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Need to reorganise nonalignment movement

THIS week around, glued to our TV sets we watched an impressive military parade by armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) or North Korea celebrating their national day, the 72nd anniversary of its founding.

The armed forces were goose passing defiantly and proudly showing off their capacity to defend their country. The global TV station I was watching commented that this time around no “threatening” military hardware was being shown, allegedly to avoid offending the unipolar power we have in place.

Some of us watching these parades as we watch them annually, when this country celebrates its national days, were actually impressed as we are used to them here in our own country, when we celebrate our national days.

We had no apprehension on the level and quality of the North Korean armoury and whether it is dangerous to anybody in the mutual world we share. This is because every state in the world has an army - which is full of arms for self-defence - regardless whether that state is small or a super power.

But in the intervening period, actually in the recent past, there has been a lot of hot air from circles of the unipolar power we have in place today that the DPRK or North Korea is bent on manufacturing nuclear weapons. In the heat of these words, there have been threats to attack North Korea in a pre-emptive strike.

It is on the implications of this ominous threat that ordinary citizens everywhere must be concerned, wondering what such an attack could mean for the rest of the world although this threat has diminished a little following dialogues between DPRK leaders and the American administration of the present day.

But taking a wider overview of the world we share, we see many countries having military hardware, which are equally fatal. But it is only a few countries, which are singled out along with North Korea such as Iran, as having exceptionally dangerous armoury. But some, especially those with a special relationship with the unipolar power are not singled out, although they may have similar arms!

But is it true that countries accused of having dangerous weapons or heading towards manufacturing them are really that mentally unbalanced to start up a nuclear attack?

But in the intervening period, we see bombs being hurled at so-called “ISIS terrorists” in Afghanistan. The bombs, as reported by global news agencies have been described as most deadly. But how are the people of Afghanistan feel after these attacks? Do they applaud?

In this context, who are those allowed to have fatal bombs and who are not? Taking the case of the DPRK or North Korea, has it ever attacked any country, either in its neighbourhood or further away?

All we see on TV sets is its youthful leader very gleefully enjoying scientific exploits of his country when testing some of the armoury designed by his troops like missiles. Have these missiles hit anyone?

But is his country the only country in the world owning them? Now, why this fuss and tension?

Without the need to delve into the history of the Korean peninsular and what happened, where today we have two states - one found in the North and the other in South – what is important here is the reality of the day. That reality is: we have a North Korea, a fully-fledged sovereign state and the one in the South, South Korea.

The declared ideology of this state in the north is socialism. It has a sole political party, and that party is the Communist Party of Korea. It has been in place in this mould for ages now. 

North Korea or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is not unique in this mould. We see the People’s Republic of China and Cuba equally in this ideological mould. What is the problem? 

These countries are moving forward in great leaps in terms of development for their people.

So what is the logical thing to do for the rest for the world including the most powerful?

The logical thing to do for the rest of the world is to respect the political cultures of these countries as we respect the cultures of Britain and the United States, to mention a couple of them in the West.

Although the political system of the United States is multiparty, there are only two major political parties in this country, the Democratic and Republican parties and they rule the country interchangeably with capitalism as a fundamental ideology. 

So is Great Britain, which is a Kingdom. The Queen or King is the sovereign of the country, and the Queen or King is neither subjected to democratic vote nor referendum.

It is within this wider picture that one has to take North Korea in stride. The country has had an embassy in Tanzania since the days of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. One remembers the Korea Cultural Centre still around in downtown Dar es Salaam.

In affection, we used to muse about the DPRK political propaganda slogans such as “Kim IL Sung – the beloved leader of 40 million Korean people, “dear” leader and so forth.” One of us would say: “Aren’t there any census in Korea? Why always 40 million people…” which joke would be greeted with hearty chuckles! 

But North Korea is North Korea; it is never Tanzania, the UK or Britain. Every country has its culture and the way to regard one another especially those in leadership of a respective country.

If people accept Britain for what it is, having in place a royalty, which is never subjected to public vote, so we have to accept the reality of things in other countries.

So we have seen DPRK or North Korea evolve peacefully in the intervening period. What is remarkable about this country is its remarkable scientific and technological strides in spite of the reality that it has all along been isolated by the powers that call the shots in global economy.

While the isolation of North Korea was real during the cold war – the bipolar world – it was not as strangling as it is today in the dawn of the unipolar world. 

During the days of the bi-polar world, DPRK had allies in the socialist countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Today, none is handy except socialist China that grants aid to DPRK. 

Clearly, it has been very rough for North Korea to make ends meet. But in spite of all these drawbacks, DPRK has risen to the high level in science and technology with nuclear capability.

This potential of treading on the forbidden ground of the big boys of the world, nuclear capability, has pushed North Korea to a pariah stated, so black listed by the unipolar power – the United States - in the same level, as is the Islamic Republic of Iran.

But a fair question by the citizens of this mutual world we all share is: which country should be trusted with nuclear technology?

This is the question that should be addressed especially by the big boys of the world calling the shots today. One is able to see, and very clearly, double standards by those who isolate others especially on the question of nuclear programs. 

In so far as North Korea is concerned, it is time the big boys of the world - the western powers - stopped isolating North Korea. The country should become a partner in human development since we all share one mutual planet.

Most importantly, which is the theme of this perspective, it is most urgent for developing countries or Third World countries which constitute the majority in the global population to organize in a unitary moral institution as was the Non-aligned Movement (NAM) of the immediate past which seems to whither away.

To quote the founder President of this country, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere: “If one was to take a walk, and along the way, one is confronted by surging cocks and chicken - surging towards him, one would be scared, isn’t it?” Hahahahahah! Yes, he would be scared!

In the current world of a only one super power calling the shots with threats and what have you, it is most urgent for developing countries to organize themselves, renewing the nonaligned movement of the bipolar past into a present day organization for developing countries to constitute themselves into a moral of voice of conscience of standing up together against anyone from the most powerful in the world who stands against the interests of the global majority towards genuine independence, politically and economically. 

A graduation party was organized ...

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Author: MAKWAIA WA KUHENGA

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