In 2017, several events took place successively in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, drawing the world’s attention.
These events are seen here in monthly order.
1. Test-firing of ground-to-ground IRBM Pukguksong 2
On February 12 the country conducted a successful test-firing of ground-to-ground IRBM Pukguksong 2. In the wake of the success in underwater launch test of ballistic missiles of Pukguksong series from a strategic submarine, it presented for the first time the IRBM equipped with indigenous high-thrust solid-propellant motor and a self-propelled caterpillar, demonstrating its capability for striking both under the water and above the ground. This event highlighted the fact that the country’s rocket industry developed its liquid-fuelled system to solid-fuelled one and it turned from the way of sample imitation to the way of creative invention.
2. Static firing test of a new-type high-thrust motor
On March 18, scientists and technicians of the defence industry succeeded in static firing test of a new-type high-thrust motor, designed and manufactured by their own efforts and technology in their own way. The test demonstrated that the rocket industry of the DPRK had definitely developed into an industry of creative invention.
3. Military parade and mass rally of Pyongyang citizens
On April 15, marking the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, eternal President of the DPRK, a military parade and mass rally of Pyongyang citizens were held in Pyongyang, the capital city, with the Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un on the platform. What drew special attention of the world during the military parade was the column of rockets of the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army. By presenting indigenous rockets designed and manufactured by itself and more powerful than those of previous generations, the DPRK demonstrated to the world its capability for countering the US.
And the mass rally demonstrated once again the Korean people’s ardent admiration for their leader, their single-hearted unity with their leader, which is more powerful than nuclear weapons.
4. Test-firing of ground-to-ground IRBM Hwasong 12
On May 14, the DPRK succeeded in the test-firing of ground-to-ground IRBM Hwasong 12 capable of being loaded with extra-large, heavy nuclear warhead. The rocket, fired on the basis of vertical launch technology, hit the targeted waters in the open sea after flying the set flight path. This success was an event of great significance in maintaining peace and security on the Korean peninsula and its surrounding areas.
5. Test-firing of ICBM Hwasong 14
On July 4, the DPRK test-fired the self-developed ICBM Hwasong 14 with success. This event showed that the overall national strength and strategic position of the DPRK had attained a new high as it possessed A-bomb, H-bomb and even ICBM.
6. Second test-firing of ICBM Hwasong 14
On July 28, about 20 days after the test-firing of ICBM Hwasong 14, the DPRK test-fired another Hwasong 14. The event re-affirmed the reliability of the country’s ICBM system, demonstrated its ability to conduct a surprise launch of ICBM in any place and at any time, and fully proved that the whole of the US mainland is within the range of the DPRK’s ICBM.
7. H-bomb test
On September 3 the DPRK conducted an H-bomb test, capable of being loaded in ICBM, in the northern nuclear test site. The successful test confirmed that the indigenous nuclear warhead is highly precise, that the bus is reliable, and that the nuclear weapon designing and manufacturing technology had attained a high level capable of regulating the power of nuclear bomb according to the target and purpose.
8. Statement of Chairman of State Affairs Commission of the DPRK
With regard to the US president’s speech of openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to “totally destroy” the DPRK, Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, made a statement on September 21. In his statement, he said: His remarks which described the US option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last. As a man representing the DPRK and upon the dignity and honour of my state and people and upon all my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of supreme command of the US pay dearly for his rude nonsense calling for totally destroying the DPRK.
9. IRBM Hwasong 12 firing drill
In mid-September IRBM Hwasong 12 firing drill was conducted.
The missile hit the targeted waters in the Pacific Ocean after flying the sky over Hokkaido, Japan, through the set flight path. The drill was a clear demonstration to the US and its vassal forces that the country had achieved its goal for perfecting its national nuclear forces even under their extreme blockade.
10. Second Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee of the WPK
On October 7, under the guidance of Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the Second Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee of the WPK was held in Pyongyang.
Stressing that the WPK will put an end to the confrontation with the US which continued from one century into the next and hasten the victory of the socialist cause by displaying the Party’s correct leadership ability to the full, Kim Jong Un clarified the orientation and tasks for the struggle aimed at bringing about a new surge in the revolution. He said that the might of the single-hearted unity between the WPK and the masses of the people should be consolidated further, and that the historic cause of building up the country’s nuclear forces be accomplished brilliantly by firmly implementing the Party’s line of simultaneously promoting economic construction and the upbuilding of the nuclear forces.
