations Security Council sanctions. These sanctions play a key role in supporting global security and prosperity in the region.”
This is sophistry; it is designed to deceive. The peoples of the world have seen with their own eyes how the joint efforts of north and south Korea created the conditions for the U.S. to begin the process to normalize relations with the DPRK in the past 18 months. This includes the clear statements by the DPRK about why it had to develop its nuclear deterrent, and that if it is able to ensure security for the DPRK and the Korean Peninsula as a whole through negotiations, this deterrent will no longer be necessary. Sanctions played no part in reaching this point whatsoever.
Objectively, the sanctions against the DPRK not only greatly harm the people of the DPRK but serve to increase tensions. They have never contributed to security in the region. Furthermore, they violate the principles on which international law is understood to be based. The DPRK on principle has never compromised its sovereignty or bowed to sanctions. Nor have sanctions stopped the DPRK from being able to find the means to defend itself from outside aggression, including the development of its nuclear deterrent. The ingenuity, perseverance and productive capability of the people of the DPRK have permitted them to overcome these unjust sanctions time and time again and provide for themselves the security they require, and in so doing, uphold peace in the region and the world.
Nor have the sanctions contributed to prosperity. While the U.S., Canada and others claim these sanctions defend human rights, they in fact do the opposite. They are an assault on the human rights of the people of the DPRK, causing them great hardship by depriving them of normal trade relations and the necessities of life. The sanctions are blocking the joint economic development project in Kaesong, as one example. This important enterprise that boosts the mutual prosperity for north and south has been directly sabotaged by the sanctions.
The Canadian government claims to uphold the rule of law and that Canada is a peacekeeping country. What then should people make of it acting as a thug that enforces the illegal sanctions regime of the U.S. imperialists? It is utterly dishonourable and counter to the will of Canadians, who do not consider themselves to be the henchmen of U.S. imperialism.
If Canada was serious about promoting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, it would be calling for the U.S. to uphold the DPRK-U.S. Summit Agreement and take concrete steps towards a new relationship with the DPRK, instead of doing the opposite. Moreover, Canada must make amends for its past crimes against the DPRK as an aggressor in the Korean War that divided Korea and during which terrible crimes were carried out by the U.S. and its allies. More than 4 million Koreans, including civilians, were killed during the war, Pyongyang was razed to the ground and the DPRK and its people suffered great damage through carpet bombing, napalm, fire bombing of its cities, dams and power plants and biological warfare.
Canada must be a force for peace on the Korean Peninsula by ending the participation of the Canadian military in multinational coalitions prowling the seas as self-appointed sanctions police, aimed at realizing the U.S. imperialist striving for hegemony even if it means destroying the DPRK or any other nation. Canada must foster all-sided relations with the DPRK based on the principles of non-interference in each other’s affairs and mutual benefit. It should support all initiatives of the Korean people, such as the inter-Korean Panmunjom Declaration of April 2018, that advance the cause of peace and reunification of Korea. That is what the Canadian people want and what the Korean people desire. This will contribute to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and around the world.
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls on the people of Canada to resolutely oppose Operation NEON as an act of aggression against the DPRK. It is important for Canadians to stay informed about developments on the Korean Peninsula and not fall prey to fearmongering and warmongering that do not serve the cause of peace nor Canadians’ aspirations for Canada to be a Zone for Peace.
Hands Off the DPRK!
End All Sanctions Against the DPRK!
No to Canada’s Participation in Aggression Against the DPRK!