Speech of Dr Dermot Hudson , UK KFA Chairman and Chairman of the British Group for the Study of the Juche Idea

We have called this online meeting of UK KFA to address an important part of our work namely solidarity with struggle of the south Korean people for independence , democracy and peaceful reunification . It was 40 years ago that the Kwangju uprising in south Korea  , However ou will not find much mention if any at all of the historic Kwangju uprising in the mainstream media or in a publication like ‘NKNews ‘ (which would lose its south Korean funding if it mentioned the Kwangju massacre ) .
Firstly , it is necessary to give some historical background  about south Korea . In 1945 the US occupied south Korea three weeks after Korea’s liberation , The US established direct military rule under a US general .They dissolved the people’s committees , instruments of poplar power in south Korea and banned the Communist Party . In 1948 the US imperialists set up a puppet regime headed by the corrupt Syngham Rhee . Rhee was later overthrown by the April Popular uprising in 1960 .  In May 1961 Park Chung Hee , a former collaborator with the Japanese colonialists seized power through a military coup d etat . At least a 100,000 people died . The military fascist regime of Park Chung Hee became a prototype for the neo-colonies of imperialism and later military regimes came to power in Brazil and Chile to name a few .In October 1972 Park Chung Hee imposed martial law again and the harsh Yushin constitution .However Park became an embarrassment to the US and south Korea began to face economic crisis such as rising debts , also resistance in the forms of strikes and student protests emerged . The US had been defeated in the Vietnam war and some pro American countries in Asia distance themselves from the US isolating south Korea as an old style puppet regime . Elsewhere there was the Iranian revolution . The US decided to get rid of Park Chung Hee . On the 27th of October 1979 he was assassinated by his own security chief KCIA director Kim Jae Gyu (this incident is humorously portrayed in the south Korean dark comedy  “The Presidents Last Bang “ ) . Kim Jae Gyu declared that “the United States is at my back ” .On the 12th of December 1979 Chun Do Hwan seized power in a military coup. Chun had been trained at West Point Academy and he also been a commander of the south Korean armed forces that had  been sent to Vietnam to fight on the US side . Chun had carried out atrocities against the Vietnamese people .
On May 17th 1980 Chun declared martial law and arrested opposition figures not to mention student activists. On the 18th of May the citizens of Kwangju city  , south Jolla province rose up against marital law
The Kwangju uprising was a brave and heroic manifestation of the anti -fascist, anti- imperialist struggle of the south Korean popular masses and revolutionaries led by the Revolutionary Party for Reunification , the forerunner of the present Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front of south Korea.
On the 22nd of May  the spokesman  of the Revolutionary Party for Reunification issued a statement to support the armed mass uprising of patriotic people in South Jolla province including Mokpo following Kwangju on May 18, denouncing the cruelty of the Chun Doo-hwan clique which declared the martial law.
The Kwangju uprising, which lasted 9 days , added a new chapter to the history of the struggle of the south Korean people for independence ,democracy and reunification .  The participants of the Kwangju uprising showed remarkable courage and determination in the face of intense fascist repression by the south Korean puppet reactionaries and the Yankee imperialists.
The Kwangju uprising was a great inspiration to the peoples of the third world struggling against neo- colonialism and dictatorial regimes and it was a great example to anti- imperialist and anti -fascist fighters throughout the entire world . The Kwangju up risers fought bravely against the suppression of the armed forces of the south Korean puppet regime backed by the US imperialist aggression troops .
The south Korean puppet regime responded with the utmost ferocity . They sent in paratroops , helicopters and tanks . With the permission of the US -note south Korea did not have operational command over its own armed forces at the time (and still does not have full operational control) this rested with the commander of the US armed forces – front-line troops from 20th division of the south Korean were moved away from the frontline to Kwangju city . This shows the falsity of the oft repeated ‘ north Korean threat ‘ and ‘communist invasion ‘ propaganda . Instead of fighting the DPRK the south Korean puppet  army fought the south Korean people,The  US also sent the warship USS Coral Sea to south Korea to be on standby to assist the south Korean armed forces in the suppression of the Kwangju massacre. It is said that the US directly participated in the massacre .
The south Korean puppet troops committed all sorts of atrocities such as bayoneting pregnant women .There are reports that the south Korean puppet troops were high on drugs and alcohol . Tanks , flamethrowers and helicopters were used against the Kwangju citizens .A total of  5,000 people were killed and i 14,000 injured.
Today no one has been brought to book for the massacre and Chun Do Hwan has even insulted and slandered the Kwangju uprisers . What the Kwangju massacre showed is that south Korea is not a democracy .
Today we must strengthen our solidarity with the south Korean people in their struggle for independence , democracy and peaceful reunification . We must also step up solidarity with the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front of south Korea .
“The Human Rights Situation in south Korea ‘ (1993)
“Backstage manipulations disclosed ‘ ( 1988)
‘Modern History of Korea (1979)