A few years after Japanese colonisers left the island nation at the end of WW2, the US controlled South Korean puppet government began to round up and slaughter communists — figures range from 30,000 to 50,000 in merely months. This caused the Northern forces to come to the rescue of their comrades in the South, and to liberate all of the island from colonial rule, in 1950, in what the West calls an “invasion”. The US military then used this as an excuse to launch an actual invasion whose goals were beyond maintaining US control of the South, and even beyond the total destruction of the North.
“… If we have made the decision to use military force to solve problems, then we ought to use it, and use an overwhelming amount; use too much, and deliberately use too much, so that there are no errors…”
— Curtis LeMay, US General and Leader of Strategic Air Command (1952, Korean War)
In the first 3 months of the war, the US ran out of military targets, and spent the remaining 3 years targeting cities, infrastructure, and civilian population. Carpet bombing destroyed 8,000+ hospitals, 9000+ factories. The US army burnt forests, poisoned rivers, used white phosphorous, agent orange, and other chemical and biological weapons on civilians. Koreans moved entire farms and factories underground. By the end of the war, 1 in 5, or 20%, of the North Korean population had been killed, and the survivors lived underground. Today, North Korean mothers are still giving birth to deformed children, due to toxins left over from the massive US deployment of biological and chemical weapons.
China was planned as the next target, if US exploits in Korea were successful. This was another reason that the PLA, then largely a volunteer force only 3 years after the end of the brutal civil war and 7 years after the long military struggle against Japanese forces, had no choice but to come to the help of North Korea. 3 years later, the US forces, with vast equipment and supply advantages, were forced to retreat and fly home.
(The USAmerican POWs were treated with such humanity and compassion, that many of them defected, refused to return home, became communists, and lived the rest of their lives in Korea and China)
Until recent years, US and European textbooks called the Korean War a “police action”, merely mentioned in passing. All information regarding this heinous episode of large scale egregious crimes against humanity remains to this day very much suppressed in the entire “liberal democratic” sphere, in order to prevent any kind of real understanding of North Korea.
The DPRK was born in the aftermath of this genocidal event; and the war did not end there. No peace treaty was ever signed, and in the following decades, until today, North Koreans live in fear of being again invaded or worse, attacked with nuclear weapons. But world events and situation did not present another opportunity for a second US attempt to subjugate or destroy North Korea, so instead, their efforts continued in the form of waging ceaseless economic and propaganda war against the DPRK.
But from 1953 to the 1980s, industrial, productive, and economic development of the North, assisted by both the USSR and the PRC, surpassed those of the US funded and puppet fascist dictator ruled South, even with overwhelming sanctions, embargoes, and forced isolation which cut the DPRK off from global supply chains and trade (nothing short of detrimental).
The collapse of the Soviets in 1991 coupled with intensified US strangulation in the form of newly imposed petroleum sanctions did lead to a few years of very difficult times in the North, during which famine did occur, even with help from the PRC. This was the source of all the horror stories repeated ad nauseam in Western media, wildly exaggerated and made to seem like North Korea is in a permanent state of deficiency and misery.
In reality, despite devastation, constraints, and involuntary seclusion, despite having to spend very much on military and the development of nuclear weapons due to continued imperialist threats, North Korea built a robust and healthy society of near 100% employment rates, near 100% literacy rates, very low level of poverty, near 0 homelessness, almost free housing, free education, and a free healthcare system that is one of the best in the world.
This was only possible, in the circumstances that the DPRK faced after 1953, with strong national unity and cooperation. The continuity of leadership from the same family for 3 generations is what made such unity possible. The 3 generations of Kim’s was and is a symbol of continuity and consistency during very difficult and perilous times, especially during the 1980s when so many socialist republics around the world fell to imperialist meddling and aggression, succumbed to predatory neoliberalism. The Kims have never had total dictatorial control of the state like how the West portrays them to have, and are always the fronts of a well organised political entity with elaborate mechanisms for the people’s democracy as well as centralised decision making. Like in some other socialist countries of the 20th Century, they functioned in some ways as mascots for national unity, in the context of a race for development while constantly defending against imperialist violence.
But the USA continued for 70 years, until today, to saturate global media and education with distorted, exaggerated, and fabricated slander against North Korea, using over-kill propaganda in the same way bombs were over used, fostering global hatred for the victims of imperialism.
What ever methods the DPRK employs to suppress those who, for lucrative payouts, betray their people to help the US undermine and sabotage their country, again wildly exaggerated in salacious Western media, can only be microscopic compared to the epic scale and continued crimes committed against North Korean people by the USA.
What ever repressive methods the DPRK employs to suppress misinformation and vicious slander against them pervasive in imperialists dominated global media, was necessary for national survival and protection.
Despite having been crippled by imperialists, its limbs broken, eye gouged out, and hand cut off, and against all odds, the North Korean socialist government has not only managed to protected itself from further victimisation after 1953, but has lead the country to become healthy, strong, and modern.
But even more importantly, the DPRK has remained dignified, proud, and independent, much more than the USAmerican protectorate/colony to its South, where the US military base in its capital city is more centrally located than its government buildings; where its economic and otherwise policies follows the USAmerican neoliberal model; where despite massive US funding to become a glossy force against the North poverty is rampant, personal debt levels are among highest in the world, and myiads of social problems such as abuse and addiction is rampant; where white supremacy reigns, whose plastic surgery industry is a world leader, built exclusively on the desire to look white.
Ultimately, people in the Western liberal sphere are taught to hate North Korea and to call it a “dictatorship” for the same reason and in the same way that people are taught to hate the wise-women keeper of medicinal knowledge of yore who were mass murdered by the hundreds of thousands by the church as entangled with the emerging bourgeois order, and call them “witches”. The functioning of capitalist/colonial ideology requires the demonisation of its victims.
Below are a few articles and videos that debunk the deluge of vicious Western lies:
Most of the defectors who tell the horror stories were paid actors:
Some doubts of imperialist narratives even slips through cracks in Western media, and gets published in the Guardian: Why Do North Korean Defector Testimonies So Often Fall Apart
And in The Diplomat: The Strange Tale of YeonMi Park
As Julian Assange said, citizen journalism takes on increased urgency and importance in the age of total corporate domination of global media: