Mangyongdae, the native home of President Kim Il Sung



Epitome from great President Kim Il Sungs Reminiscences With the Century



Life, Parents and People


My whole life, which has flowed with the current of the 20th century when the life of mankind has undergone unprecedented vicissitudes and the political map of the world has changed beyond recognition, is the epitome of the history of my country and my people.

Naturally, the course of my life has not been all joy and success. There have been heart-breaking sorrows and sacrifices, and many twists and turns and difficulties. While I made many friends and comrades on the path of my struggle, there were also many people who stood in my way.

My patriotic spirit made me as a teenager cry out against Japan on the streets of Jilin and carry on a risky underground struggle dodging the enemys pursuit. Under the banner of anti-Japanese struggle I had to endure hardships going hungry and sleeping outdoors in the deep forests of Mt. Paektu, push my way through endless snowstorms and wage long bloody battles convinced of national liberation, fighting against the formidable enemy scores of times stronger than our forlorn force. After liberation I had to spend many a sleepless night in an effort to save the divided country and again go through indescribable difficulties and distresses in the days of building and defending the peoples state.

In this course, however, I never once shrank back or hesitated.

I have always held a steady helm in my lifes rough voyage, and I owe this to my comrades and to the people who have helped me in good faith.

The people are my God has been my constant view and motto. The principle of Juche, which calls for drawing on the strength of the masses who are the masters of the revolution and construction, is my political creed. This has been the axiom that has led me to devote my whole life to the people.

I lost my parents at an early age and have spent my whole life amid the love and expectations of my comrades. I hewed out the path of bloody struggle together with tens of thousands of comrades, and in this process I came to realize keenly the real value of the comrades and organization that shared their lot with me.

(Abstracts from the Reminiscences With the Century, Prologue Volume I)


My fathers last wish imparted to my mother began with these words. Handing over to her the two pistols he had always carried with him, he said:

If these guns are discovered after my death, there will be trouble. So bury them and then give them to Song Ju when he has grown up and starts on the road of struggle.

Then he gave us three brothers his last injunction:

I am departing without attaining my aim. But I believe in you. You must not forget that you belong to the country and the people. You must win back your country at all costs even if your bones are broken and your bodies are torn apart.

I wept loudly. My fathers death let loose my pent-up grief for my lost country. My father died after passing his life enduring every manner of hardship and suffering for the sake of his country. Even when he was mortally ill because of repeated torture and severe frostbite, he did not give in but went to meet the people and his comrades. When he was exhausted, he walked with a cane, and when he was hungry, he allayed his hunger by eating snow. He never looked back or wavered; he always walked straight forward. My father did not take sides with any faction or seek power but dedicated his whole life without hesitation to the cause of national liberation and the working peoples well-being. He was free from worldly desires and self-interest. When he had money, he suppressed his desire to buy sweets for his children and saved it up and bought an organ, which he contributed to a school. He placed his fellow-countrymen above himself, and his motherland above his family. He moved forward without faltering in the teeth of the cold wind. He lived as a man of integrity and an upright revolutionary. I never once heard my father talking about household affairs. I inherited a great deal from my father in ideological and spiritual wealth but nothing in the form of property and money. The farm implements and household utensils now on display in my old house are all legacies left behind by my grandfather, not by my father.

The thought of Aim High, being prepared for the three contingencies, the idea of gaining comrades, and two pistolsthis was all I received from my father. My heritage was such that it portended great hardship and sacrifice for me. Nevertheless, there could be no better heritage for me.

(Abstracts from the Reminiscences With the Century, Volume I)


As I was fastening my shoelaces, my mother took out four five-yuan notes from under the wicker trunk and handed them to me.

Away from home, you will have many occasions when you are in need of money. So keep this. A man must have money in his pocket in case of emergency. Your father would often say that in the closing period of the Qing dynasty in China Sun Yat-sen, who was locked up in a foreign embassy, gave some money to the cleaning man and escaped with his help.

I accepted the money, but my hands trembled. I could not put it into my pocket, at a loss what to do with it. I was well aware of how much trouble the 20 yuan had cost my mother. The 20 yuan she had earned and saved penny by penny by working her fingers to the bone doing washing and sewing for pay! At that time one could buy a cow for some 50 yuan, so that much money was enough to buy a medium-sized cow or cereal to last our family of three for a whole year.

I walked forward, but I could not leave the village. I began to walk around my house. The 20 yuan was still in my hand. I went round, and round, and round yet again.... As I walked my mind was torn between a thousand and one thoughts which had gripped me like a vice all night long.

 As I went round the house despondently with these thoughts, my mother threw the door open and scolded me severely:

What are you worrying about that you are still here? How can a man who has turned out with a determination to win back his country cope with the great cause when he has such a weak heart and so many worries about his home?....If in the future you ever think to come home, anxious about your mother, dont turn up before this door. I wont meet a son of that sort.

Her words struck my heart like thunder.

After crossing the wooden bridge down the village street, I looked back. My mother in white clothes, supporting herself against the door post, stood watching me. That was the last time I saw my mother.

That was not an ordinary parting a person experiences thousands of times in his life, but the last parting which has remained a heartrending memory to me and which would never occur again. I never saw my mother after that.

 From the day when I left the hill of Xiaoshahe at the head of the ranks of the newly-formed Anti-Japanese Peoples Guerrilla Army, I travelled the path of bloody battles, the path of severe frost, the path of starvation beyond human imagination, together with my comrades-in-arms for decades. After that, I passed half a century of creation and construction under the banner of socialism. Each time I ran up against an ordeal which tested my faith as a revolutionary on the rugged and thorny path I was following in the cause of my homeland and its people, I would renew my resolve by recalling the words my mother had said to me as she pushed me off to south Manchuria, and the last image of my mother dressed in white seeing me off, before seeking recourse to an ideology or philosophical proposition.

(Abstracts from the Reminiscences With the Century, Volume INDEPENDENT)


We became convinced, while waging the anti-Japanese armed struggle after the Kalun Meeting, that the line we advanced at the meeting was just. The enemy likened us to a drop in the ocean, but we had an ocean of people with inexhaustible strength behind us. Whatever line we put forward, the people easily understood it and made it their own, and they aided us materially and spiritually, sending tens of thousands of their sons, daughters, brothers and sisters to join our ranks.

We could defeat the strong enemy who was armed to the teeth, fighting against him in the severe cold of up to 40 degrees below zero in Manchuria for over 15 years, because we had a mighty fortress called the people and the boundless ocean called the masses.

(Abstracts from the Reminiscences With the Century, Volume INDEPENDENT)