Stalinist nightmare continues
Gerbrand Visser, Socialistisch Alternatief (CWI in Netherlands)
The death of the long time Stalinist dictator of North Korea brings no relief to the workers of the country. They suffered many years under Japanese occupation (1905-1945), then during the Korean war (1950-1953) and many, many years of the most ruthless Stalinist rule. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the economy of North Korea suffered setbacks and it is estimated that more than two million people lost their lives during famines at the end of the 1990s. North Korea is now one of the poorer countries in the world, but until well into the 1970s, the income per head of the population was higher than in South Korea.
Stalinist rule in North Korea adheres to the “Juche“ ideology, of ‘self-sufficiency’. The North is unsuitable for food production, because it is mountainous and cold. It has many minerals in its soil, even quite rare ones. The Chinese government prefers the present regime because it gives them relatively easy access to these minerals, and North Korea provides it with a buffer. If North Korea ceased to exist, China would border a country that houses a large contingent of American military forces.