By New Worker correspondent
Millions of Koreans recalled the life and times of great leader Kim Il Sung this week. Kim Il Sung was born on 15th April 1912 and his birthday has long been celebrated as the Day of the Sun in the DPR Korea and by everyone who stands by the DPRK .
The Day of the Sun is the biggest public holiday of the year in the DPRK, the culmination of a series of sporting events and arts festivals that are held annually to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the founder of the Korean communist movement. Democratic Korean leader Kim Jong Un headed the tributes at the great leader’s mausoleum in Pyongyang and across the country millions of workers took part in cultural and sports events held to mark the 103rd anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung.
Across the world communists and friends of the Korean revolution took part in similar events or held their own commemorations of the Day of the Sun and London was no exception.
The first was at the Democratic Korean embassy where comrades, including Daphne Liddle from the New Communist Party, brought floral tributes at the opening of a reception to honour the country’s eternal president and heard Hyon Hak Bong, the ambassador, made a brief but passionate speech about the life and achievements of Kim Il Sung.
|Hyong Hak Bong at the embassy tributes|
Kim Il Sung was born when the Koreans were under the heel of the brutal Japanese colonialists. His father, a patriot, had already been arrested by the Japanese. When Kim Il Sung formed the Down with Imperialism Union at the age of 14 no one, least of all the Japanese imperialists, could have dreamt that within 20 years Korea would be free.
Kim Il Sung saw the hopelessness of the sectarians, flunkeyists, dogmatists and factionalists who called themselves communists in the 1920s. So he decided to form a communist movement from the youth and the grass-roots of the villages and factories, and surprised everyone with the emergence of the mighty Korean communist movement that led the people to victory in 1945.
When Kim Il Sung gathered a small band of heroes to form the first guerrilla units to take on the Japanese Army no one could have imagined that this would become the People’s Army that brought the American imperialists to their knees begging for an armistice in 1953.
Kim Il Sung developed and advanced Marxist-Leninist theory and led the struggle against Japanese colonialism and US aggression. He was a fighter, a thinker and a leader, Kim Il Sung was an outstanding communist of the 20th century whose name will forever be remembered as the founder of the modern Korean communist movement that began amongst the patriotic youth of Korea when he was a student in the 1920s.
Kim Il Sung founded the communist movement that liberated the country from Japanese colonialism, defeated the might of US-led imperialism in the Korean War and led the drive to build the modern, socialist republic that exists today in the north of the divided peninsula.
Kim Il Sung was a great commander in war and a great leader in peace. In the north of Korea, so brutally partitioned by imperialism, he built a modern communist movement dedicated to serving the working people of Korea and he led the people in the mass struggle to build a new life after they had won their freedom in 1945.
The Workers’ Party of Korea, with Kim Il Sung at the helm, led the battle for land reform, education and socialist construction in the 1950s and 60s and then pushed forward on the engineering, technical and scientific fronts to raise living standards and the quality of life for the millions of workers and peasants who had fought for a better tomorrow.
Over the weekend friends and comrades took part in a lively and upbeat meeting in central London called by Korean Friendship Association and the Juche Idea Study Group to hear openings by Dermot Hudson and Shaun Pickford on socialist construction in the DPRK and the essence of the Juché Idea that is the ultimate expression of Kim Il Sung’s thinking.
|Dermot Hudson and Yu Kwang Song|
In western Europe communists understood the economic case for scientific socialism but ignored the philosophical aspects of the teachings of Marx and Engels. Though the role of mass action was clearly understood, the role of the individual was often ignored. Though the achievements of the Soviet Union led by Lenin and Stalin were studied, they were often not properly understood.
Kim Il Sung not only grasped Marxism-Leninism but he applied it to the concrete conditions of the Korean people. He knew that once the masses realised their own strength they would become unstoppable. He knew that serving the people was the be-all and end-all for the Korean communists and for the Workers’ Party of Korea that he launched in 1945. He developed Korean style socialism and the Juché idea – which elevates the philosophical principles of Marxism-Leninism as well as its economic theories – and focuses on the development of each individual worker, who can only be truly free as part of the collective will of the masses.
In the western world Juché is simply described as “self-reliance” but it is much more than that. Kim Il Sung said that working people could only become genuinely emancipated if they stood on their own feet. But the Juché idea doesn’t negate proletarian internationalism. The Soviet Union, People’s China and the people’s democracies of eastern Europe all closed ranks behind Democratic Korea during the Korean war.
The Korean people responded with their trade and assistance whenever they could, while Korean experts and advisers helped the Vietnamese, the Arabs and the Africans struggling to break the chains of colonialism and they continue to do so today. And Kim Il Sung’s successors, dear leader Kim Jong Il and leader Kim Jong Un have followed his footsteps to build a modern socialist republic, where every individual worker is master of his or her own life.
|the platform at the Friends of Korea meeting|
Finally on Monday the leaders of all the major Korean solidarity movements in Britain met for a celebration called by the Friends of Korea committee at the John Buckle Centre in south London. NCP leader Andy Brooks opened the formal part of the meeting which heard brief tributes from Dermot Hudson and Michael Chant of the RCPB (ML) and guest of honour Ambassador. Hyon Hak Bong before adjourning for a film on the Spring Festival in Korea and refreshments to drink to the health of the DPRK’s leaders and the country’s heroic people.