He continued: We should bring about a new upsurge in building a socialist economic power with the great spirit of self-reliance and self-development as the dynamic force and on the strength of science and technology; our cause is invincible as we have solid foundations for a self-supporting economy provided by Kim Il Sung, eternal President of the DPRK, and Kim Jong Il, eternal Chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, a large contingent of scientists educated under the care of the WPK, the service personnel and other people equipped with the revolutionary spirit of the WPK, and the revolutionary tradition of self-reliance; we should all advance vigorously towards the final victory of the revolution, firmly rallied behind the Central Committee of the WPK.
11. Test-firing of new-type ICBM Hwasong 15
The DPRK succeeded in its test-firing of ICBM Hwasong 15 at 02:48 on November 29, 2017 in a suburb of the capital city of Pyongyang. New-type ICBM system capable of carrying an extra-large, heavy nuclear warhead for striking the whole mainland of the US is much superior to Hwasong 14, which was test-fired in July, in the technical specifications and characteristics.
Hwasong 15, the most powerful ICBM, is the final stage of ICBM system, which the DPRK aimed at.
Pueblo Incident: Lesson for the US
Half a century ago, on January 23, 1968, the US armed spy ship Pueblo was captured by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The reason why this incident still draws international attention is that the US, oblivious of the lesson from the Pueblo incident, persists in its unchanged policy hostile towards the DPRK.
The First Captured US Ship
The US had long been seeking to invade the DPRK and occupy the whole of the Korean peninsula. It had the armed spy ship Pueblo, equipped with the latest spying facilities at that time, intrude into the territorial waters of the DPRK: While spying on major military secrets like various military installations, deployment of armed forces and the movements of the naval vessels of the Korean People’s Army the Pueblo and its 80-odd crew members were captured by the KPA naval force that was on regular guard duty in the territorial waters off Wonsan. It was a noteworthy event that the Pueblo, which had been committing undisguised acts of espionage in the waters of other countries including the Soviet Union without being captured, was captured by the DPRK. Americans cried out that the Pueblo was the first US ship to be captured on the sea after the Civil War. It shook the whole world.
The One and Only Letter of Apology in the History of America
When the Pueblo was captured, America went crazy. Saying that it would “retaliate” and “take it back by means of force if necessary,” it dispatched a battle group led by aircraft carrier Enterprise to the waters near the East Sea of Korea, bringing the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of war. It brought pressure to bear upon the country through some socialist countries friendly with the DPRK. It even threatened to use nuclear weapons. It thought that the DPRK would yield if it threatened the country with military means as it had done with the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis. But the response of the DPRK was an unexpected one–retaliation for “retaliation” and all-out war for all-out war.
Overawed by the harder line of the DPRK filled with its will to defend its independence, the US submitted a letter of apology to the DPRK government at the end of that year. In the letter, the US government acknowledged that the Pueblo had illegally intruded into the territorial waters of the DPRK and committed acts of espionage and hostility and gave firm assurance that no US ships would intrude again into the territorial waters of the DPRK.
It is said that after going over the document, the then US President Johnson lamented, saying that it was the only letter of apology in the history of America after its birth.
Pueblo Incident Is Not Simply an Event of the Past
The American newspaper Pueblo Chieftain, dated January 22, 2008, carried a commentary on the occasion of the 40th year after the capture of Pueblo, in which it wrote that Pueblo was the first vessel to be captured in the history of the US Navy, and that the damage done was equivalent to that by an H-bomb.
The US should have learnt a due lesson from this incident. But over the past half a century after this incident it has continuously destroyed peace on the Korean peninsula and the stability in the region. Recently, the situation has spun out of control owing to the US president’s remarks that called for total destruction of the DPRK. And denouncing the DPRK’s nuclear deterrent as a “threat to the US and the world,” it is intensifying nuclear threat and blackmail against the country.
But all these efforts prove futile.
The US moves to unleash a war and extreme sanctions have only made the country grow stronger and justified its possession of nuclear weapons.
If the US forgets the lesson from the Pueblo incident and persists in its hostile policy towards the DPRK and war manoeuvres, it will only hasten its own final downfall.
The US would be well advised never to forget the lesson from the Pueblo incident.