North Korea and nuclear (1 / 3): ideological and historical premise


North Korea has been placed under the attention of the international spotlight for the intensification of its nuclear program and the experimentation of intercontinental missiles, with the increasingly frequent launch of carriers that - between provocative and demonstrative - have flown over the space above Japan and traveled the same distance from the island of Guam, a US outpost in the region. To add to the dose, the ritual threats made by the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong un, towards the United States follow.

On the other hand, US President Trump responded by accusing North Korea of ​​being a danger to world peace, one Raging State which seeks to equip itself with a nuclear arsenal capable of annihilating South Korea, Japan and the US, leading the whole world to a nuclear apocalypse.

This is the summary of the situation that is done on average by the Italian and Western press. But are we sure that this reshooter offers a shiny and complete picture of the story? Let's go for order.

First of all, we must specify that North Korea is a state born of the ashes of World War II, after the defeat of Japan. Korea at the time was a single country that extended throughout the peninsula. After centuries of foreign domination, it was officially annexed to the Japanese Empire in the 1910. The liberation struggle against the Japanese invader was led after the 1943 by the Korean Communist Party, precisely by its leader, Kim Il sung, who was supported by the Soviet Union, while other groups of Koreans fought alongside the Allies. The Korean peninsula was "provisionally" divided at the end of the Second World War into two parts, divided by the parallel 38 °. The Southern part ended under US administration, while the North fell under Soviet influence. The desire of both governments was to establish themselves in the respective opposing areas, thus reuniting the country.

The situation hit the 1950 when the North Koreans, supported economically by the Soviets and the Chinese, invaded the South. The South Korean army, poorly trained and poorly trained, was overwhelmed by the advanced lightning of Kim Il Sung's troops, arriving in a few days to occupy Seoul, the capital of the South. The US intervened and the war lasted for about three years, with many advances and withdrawn from both sides until an armistice was signed. It was decreed that the boundary remained at the 38 ° parallel (with some territorial modification). To date, there is no peace treaty between the two countries, which remain formally in war.

After the end of the war, North Korea continued to develop, following the Soviet model, albeit with its peculiarities. The characteristic that distinguishes Korean communism is the philosophy of the Juche: a particular political doctrine that mixes together Marxist socialism, patriotism, corporatism, autarchy, and worship of the personality of the leader (to learn more about Kim Il sung's speech to explain this particular political concept, called "On the elimination of dogmatism and formalism and the establishment of Juché in ideological work").

Lo Juche rejects Marxist internationalism but marries the idea of ​​"socialism in one country", advocated by Stalin, in view of being able to make the country a fully self-sufficient and untied body.

The Homeland as the People: the people must be liberated from the chains imposed by the Borghesia, the nobles, and the foreigners. It must be independent.

No less is the influence exerted by Confucianism and Buddhism: as the People must get freedom against the ruling classes, and then realize their own revolution by reaching the awareness of being exploited, man must also become independent and realize his own destiny.

An ideology based on the cognition of belonging to something greater, like the State, understood as the ultimate goal of human fulfillment.

Lo Juche then predicts that masses should be led by senior men: Kim's dynasty, the founders of the Homeland, is the clear example. In fact, North Korean propaganda says that Kim Il Sung was born as a comet crossed the sky, as if his coming to the world was wanted by Gods.

Kim Sung died in 1994, after his death succeeded his son, Kim Jong il, as supreme leader and general secretary of the Korean Workers Party. Kim Jong never became president of the nation since Kim Sung was declared "Eternal President" and "Father of Homeland" at the time of his death.

Kim Jong strengthened the principle of "Songun", translated as "The First Army". This political concept, therefore, places the army in a position of superiority over other state organs: it becomes the main element of North Korean society and its government. The politics of the Songun is mainly influenced by two different visions of the world: an idealistic one, which deals with the concepts of Maoist communism, and a pragmatic one that concerns the very existence of the North Korean state.

The idealistic part of the Songun, which, as we said, derives from Maoism, is determined by the idea that political power arises from military power - "political power comes from the barrel of the rifle" - a thought that must be contextualized in a specific historical period: China of the 40 years , a decade in which Maoism took power, was sacked by the war, both civil and liberation. It is absolutely obvious that Chinese Communism (and indirectly also the North Korean one) is strongly linked to an idea of ​​military power, order and discipline. He was simply born thanks to the war, so he will live with the myth of war. In the end, while Chinese communism followed a path in its own right, Korea remained strongly linked to this political idea.

On the other hand, the pragmatic part that makes it indispensable and clarifies the reasons for military investment is simpler and is based on these facts: the Pyongyang government is strongly isolated in the international arena. Its only allies are China, Iran, Cuba, Syria and have minimal trade relations with Russia. The rest of the world does not deal with or threaten, as the USA does, provoking North Korea with continued exercises and maintenance of troops in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula as well as maintaining a fleet in the Pacific. So since the Korean communists feared and feared for the survival of their country, they have to invest heavily in armaments and attack systems. Without excluding the construction of weapons and nuclear facilities.

It therefore seems logical that the close relationship between political power and military force becomes the cornerstone of Pyongyang's politics. In this regard, it should be added that the North Korean nuclear program has accelerated concurrently with the fall of Hussein, and later with that of Gaddafi. Ergo, the American attitude stands as the main cause of the Pyongyang nuclear arms race.

North Korea does not feel safe and knows it is on the famous US list of countries where, sooner or later, "it would be advisable to export a bit of democracy". And here's the policy of the Songun and nuclear weapons are an excellent deterrent to inhibit "US imperial ambitions". Many military scholars argue that North Korea currently has the firepower needed to raze all of Seoul, as well as much of the south of the Korean peninsula. This estimate would keep the "imperialist aims of the US and its allies in the Pacific" at bay, while bringing two important geopolitical players even closer to it: China and Russia, which do not want the United States in the "home landing" .

Kim Jong the died in the 2011, succeeded by Kim Jong un. The "brilliant partner" has tried to reaffirm the supremacy of the Party on the top of the army, succeeding, and finally has expanded the number and quality of armaments available for the People's Army of Korea. The launches, the rehearsals and finally the parades are only the direct consequence of his promises and of the objectives set during the Congress meetings.

Federico Gozzi and Manuele Serventi Merlo

Also read: "North Korea and nuclear (2 / 3): the historical development of the North Korean nuclear program"

(photo: web / US DoD / KCNA)