North Korea: Declaration of Independence

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"There can be no superior party or inferior party nor a party that gives guidance and a party that receives guidance. No one country or party can serve as the center of the world revolution or the leading party."

With that forthright declaration of independence, North Korea's Communist Party last week followed the lead of its brother parties in Rumania and Japan, and announced that it was going its own ideological way. In an editorial appearing in Rodong Shinmoon, the country's official Communist newspaper, the party claimed that it—and not Peking or Moscow—was the best judge of how Communist doctrine should be applied to North Korea's problems. "When one loses the faculty of thinking and judging for himself," the editorial said, "he cannot distinguish right from wrong. Such people commit revisionism if others commit revisionism, and if others commit dogmatism, they also commit dogmatism."

The Korean declaration came after a long, gradual drift toward jooche (national identity), and seemed directed less at Moscow than at Peking. As such, the break represented one more in a series of nagging Asian setbacks for Red China.