Abstracts from President Kim Il Sung’s Reminiscences "With the Century"
On the 65th anniversary of great leader Kim Jong Il’s birth
The native home of leader Kim Jong Il at the secret camp in Mt. Baekdu
It was when we were building the foundation of socialism after the war that we particularly stressed the need to establish Juche after liberation.
I delivered a speech on eliminating dogmatism and the worship of the great powers and establishing Juche to Party propaganda and agitation workers in 1955. It was made public in the document On Eliminating Dogmatism and Formalism and Establishing Juche in Ideological Work.
Later I stressed the need to establish Juche whenever the occasion offered itself.
Time and again I explained, in my talks with foreigners, the essence of the Juche idea, how it had been created and implemented.
But I never thought of systematizing it and publishing it in book form. If our people accepted the idea as just and implemented it in their revolutionary practice, I was satisfied.
Later Secretary Kim Jong Il systematized the idea in a comprehensive manner and published his treatise On the Juche Idea.
In Wujiazi we had formed an art troupe. This troupe was based at Samsong School and worked successfully under the guidance of Kye Yong Chun. I worked hard to complete the libretto of The Flower Girl which I had begun to write in my days in Jilin and then staged rehearsals for it. Once the libretto was finished, Kye started the production of the opera with the members of the drama group that had been formed at the school. We staged this opera in the hall of Samsong School on the 13th anniversary of the October Revolution. This opera was not seen on stage for many years after liberation, and then was improved and adapted for the screen, re-written as a novel by our writers and artistes under the guidance of Organizational Secretary Kim Jong Il and presented to the public in the early 1970s. At that time the Organizational Secretary did a lot of work.
Comrade Kim Jong Il defined the works we created during the anti-Japanese revolution as parent works, as the genesis of our revolutionary drama and revolutionary opera and provided energetic guidance to their adaptation into films, novels, operas and dramas. During this time, revolutionary films, revolutionary novels, the Sea-of-Blood-style revolutionary operas and Songhwangdang-style dramas were evolved on the basis of the originals, and an anti-Japanese guerrilla mode of art activity was established.
The premiere of the film version of The Sea of Blood reminded me of the kerosene lamps, which hung on the improvised stage and the audience laughing and crying in excitement, sitting on straw mats at Manjiang.
Until 1956, when Comrade Kim Jong Il visited the revolutionary battle sites in Ryanggang Province with the first expedition party in our country, only fallen trees and piles of leaves were seen on the lake, and most of the area remained untouched. There was only a worn-out skiff and an old-style pavilion that the local people had built before the Korean war to enhance the beauty of the lake.
When I returned from my official visits to the Soviet Union and the people’s democracies in East Europe, Comrade Kim Jong Il told me about the activities of his expedition. He recounted in excitement what he had learned and felt during the visit to the revolutionary battle sites. He said he regretted that these historical sites, so alive with the spirit of the revolutionary forerunners, had not been laid out properly, but remained in a natural state without guides to explain their history to visitors.
In 1956 a campaign just started to eliminate flunkeyism and dogmatism and establish Juche in ideological work. Until that time Juche had not been firmly established in the ideological work of our Party. As a result, the materials and relics associated with the revolutionary history of our Party had not been unearthed widely, the revolutionary battle sites were not laid out properly and a full-scale study of revolutionary traditions had not been made.
It was a significant event that in this situation Comrade Kim Jong Il decided to form an expedition to the revolutionary battle sites in the Mt. Paektu area with his fellow students from Pyongyang Secondary School No. 1.
I have stressed since the early days of the Korean People’s Army that it should regard O Jung Hup as its model. This means emulating him.
Already in the early 1960s Comrade Kim Jong Il emphasized that the KPA should study and imitate the 7th Regiment. In his childhood he had heard a great deal about O Jung Hup and his 7th Regiment.
What, then, should cadres, Party members and the soldiers of the KPA learn from O Jung Hup and his 7th Regiment? His merits can be analysed in various ways, but the most important of all his merits was his unfailing loyalty to the revolution.
How was his loyalty to the revolution expressed? It found its strongest expression in his loyalty to his Commander.
First of all he was faithful to all my ideas and policies, accepting all I said about the communist movement and national liberation movement of Korea as absolutely correct and studying my words in depth. He defended my ideas without reserve anywhere, under any circumstances, and fought staunchly against any practices that ran counter to these ideas.
He regarded my ideas and policies on military operations as supreme laws. No divergent ideas could find room in his mind, they made no sense to him. A man sound in ideology does not become corrupt even in unhealthy surroundings.
As the regimental commander himself was sound, his soldiers also all breathed the same air with me.
His faithfulness to the revolution found its expression in his spirit of implementing his Commander’s orders and instructions without question and with a high sense of responsibility. He carried them out accurately, perfectly and without fail. However onerous they might be, he did not utter a word of discontent or complaint.
