On the Further Prospects of the DPRK ISG (A. Mostov)


Dear comrades!

Over the past ten years, the International Solidarity Group has achieved many remarkable advances, thereby making a noticeable contribution to the development of the global movement of solidarity with the DPRK. We have evolved from the usual community to well-rounded organization, capable of causing all possible influence on the course of the information warfare.

However, I have to remind you that our Group was not always been like this. As you know, its first webpage in the social network "VKontakte" was stolen by attackers on April 1, 2017.

Almost four years have passed since that unfortunate day. However this incident has become an important lesson for us, it has had and continues, indeed, to have a certain negative impact on our organization. In this regard, I believe it is vitally important to draw the attention of the participants of the Second Organizing Conference of the DPRK ISG to this problem in order to sum up this long-standing conflict.

Here is a complete chronology of the events that led to the "split" and the factionalism in the Group, along with subsequent analysis.


On the Further Prospects of the DPRK ISG

The most obvious problem of the left-wing forces, eroding them, like a cancer, is the tendency to get separated. Nowadays, it is particularly can be seen amond so-called nonpartisan lefts, whose interaction really reminds "a union of a swan, a pike and a crawfish" not something meaningful and effective as a political organisation.

2011. Being founded in such an environment, the DPRK Solidarity Group (DPRK SG) suffered from the consequential "diseases", multiplied by the lack of real experience of organizational work. In long-run, back to 2013, this led to the "dual power" state of art: Vitaly Lebedev became the head of practical work, while the right to own an information resource – the page of the Solidarity Group in the social network - formally remained with another person by right of registration.

It was under the leadership of Vitaly Lebedev that the delegation of the DPRK Solidarity Group first visited the Republic in 2013 and began official cooperation with the DPRK Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign countries. That served as the starting point of DPRK SG’s work as a formed organization. These and many other successes are evidenced by numerous public reports on the Group's practical activities, as well as photos and videos published from 2013 to the present day.

The sharp turn to practical work observed in those years actually split the organization into a group of activists who have carried out the activities of the DPRK SG on the ground, and into a group of leftist elements engaged in imitation work just to maintain their status.

In order to prevent the escalation of the conflict of interests, in 2016 it was decided that the dissenters would voluntarily leave the collective of the Solidarity Group with the DPRK and to create their own information project. Due to the peaceful settlement of the dispute, the Group's management did not insist on transferring the ownership rights of webpage to the DPRK as an expression of goodwill. And this, just a year later, was the reason for the loss of the control over the page.

On April 1, 2017, imitating the "April Fool's day prank", the dissenters seized control of the official page of the Solidarity Group with the DPRK on the VK social network without any notice. Then they blocked the organization's senior employees. With such insolent and unexpected actions, they hoped to demoralize the leaders of the Group. It seems that they have had an idea that we would willingly announce their self-dissolution due to the loss of a news page, in the development of which there was so much time and efforts invested.

Intending to deceive the support and recognition of the Korean diplomatic mission and the Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, the dissenters tried to give legitimacy to their actions, depicting them as a "personnel reshuffle". Following some sick logic, they tried to appropriate all the activities of our organization. Then, after an evident failure, they attempted to rewrite the history of the Group, positioning it as just a community of fans of the DPRK, not interested in conducting practical work.

It is important to emphasize that at that time, the DPRK SG was constantly working in five areas:

  1. Editing of news and scientific articles published in the DPRK media.
  2. Creation of a YouTube archive of DPRK TV stories "People's Korea".
  3. Testing the online broadcasting of the DPRK Central Television.
  4. Organising actions in support of the DPRK.
  5. Searching for foreign unclassified research and scientific articles.

After schismatics gained control of the news resource, work on each of the areas was completely stopped. Being unable to act in a creative way, they reduced all their "activities" within a week to publishing unedited news from the North Korean media, which predictably caused confusion among subscribers.

In order to simulate at least some kind of reporting on the practical work and justify the retention of our news resource, hostile elements have started a new tactic. They try to depict news in the DPRK media about the activities of our Group for the reports on their activities, enviously slander, to spread rumours and try in every possible way to undermine the credibility of the DPRK International Solidarity Group. In their recklessness, they even went so far as to try to depict the tourist trip of their “activists” as an official visit of a "delegate" at the invitation of the Korean side.

All of the above clearly confirms that the real purpose of the actions of the hostile elements was not a "personnel reshuffle", but rather the phasedown of the Solidarity Group and the complete termination of its activities aimed at providing practical assistance to the Republic.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the DPRK International Solidarity Group (DPRK ISG), I strongly believe that now is the time to draw a line.

Over the past four years, our Group on the basis of "Bulgeunbyeol TV", despite unprecedented pressure, launched a stable online broadcast of the Korean Central Television in high quality, which allowed South Koreans to watch live broadcasts of the DPRK Central Television, bypassing the "law on national security". Our group has contributed to the development of scientific and technological progress of the Republic and to improvement of the living standards of the Korean people, by helping to find and study on many unclassified scientific and technical papers. Many translated and well-edited news articles have been published; the overall quality of video content has been brought us to the level of a serious global media. These and many other achievements of our organization were highly noted by the Korean side in letters of thanks, and our leader, Vitaly Lebedev was awarded the Medal of friendship.

It is obvious that the above could not be ignored by the anti-Republican forces. So, "Bulgeunbyeol TV", as well as DPRK ISG itself were officially banned by the South Korean authorities, and an information campaign in conservative media was launched against us. Google-accounts of the Group and its account of donations were removed with no explanation. But no matter how rampant the "demons of censorship" are, they have only exhausted all means of putting pressure on us, demonstrating to the world their impotence in front of the unanimity of progressive people, willing to defend their right to freedom of speech.

Such a paradoxical situation very eloquently shows that the much greater threat is not obvious enemies who declare their intentions in a public manner, but internal enemies who are trying to undermine unity from within. And unfortunately, over the past few years, enough cases have been identified where such hostile elements have successfully managed to hide their true intentions under the guise of friendship:

  • Alec Sigli, hiding behind the study of the DPRK and tourism activities, searched, collected, and analysed data. As it was revealed, he repeatedly passed them to the anti-DPRK mass media, which used it to make up a outrageous propaganda.
  • Ulrich Larsen, hiding behind the status of a senior employee of the KFA, worked on vile compromising material in order to diminish the international reputation of the DPRK and the Korean Friendship Association.
  • Alexey Sakhnin, being a hostile leftist, visited the DPRK several times. He was posing as a supporter of the Republic, but after returning to his homeland, he began to maliciously slander the Juche socialist system, spreading rumours about the alleged "songbun" system.

On the other hand there is no matter how much the hostile forces provoke and try to make one believe in their best intentions. The fact is that they will never hide their rotten interior even under the friendliest mask.

I am convinced that the complete elimination of factionalism and divisive sentiments is one of the most important achievements of the Group, which made it possible to get reorganised into a DPRK International Solidarity Group.

In order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, the leaders and activists of our organization should work unanimously to strengthen friendly relations between their countries and the DPRK through the toolkit of public diplomacy, as well as pay due attention to interaction with friendly organizations. The heads of the executive committees should resist any divisive tendencies at their first occurence and maintain a job well-being and collectivism among the executive committee staff.

On paragraph 1.3.3. It is important to state in the charter of the DPRK ISG that “Our Group opposes the split of the world anti-imperialist movement, stands against factional struggles and petty brawls inside of individual groups and organizations, as that only gives ammunition to the global imperialism.”

I am deeply convinced that the heads of the committees, which form the basis of the organizational structure of our Group, will approach their duties with full responsibility and thereby justify the expectations set on them!

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