(Research & Translation by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)
Translator’s Note: Although the terms ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ were apparently ‘removed’ from official documents in the DPRK a number of years ago, this did not mean that North Korea abandoned its Socialist or progressive institutions or establishments. On the contrary, the DPRK carried-on building Socialism and striving to establish Communism by looking after its people and providing for all their educational and material needs. The idea that the removal of these two terms on paper equated with the abandonment of Marxist-Leninism in practice, is an error of interpretation. The only issue of note is that of the ‘heredity’ system in North Korea, and the dominance of that country’s government by a single branch of the ‘Kim’ family – but this is a matter for the North Korean people and no one else. Finally, although China is attempting to remove US and South Korean aggression against North Korea (by calling upon all sides to exercise restraint and arms control), nevertheless, articles within the Chinese press make it blatantly clear that China will come to the aid of North Korea should the West attack it. ACW (8.7.2017)
In May of this year (2016), the DPRK’s Workers’ Party will hold its 7th National People’s Congress. It is thought that during this 7th Congress, the term ‘Communism’ will be re-written into the DPRK’s Constitution, or that slogans using the term will be used throughout the DPRK. In fact, with around a month before the 7th Congress begins, the DPRK Workers’ News publication has increased the intensity of its coverage, with Editorials including the word ‘Communism’! A typical example reads:
‘Military and civilian workers in the DPRK are striving together to build a Bright New Dawn and a Great Shining Path as a means of establishing ‘Communist’ civilisation in the country!’
The term ‘Communism’ has not appeared in the North Korean media for a long time. In April, 2009, the Supreme People’s Assembly (held in North Korea) decided to remove the term ‘Communism’ from the Constitution. Then in June, 2014 (after 39 years of ideological consistency) altered the Guiding Principles of the Constitution and the Workers’ Party Guiding Regulations for the first time, stating that ‘the only way to establish the DPRK Workers’ Party’s Ten Principles’, is only through the ‘Baishou Mountain Descent’ System – whereby Kim Jong Un’s regime was confirmed as being purely ‘hereditary’ in nature.
With the abandonment of the terms ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’, and the movement away from the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ – and the ‘Communist’ vision followed by Kim Il Song and Kim Jong Il – North Korea has become a de facto ‘Dynasty State’. This seems to suggest that Kim Jong Un’s rule is now viewed as more important than that of his ancestors, and that the Marxist-Leninist basis of revolution and workers’ struggle has been side-lined, or relegated as less important.
When North Korea followed the ‘Communist’ path, it was very much viewed as a hermit country with little interest in the outside world. With the abandonment of ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’, and the establishment of Kim Jong Un’s rule, the DPRK has become very active on the international stage, and has attracted unwanted and unwarranted attention from the capitalist West – particularly the US. Could it be the case that to remedy this, the DPRK is going to re-engage ‘Communism’, and abandon the Kim Family inheritance pathway?
The DPRK media has not used the term ‘Communism’for around 14 years – but its sudden re-emergence, it does appear that a change is coming. This is significant, as the DPRK has only held 6 previous Congresses in 1946, 1948, 1956, 1961, 1970 and 1980. The upcoming Congress will be the first in 36 years since the rule of Kim Sung Il!
©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2017.
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