Torchlight of Pochonbo

 

June 4 this year is a significant day in the history of the Korean people¡¯s Songun revolution.

On this day 70 years ago there was kindled at Pochonbo a historic torchlight heralding the dawn of revival of the Korean nation.

Those days were the grimmest for the Korean nation. In the late 1930s the Japanese imperialists occupying Korea (1905-1945) were preparing to provoke a war to invade the mainland of China (July 7 incident in 1937), while intensifying their fascist repression on the Korean people as never before in order to consolidate their ¡°rear.¡± They resorted to every conceivable means to deprive the Koreans of all national things by making all sorts of draconian fascist law. They forcibly forbade the Koreas using Korean language, even compelling them to change their names to Japanese ones. The Korean nation was, literally, at stake.

At this juncture Commander Kim Il Sung of the Korean Revolutionary Army planned an advance into the homeland in order to revitalize the soul of the nation.

Until that time the anti-Japanese armed struggle of the Korean people had been taking place mainly in Manchuria, China, across the Korean border. The KPRA, founded on April 25, 1932, constantly gathered its strength in the course of fight against the Japanese imperialists and grew to the extent of forming several divisions about this time.

If the KPRA thrust into the homeland, it would inspire the Koreans with confidence and extend the armed struggle into the homeland, thus paving the way for achieving national liberation by the efforts of the Korean themselves. This was the main purpose of the battle conceived by General Kim Il Sung.

Meanwhile, the Japanese imperialists tightened up the security guard around the northern border areas of Korea in a desperate attempt to check the KPRA¡¯s advance into the homeland and its influence on the popular masses. Taking into account that Pochonbo was a vast forest area linked with the Changbai area of China, KPRA¡¯s main theater of operations, they set up over 20 police stations in the area, built forts at every 2 km and newly laid the border roads. It would be of great significance if the KPRA only broke through the enemy¡¯s tight borderline surveillance and attacked the strategic point.

The KPRA unit led by Kim Il Sung set out toward the homeland. It secretly broke through the first cordon of the border guard much-vaunted by the enemy as an ¡°impregnable fortress,¡± and fully prepared itself to attack Pochonbo, the center of the enemy¡¯s second cordon.

At 10 p.m. on June 4, 1937. Kim Il Sung pulled the trigger off his pistol, signaling the start of the battle. The guerillas took the Japanese police substation by assault at a stroke and set fire to the enemy¡¯s administrative organs including the sub county office and fire hall. They posted up in the street the Proclamation and Ten-Point Program of the ARF worked out by Kim Il Sung, and distributed various handbills and appeals. People turned out to the street, shouting ¡°Our army has come!¡± and ¡°General Kim Il Sung has come!¡± To the cheering masses Kim Il Sung delivered a speech, encouraging them to fight on staunchly for the liberation of Korea. Following the battle, the KPRA dealt deadly blow to the chasing enemy at Kouyushan and Jiansanfeng.

The battle of Pochonbo was a triumphant event in that it dealt a telling blow at the Japanese imperialists who had been strutting as if they were the lords of Asia. To the Japanese policemen, it was a bolt from the blue/ they cried, ¡°We feel the shame of watching the haystack we had been carefully building for a thousand days go up in flames in an instant.¡±

Mass media in Korea and in Japan, China and former Soviet Union gave major coverage to the victory of KPRA¡¯s advance into the homeland under the titles, such as ¡°Korean guerilla unit appeared in the northern Korea¡± and ¡°Guerilla warfare in the northern area of Korea.¡±

The greatest significance of the Pochonbo battle is that it is not only convinced the Korean people, who were losing confidence in the national resurrection, that Korea was still very much alive, but also inspired them with optimism that they were fully capable of fighting and achieving national independence and liberation. Since the battle, broad sections of Korean patriots turned out in the independence movement and the young people burnt with enthusiasm to join the KPRA. Holding General Kim Il Sung in high esteem as the leader of the nation and savior of the national resurrection, people firmly believed that the day of liberation was sure to come.

Korea finally greeted the liberation on August 15, 1945, by defeating the Japanese imperialism.

70 years have passed since the battle. But the torchlight of Pochonbo that night still remains flaming in the minds of the Korean people. It still chisels into their hearts the truth that only the Songun revolution, which gives priority to the arms, is the way for defending the national sovereignty and dignity in the face of the aggression and domination of the imperialists. 

 

Origin of Songun idea

 

In the Democratic People¡¯s Republic of Korea the Songun idea is the solution to all the problems arising in the revolution and construction.

The Songun idea, the leading idea of the Korean society in the Songun era, is the one that attaches importance to arms and gives priority to military affairs in the revolution and construction. It also regards the revolutionary army as the core, main force in strengthening the driving force of the revolution and successfully accelerates the revolution and construction by firmly relying on the leading role of the revolutionary army.

The Songun idea of Korea was created by President Kim Il Sung and is further developed by leader Kim Jong Il.

The Songun idea traces its origin back to the two pistols given to the President by his father Kim Hyong Jik, and the program of the Down-with-Imperialism Union (DIU), the first revolutionary organization the President formed after he had embarked on the road of struggle for the restoration of the country.

Kim Hyong Jik was the prominent leader of the anti-Japanese national liberation movement of Korea who fought for the independence of Korea in the period of the Japanese military occupation of Korea and the pioneer of charging the nationalist movement into the proletarian revolution.

He formed the Korean National association and other revolutionary organizations and fought resolutely against the Japanese imperialists until he passed away on June 5, Juche 15 (1926). He left behind the two pistols as his heritage to his eldest son, Kim Il Sung.

Those pistols bequeathed by his father made the President have a revolutionary standpoint and a firm determination to win back the lost country by armed struggle even though his bones might be crushed and his body might be torn to pieces. And his standpoint and determination gave birth to army-first Songun idea and enabled him to carve out the road of Songun revolutionary leadership.

After his father¡¯s death, the President entered the Hwasong Uisuk School. The school was founded by nationalists with a view to training cadres for the Independence Army. He then keenly felt the shortcoming of the nationalist movement and the limitations of the early communist movement. And he realized that the wrong viewpoint and fighting methods of the nationalists and communists of those days could not bring about national liberation and independence. He conducted energetic activities a new start of the Korean revolution.

He rallied his comrades who could share life and death, sweets and bitters with him for the revolution in his days of the Hwasong Uisuk School. And based on it he organized on 17th of October in Juche 15 (1926) the Down-with-Imperialism Union (DIU), the first of its kind as Juche-oriented organizations in the Korean history. At the inaugural meeting he put forward the fighting program of the DIU clarifying the immediate task and final objective of the Korean revolution.

The program of the DIU, which stipulated a resolute anti-imperialist and independent policy to overthrow the Japanese imperialists and achieve the liberation and independence of Korea, developed the Songun idea that attaches importance to arms and gives precedence to military affairs.