Having carried out my orders, he reported the results to me without fail and reviewed the defects revealed during their implementation, hiding nothing.
Another of his traits that our officials today should study in his attitude towards the Commander’s orders and instructions was that immediately after carrying out one task, he used to ask for another. He hated hanging around and would find something else to do as soon as he’d finished one thing. To use our present-day parlance, he was a man of continuous innovation and continuous advance. Another reason why the 7th Regiment undertook harder tasks than other regiments was that O Jung Hup, the regimental commander, was such a willing worker.
I often think how good it would be if O Jung Hup were still alive. If he had been here, many 7th Regiment-type units would have been produced in our country.
Comrade Kim Jong Il is now guiding the movement in the People’s Army to emulate O Jung Hup. That is highly laudable.
In the past there were many people by my side as loyal as O Jung Hup. We must educate many people to be as loyal as O Jung Hup, so that they can help Comrade Kim Jong Il in his work.
Comrade Kim Jong Il is the future of Korea, for he is shouldering the destiny of the Korean revolution. In order for our motherland to achieve eternal prosperity, and for socialism in our country to win a continuous victory. Comrade Kim Jong Il should remain healthy and the entire Party and army should support his leadership loyally. Officials must support him as the leader of the revolution and with a firm determination to carry out the revolutionary cause of Juche, pioneered in the forests of Mt. Paektu, they must achieve brilliant, continuous successes in all sectors of socialist construction down through the coming generations. They should also defend the Party Central Committee the supreme headquarters of the Korean revolution, and Comrade Kim Jong Il with their very lives, just as O Jung Hup and his regiment defended Headquarters in the anti-Japanese struggle.
Comrade Kim Jong Il was right when he said that the Korean revolution had begun with songs, advanced to the strains of singing and emerged victorious with songs. Probably no revolution in the world was so closely linked to songs or woven with songs as the Korean revolution was.
The revolution itself was a heroic symphony as well as a source of songs. There can be no revolution that is separated from songs. Can you imagine the development of the international working-class movement, separately from the Internationale?
Because of the imperialists’ clamour for sanctions since the collapse of socialism in several countries, our people are undergoing serious difficulties in many ways. We are faced with grave challenges in all fields of political, military, economic and cultural life. It may be said that we are in a hair-trigger confrontation with the enemy, in a situation more strained than in a war.
These difficulties, however, cannot last a hundred or two hundred years or indefinitely. These are temporary difficulties, and are bound to be overcome.
You comrades must work hard with an optimistic view of the future and in the spirit of self-reliance and fortitude to resolve today’s difficulties as soon as possible and promote the country’s advance.
The core of today’s optimism is a strong belief that we can emerge victorious as long as we have younger people like Comrade Kim Jong Il. We are perfectly optimistic about the future because Comrade Kim Jong Il is giving leadership to the revolution.
I would like to emphasize again: Believe in Comrade Kim Jong Il, and everything will be all right. The future of Korea and the 21st century exists in the mettle of Comrade Kim Jong Il. History will prove this without fail.
One day several months after the demise of the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung, Comrade Kim Jong Il said to some officials:
“In the Kumsusan Assembly Hall there was a safe used by the leader. No one, including his aides, knew what he kept in the safe.
“After his death we wanted to open it but we could hot find the key. Some days ago we found the key and opened the safe to find... a photo of him posing with Comrade Kim Chaek.
“He usually kept all his photos in the Party History Institute. But he was keeping in his safe a photo he had taken with Comrade Kim Chaek. This shows how dearly he cherished the memory of his comrade-in-arms Kim Chaek.”
To be immortal in the memory of his leader—this is the greatest glory a man can win in his lifetime and the greatest happiness a revolutionary can feel. Kim Chaek was the loyalist of loyalists, standing on the peak of such glory and happiness.
How could he live for ever in the memory of his leader?
The anti-Japanese revolutionary veterans have unanimously acclaimed him as my successor because, before all else, they were attracted by his human appeal. Kim Il has always said there will be no one in the world who is as loyal and dutiful as Kim Jong Il is. Rim Chun Chu has said that there will be no one who respects the revolutionary forerunners as heartily and defends the revolutionary traditions as ardently as Kim Jong Il does and that no great man of ideology and leadership will be his equal. O Jin U has said that Kim Jong Il is the general of generals who displays unexcelled audacity and outstanding intelligence. Choe Hyon and Ri Jong San have often said that Kim Jong Il is a man of the richest human sympathy.
Ri Ul Sol also is a long-time assistant to Kim Jong Suk, Kim Jong Il and me.
