On October 9th, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced “with 100% of sheer indigenous wisdom and technology… under secure conditions… at a stirring time when all the people of the country are making a great leap forward in the building of a great, prosperous, powerful socialist nation” the successful underground testing of a nuclear bomb. Predictably, the United States blasted the test as a “provocative act threatening international peace and stability” and threatened sanctions.
The corporate media has been demonizing Kim Jong Il, calling him a "madman" for wanting a nuclear bomb. But given the world situation, wouldn't he be insane not to? Look no farther than Iraq. The Saddam regime in Iraq destroyed their stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons (supplied by the United States during the Iran/Iraq war it should be noted), agreed to weapons inspections, and never had a nuclear weapons program. Yet for the crime of nationalising its oil production, the United States killed 1.5 million Iraqis through a decade of sanctions and bombings, then invaded and occupied the country, established a puppet government, and fomented civil war, killing an additional 600,000+ in the process. The United States (along with Japan) has been threatening to do the same to the DPRK since the end of Korean War in 1953. The DPRK has repeatedly sought one-on-one negotiations with the US to end hostilities and to sign a mutual non-aggression pact. In other words, they want peace. The US has rejected these calls and continues to maintain tens of thousands of its troops in South Korea, along with aviation, artillery, and armoured brigades. In these conditions, the only way for the DPRK to maintain its national sovereignty is to have sufficient military force to deter the United States from turning them into another Iraq.
That the United States would rattle its sabers over the DPRK's testing of a nuclear bomb is beyond hypocritical. The US has a stockpile of over 10,000 nuclear weapons - more than enough to destroy all life on Earth - and have conducted 1,127 nuclear tests of their own. They are the only country in the world to maintain a "first strike" policy and under the Bush regime have amended that policy to include "first strikes" against even non-nuclear adversaries. They are also the only country to actually use nuclear weapons in warfare. They bombed the civilian cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki even though they knew that the Japanese were attempting to open surrender negotiations via the Soviet Union. If nuclear disarmament has to start anywhere, it's in the United States. Until then, countries targeted by imperialism have the right to defend themselves!