Signing of Armistice in the Korean War, July 27, 1953

U.S. Must Stop All Provocations Against the DPRK and Sign a Peace Treaty Now!

Korean People’s Army celebrates victory

By Nick Lin and Philip Fernandez

On July 27, the Korean people, as well as peace-loving humanity will celebrate the 68th anniversary of the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States in 1953 which brought a ceasefire to the Korean War, known in the DPRK as the Great Fatherland Liberation War. The signing of the Armistice Agreement also signalled the first military defeat of the U.S. following the Second World War — a humiliation which has haunted the U.S. imperialists ever since, and for which it has yet to forgive the DPRK and the Korean people.

The U.S. intervened in Korea based on the reactionary Cold War policy of the “containment of communism.” From the Japanese colonial era through the Second World War, the outstanding resistance and guerrilla warfare carried out in Korea under the leadership of Kim Il Sung and other communists brought great prestige to communism throughout Korea for its ability to mobilize and organize the people to defend themselves.

Even before the surrender of Japan, the U.S. divided Korea by force at the 38th parallel with the aim of imposing their rule over the victorious Korean people who had contributed, second to none, to the Allied victory in the Second World War. The aim was to keep the Korean people divided and to turn the south of Korea into a U.S. military beachhead in order to wage war against China and the Soviet Union.

Following the Japanese surrender, the U.S. brutally suppressed and outlawed the Korean People’s Republic that had been proclaimed by the representatives of the whole Korean people on September 6, 1945 in Seoul. The U.S. installed the U.S. Military Government of Korea in the south which carried out a campaign of terror against the Korean people’s resistance to U.S. dictate and occupation. A virulent anti-communist, Syngman Rhee, who had spent most of his life in the U.S., was installed as the first President of the so-called Republic of Korea (ROK) in July 1948. The pro-U.S. Rhee government continued to suppress the Korean people’s widespread resistance to U.S. military occupation through extrajudicial killings, civilian massacres, mass incarcerations and other crimes, carried out with impunity.

Mass imprisonment and executions of suspected communists is carried out on Jeju Island in 1948, to quell the people’s refusal to submit to foreign dictate.

Meanwhile in the north, the Korean people under the leadership of Kim Il Sung, were able to establish the Workers’ Party of Korea and found the DPRK in 1948. They took control of their future and began to build a modern socialist society on the basis of self-reliance. President Kim Il Sung and the Workers’ Party of Korea also provided political and practical leadership to the Korean people’s aspiration for a reunified Korea. It was following the ROK elections of May 29, 1950, when the Syngman Rhee government suffered a major electoral setback and the forces for reunification were gaining momentum, that the U.S. launched the Korean War on June 25, 1950, to block the independent reunification of Korea.

In the Korean War, the people of the DPRK, led by Kim Il Sung, were organized by the Workers’ Party of Korea and mobilized to support the Korean People’s Army. The newly established People’s Republic of China sent troops in the form of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, to support the Korean people after U.S. forces approached China’s eastern border with the DPRK. They ardently defended the Korean people in this war of aggression carried out by the U.S. imperialists and 15 allied countries, including Canada, under the fig leaf of the UN flag.

President Kim Il Sung during the war, making a radio address in 1950 and with KPA troops at the front.

The armistice talks began on July 10, 1951. However, the U.S. refused to agree to a ceasefire as a condition of talks and also refused to abide by the Geneva Convention regarding the repatriation of prisoners. During the two-year period of negotiations, the U.S. and its allies employed all sorts of delaying tactics in the hope of achieving an outright military victory. They massacred hundreds of thousands of civilians in the north and south of Korea, with many buried alive, dismembered, burned to death or drowned. They carried out such war crimes as germ and chemical warfare, the bombing of infrastructure including dams and irrigation canals to flood the grainfields and starve the people, the carpet bombing of civilian targets, and the massive use of napalm — all to terrorize the Korean people into submission. An estimated 4.6 million Koreans, mostly civilians, perished during the war.

A long line of refugees flees Yongdong, south Korea, on July 26, 1950. The same day, eight miles down the road at No Gun Ri, hundreds of refugees are massacred as part of official U.S. policy.

However a U.S. victory was not to be. The Korean people, led by Kim Il Sung and the Korean People’s Army, with the help of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, defeated the troops of the U.S. and the other aggressor nations. The U.S. was forced to come to the north to sign the Armistice Agreement in Panmunjom. It was a bitter pill to swallow — being defeated for the first time in the 20th century and by a small Asian nation at that.

Signing of the armistice in Panmunjom, Korea, July 27, 1953. The building has been preserved by the DPRK in the demilitarized zone to inform future generations of the crimes committed by the U.S. and its allies during the war.

