President Kim Il Sung achieved the historic cause of Korea’s liberation by waging the arduous anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle, sharing weal and woe with his comrades-in-arms for twenty years.
On the road of gaining comrades
Kim Il Sung, with a firm determination to win back the country lost to the Japanese imperialists, started his revolutionary activities with gaining comrades.
His idea of gaining comrades was the heritage he received from his father Kim Hyong Jik.
Kim Hyong Jik, an outstanding leader of the anti-Japanese national liberation movement in Korea, said one cannot make the revolution alone and that the most important is to have reliable comrades and, once gained, one should share one’s fate with them.
Based on the view that “A comrade is my alter ego, and with comrades I can win the whole world.” Kim Il Sung made efforts to rally comrades one by one who would share will and destiny with him. He formed the Down-with-Imperialism Union (DIU), the Anti-Imperialist Youth League, the Young Communist League of Korea, the Paeksan Youth League, etc., all of which were the revolutionary organizations aimed at defeating the Japanese imperialists and achieving Korea’s liberation and independence.
His will to advance and carry through the Korean revolution by gathering comrades were reflected in the name of the Society for Rallying Comrades, the first party organization he formed on July 3, Juche 19 (1930).
In those days, the young Korean communists of a new generation held Kim Il Sung in the highest esteem as the Sun of the nation and the centre of unity and cohesion, saying that he was the great man who would save their lost country.
The Anti-Japanese People’s Guerrilla Army (reorganized as the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army later), the first revolutionary armed force in Korea, was founded on April 25, 1932 with a large number of comrades who gathered with a great ambition to liberate Korea. Its commander and political commissar was Kim Il Sung.
Sharing weal and woe with his soldiers
The guerrillas had to fight fierce battles against the enemies tens of times a day and make forced march in the primeval forests even in the face of snowstorm and biting cold of around 30-40℃ below zero and starvation.
Whenever they were faced with trying ordeals, Kim Il Sung took warm care of his soldiers. For him, they were his precious revolutionary comrades and comrades-in-arms sharing the same idea and will with him.
When they dug up a tens-of-years-old wild insam in a valley and presented it to him, he asked them to keep it well.
An orderly preserved the wild insam in the knapsack for two years before it was used as a tonic for a sick soldier on his order.
He stood the cold sharing a piece of blanket together with his members in the severe winter, and shared a cup of parched-rice flour for emergency use together with them.
When his soldiers fell in battles, he grieved more than anyone else and wrote the memorial address the whole night.
When they could not bury their bodies because of critical situation, he, after the battle, led his unit to turn back the way covering over 40 km in order to bury them.
He believed in comrades-in-arms like himself. When over hundreds of guerrillas were under suspicion on a charge of involvement in the “Minsaengdan”, an anti-revolutionary spy organization formed by the Japanese imperialists, he made an audacious decision to set fire to the false documents, at the risk of his life.
His love and trust with which he readily devoted himself for the sake of his comrades-in-arms served as a source of unyielding power for the guerrillas to brave all the trials and difficulties and even death.
His love encouraged them to display the spirit of defending their leader to the death, the indomitable fighting spirit and the heroic self-sacrificing spirit, and to achieve national liberation by defeating the Japanese Kwantung Army, one million strong.
The ties of blood between the commander and his soldiers was precisely the unity of the revolutionary ranks and such a unity produced a precious fruition of the victory in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle.
In the course of this, the tradition of single-hearted unity, the great foundation of the Korean revolution, was created on the basis of a noble sense of revolutionary obligation and comradeship.