The peace march on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to commemorate over 70,000 lives lost at the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on Aug. 9 in Livermore, Calif., bring up questions of Marxism, humanism, and the alternative necessary new society.
Report on the Belt and Road Forum held in May in China and its connection with China’s imperialist and anti-labor actions.
The U.S. is increasing its military activity in the far East as tensions rise between it and North Korea that could lead to an unthinkable and devastating nuclear and chemical war that could affect multiple nations.
North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, has eliminated another member of the ruling party elite, vice-premier Choe Yong-gon. It is likely that Choe was eliminated for his connection to the North’s joint business ventures with South Korea.
• Over 100,000 South Koreans, mainly workers, demonstrated in Seoul on Dec. 28. They expressed their anger over a number of issues at the government of President Park Geun-hye.
One source of anger is the move to privatize some service by KORAIL (Korean Railroad Corp.). This had already led to the largest-ever walkout by members of the railroad workers’ union. Union officials say moves to privatize will mean fare hikes, service reductions, and safety problems.
On Dec. 22 riot police were sent to attack the Seoul headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. Without search warrants, they broke down doors and caused serious property damage, including to the adjoining offices of the Kyunghang newspaper, which has been critical of Park’s policies.
Other citizens, outraged by revelations of manipulation by the National Intelligence Service of the 2012 elections when Park was elected, joined protesting workers. Police had confirmed illegal attempts to manipulate the election beforehand, but were ordered to remain silent.
With all these problems and more, South Korean youth have been inspired by the “Why We Aren’t Fine!” campaign. This was launched when a student at Korea University, Ju Hyun-woo, made a poster for his school bulletin board that was picked up and broadcast over social media. He wrote: “I just want to ask, ‘Are you okay?’ Are you fine with ignoring all these issues because they aren’t your problems?…And if you are not ‘fine’ after seeing all these problems, then voice your opinions—whatever they may be.”
Many of these young people joined in the Dec. 28 demonstrations, and also held flash mobs in cities across the country.
Escape from Camp 14 is the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person born in a North Korean slave labor camp to escape, doing so at the age of 23 in 2005. Shin’s life is testament to the putrid essence of that militarized, state-capitalist totalitarian society.
From the January-February 2012 issue of News & Letters:
World in View
Kim dynasty drags on
by Gerry Emmett
The body of late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il will be placed on display in Pyongyang, beside that of his father Kim Il-sung. The official news agency reported “natural wonders” following Kim’s death, including that “…a Manchurian crane [=>]
Lead article in the new January-February 2012 issue of News & Letters:
Widening labor and peasant revolts threaten Chinese rulers
by Bob McGuire
Open rebellion in the village of Wukan in December revealed the forced land seizures that have underpinned China’s industrial expansion as it has risen to serve as the world’s workshop. What rulers in [=>]
Protests began in September in Wukan, a village of 20,000 people in Guangdong province on the South China Sea, against seizure of more than 100 acres of Wukan’s common land to be sold to those with insider ties to the village Communist Party leadership. Village authorities escalated the conflict by identifying protest leaders and hauling [=>]