I still remember him clearly when he was my aide-de-camp after liberation. He would make a security check early in the morning and take breakfast with Kim Jong Il in the kitchen of my house. He was on quite intimate terms with Kim Jong Il in his boyhood.
When I was going on a field-guidance trip, he would take Kim Jong Il with him. He always understood his needs and looked after him.
I still remember when I met Kim Jong Il in Sinuiju during the war. He came to see me after a long period of evacuation. At that time he asked Ri Ul Sol, my chief aide-de-camp, to take good care of me in place of his mother. His words are still ringing in my ears.
Why does Kim Jong Il still trust him and why is he so grateful to him? It is because Ri Ul Sol took care of him after his mother died.
Kim Jong Il was bereft of his mother when he most needed parental care. To make matters worse, he and his sister had to take leave of me for some time because of the war. As I went here and there to reconstruct the economy after the war, I failed to take good care of them. It was Ri Ul Sol and other comrades-in-arms of mine who looked after them as their parents would do in the place of their kinsfolk when they were spending their childhood lonely, missing their mother, who had passed away.
In the summer of 1953 I visited the Soviet Union with a Party and government delegation.
Before we left Moscow after completing our itinerary, the Soviet side gave a farewell banquet in our honour. The watermelons served at the banquet tasted especially good. After the party I went back to my lodgings. Ri Ul Sol, who was packing a carton, was very embarrassed to see me. I asked him what it was. He hesitantly replied that he had packed a watermelon for my children. The watermelon in the cardboard box was as large as a pot.
Kim Jong Il was very delighted to get the watermelon. Saying how good it would be if our people who had suffered hardship in the war had a taste of this watermelon, he suggested growing watermelons from its seeds. From the next year, together with Ri Ul Sol, he began to grow watermelons from the seeds of that watermelon in my garden. The watermelons thrived and spread far and wide.
Many people say that I have found a good solution to the problem of leadership succession. But I want to say that the anti-Japanese revolutionary veterans played an important role in solving the problem. They brought him his food and clothing and taught him to walk when he was an infant. Right from those days trust in and respect for them sprouted in Kim Jong Il’s heart, and trust in and intimacy with him sprouted in their hearts. It was the anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters who played leading and active roles in his ideological and spiritual growth, and in his emotional development.
Kim Jong Il’s firm confidence of victory, iron will and revolutionary optimism may be said to have been enriched and tempered through his intimate relationship with the veterans. In turn, the veterans learned from his boundless loyalty, filial devotion and moral duty to the leader, love for and spirit of devoted service to the people, as well as his unshakable will and resolve to carry forward and consummate, true to the leader’s ideas and intentions, the revolutionary cause pioneered by the forerunners. They have all realized that he is the leader who will shape the future of the country and nation excellently and responsibly.
That Kim Jong Il is a son of Mt. Paektu means that he was born of the anti-Japanese revolution as a son of the nation. He is a son of Korea who started his life and rose as a lodestar of our revolution in the embrace of the anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters.
The veterans not only acclaimed him as the successor to our cause, they also played the role of pioneers in establishing his leadership system. Acclamation of the successor does not mean that everything will go well of its own accord.
This is why I call on the anti-Japanese revolutionary veterans, whenever I meet them, to live longer so as to continue to help Kim Jong Il.
Another important task in carrying forward and completing the leader’s cause is to bring up the hard core and the reserves who will support the successor’s leadership loyally. If the hard core is not built up properly and the reserves are not fostered soundly, the successor’s leadership system cannot be established properly, nor can his lines and policies be carried out.
Since liberation we have developed the revolution with the hard core who fought on Mt. Paektu. We now have a hard core of Party members, soldiers and young people numbering millions. If we have a leader and the hard core, we have nothing to fear. The future of the Korean revolution led by Kim Jong Il is as bright as the blue sky.
The valley where Kim Jong Il’s old home is situated is called Sobaeksu. The valley had exquisite scenery that can be seen only in the alpine region of our country. Before we unearthed the site of the secret camp there in the 1980s the valley was a primeval forest. Even people unversed in military affairs will say it is a natural fortress. It was an ideal site for the Headquarters of the KPRA.
The former name of Jong Il Peak was Jangsu Peak. We renamed the peak in order to hand down Kim Jong Il’s achievements to posterity. Our people are proud of the peak before the world even in their songs.
It was Mt. Paektu that brought up Kim Jong Il as the leader of the nation. The fighters of the mountain raised him to be the lodestar, and the soul of the mountain is encapsuled in him.
The succession of our revolution is firmly ensured because Kim Jong Il, who was born and grew up in the flames of the anti-Japanese revolution, is the leader of the nation. He enjoys support and love from all the people.
The cause of Kim Jong Il, who was born of guerrillas and became the successor to the leader, to assume national leadership, amidst the unqualified support and trust of the people and the army, will be ever-victorious in the future too.