FORUM ON THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA

A lively evening forum on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) featured two frequent visitors to this small country that occupies a major space in world media headlines, author Irina Malenko (Sovietica) and Norma Biñas, Vice-President of the Philippines Solidarity Committee for Peace and Reunification in the Korean Peninsula.

Malenko and Biñas painted a totally different picture of this country of 25 million than the distorted accounts generally heard in the mainstream media. They described a country where the interests of working people are put first and their education, housing, health and good working conditions are assured.

Malenko, who grew up in the former Soviet Union and now lives in Ireland, described how she enjoys visiting the DPRK because of the friendly reception from the people and how it reminds her of the superiority of socialism over capitalism.

Biñas, who has regularly visited the DPRK, led a 9-person delegation there from the Philippines in September 2018, including elected officials, to participate in the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the DPRK. They joined 300 delegates (and hundreds of journalists!) from around the globe in Pyongyang, including a 2-person delegation from the International League of Peoples Struggle headed by ILPS General Secretary Malcolm Guy, who chaired this evening forum.

The delegation had an action-packed tour to model farms, a teachers’ college, the border with South Korea (the DMZ), museums and citizens homes and included an amazing performance of mass gymnastics, a hundred-thousand strong torch light parade and a spectacle by talented magicians. Naturally, the question of the struggle for the peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula is front and centre during all visits to the DPRK.

Malenko and Biñas warmly invited the participants at the evening forum to visit the DPRK. They said that despite the propaganda, it is not that difficult to visit via Beijing (except for the U.S. which blocks its
citizens from going). Also, the ILPS has been invited to send other delegations to the DPRK, and Guy said these trips will be organized in the near future.

NOTE: Representatives of the Korean Committee for Solidarity with the World People from the DPRK were unable to attend the 6th Assembly at the last minute.

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