In the spirit of revenge-seeking and stubbornly following its own geopolitical interests, the U.S. has refused ever since to sign a peace treaty to end the Korean War, as stipulated by the terms of the Armistice Agreement, despite the repeated invitations by the DPRK to do so.

Item 60, Article IV of the Armistice Agreement states:

“In order to insure the peaceful settlement of the Korean question, the military Commanders of both sides hereby recommend to the governments of the countries concerned on both sides that, within three (3) months after the Armistice Agreement is signed and becomes effective, a political conference of a higher level of both sides be held by representatives appointed respectively to settle through negotiation the questions of the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Korea, the peaceful settlement of the Korean question, etc.”

Pyongyang after the war.

Ongoing U.S. Imperialist Aggression on Korean Peninsula

Since July 27, 1953, the U.S. has done everything possible to maintain its military presence in Korea and keep the Korean War going. On October 1, 1953, it concluded the U.S.-South Korea Mutual Defence Treaty, which has since become the basis of the continued U.S. military presence in south Korea that is opposed by the vast majority of the Korean people. It is also the basis by which the U.S./south Korean forces carry out their Key Resolve/Foal Eagle and many other joint military exercises, which now include Japan, Australia, Canada and others, and are aimed at invading the DPRK and imposing regime change.

The U.S. continues to rebuff all attempts at normalizing DPRK-U.S. relations, including diplomatic resolutions to such issues as the DPRK’s use of nuclear energy and the development of its nuclear deterrent capability, while at the same time it maintains and expands its own nuclear weapons in the south. The U.S. has also increased economic and political sanctions against the DPRK, another form of warfare, as it is doing against other countries that affirm their right to be and refuse to submit to U.S. dictate. The Biden administration continues the disinformation about “human rights violations” in the DPRK in a feeble attempt to divert from its own human rights abuses at home and abroad.

As time goes on, the U.S. imperialists are increasingly isolated in terms of relations with the DPRK. The DPRK’s principled stand in defence of its sovereignty and right to self-determination, and its consistent defence of the Korean nation’s honour continue to win the support of all humanity who can clearly see who is the aggressor on the Korean Peninsula.

The aim of the U.S. remains the same today as it was at the end of the Second World War — to occupy the entire Korean Peninsula as a launching pad for its takeover of Asia and then the world. And the U.S. justification for doing so remains as bankrupt as ever. All the attempts of the U.S. to realize its domination of the region — its occupation of the Korean Peninsula with almost 30,000 troops and its military bases, the ongoing attempts to sabotage the Korean people’s movement for national reunification, and its engineering of puppet regimes in the south — have failed to silence the resolve of the 70 million Koreans who are united in their aspiration for the peaceful, independent reunification of their homeland, free of U.S. imperialist interference.

The criminal role of the U.S. imperialists in Korea, from 1945 to the present, has been exposed for the whole world to see, and the resolute struggle of the Korean people for peace and justice, independence and reunification stands as an example for all the peoples of the world aspiring for peace.

Picket outside the White House, February 15, 2021

The main demand of the Korean people and all peace- and justice-loving people around the world is that the U.S. sign a peace treaty with the DPRK to replace the Armistice Agreement and end the Korean War. This would be a first step to stabilize the political situation on the Korean Peninsula and ease tensions. To date the U.S. has violated all the terms of the Armistice Agreement since the time it was signed and has constantly rebuffed efforts by the DPRK to normalize relations between the two countries. The DPRK knows first hand the perfidy and subterfuge of the U.S. imperialists and refuses to participate in “empty talks” that do not advance peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Canadians demand that Canada make amends for its role in the crimes perpetrated against the Korean people during the Korean War. Canada must immediately end its participation in the illegal naval embargo against the DPRK, which is part of the U.S.-led sanctions regime and an act of war and a crime against the peace, the most serious war crime under international law. Canadians must hold the U.S. responsible for its crimes on the Korean Peninsula before, during and since the Korean War and demand that it sign a peace treaty with the DPRK to end the Korean War. This will help ensure that another Korean War does not break out and support the Korean people’s drive to reunify their divided country, contributing to peace around the world.

Most importantly, by going all out to fight for an anti-war government at home and to make Canada a Zone for Peace, the Canadian people will contribute to ensuring peace on the Korean Peninsula. Canada must reactivate the stalled and dormant diplomatic relations established with the DPRK in 2001, in order to promote peaceful and mutually beneficial relations between the peoples of the two countries. This will be a concrete contribution to building peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the world.

U.S. Troops Out of Korea!
U.S. Sign a Peace Treaty with the DPRK Now!
All Out For an Anti-War Government!
Make Canada a Zone for Peace!

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Filed under Asia, History, United States

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