COMMUNISTS and progressives met to mark the 65th birthday of Korean leader Kim Jong Il at a celebration in west London last Saturday. Events in honour of the Democratic Korean leader, who was born on 16th February 1942, were held throughout the Korean peninsula and amongst the overseas Korean community this week and they are always joined by friendship and solidarity movements throughout the world. Last weekend was no exception.
Southall’s Saklatvala Hall was immersed in Korean culture at a celebration called by the Friends of Korea, the standing committee set up two years ago to promote solidarity with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The celebration kicked off in the afternoon with the showing of a film about life in north Korea followed by contributions from friends of the Korean people chaired by Harpal Brar. Different aspects of Kim Jong Il’s life and Korea today were reflected in the openings from NCP leader Andy Brooks, Michael Chant of the RCPB (ML) and Ella Rule of the CPGB (ML).
Veteran Korean solidarity campaigner Keith Bennett talked about the direction of the DPRK’s economy and the nuclear crisis and this was followed by representatives from the SLP, British Juche Society and the organising committee itself.
The formal part of the proceedings ended with a report of current developments by Jong In Song from the DPR Korean embassy in London before finally ending with much more informal discussions over drinks and Indian food.