In Pyongyang this April, CPGB-ML comrades, including Chairman Harpal Brar and Vice Chairman and International Secretary Ella Rule, joined friends of the Korean people from around the world and the entire people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in celebrating the 15 April 100th anniversary of the birth of the great leader of the Korean people, Comrade Kim Il Sung. (See ‘Kim Il Sung: 1912-1994’, Proletarian, April 2012 for background)
The delegation attended numerous grand and impressive ceremonies organised to mark this most significant anniversary and festival of the Korean people, and also held fraternal talks with Comrade Choe Tae Bok, member of the Political Bureau and Secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), further reinforcing the militant and comradely ties between our two parties.
Among the major events organised to mark the anniversary were a mass rally in the Kim Il Sung Stadium, two spectacular fireworks displays and a huge military parade, which vividly highlighted the ability and the steely resolve of the Korean people to defend their small nation from all imperialist threats.
The military parade was also the occasion for the first public speech to be delivered by the new, young leader of the DPRK, Comrade Kim Jong Un, who succeeded to the helm of the Korean revolution following the untimely death of Comrade Kim Jong Il in December last year. Days earlier, at a party conference, Comrade Kim Jong Un had been elected as First Secretary of the WPK.
In his confident and optimistic speech, Comrade Kim Jong Un stressed the important point that, with the strength of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), especially its self-defensive nuclear deterrent, and the support of all the people: “The military and technological edge is no longer the monopoly of imperialists, and the era is gone forever when the enemy could threaten us with atomic bombs.”
He emphasised several times that the people’s army had to be under the leadership of the party, stating, for example:
“The KPA should remain a reliable vanguard and solid cornerstone of the Songun (‘military-first’ – Ed) revolution, which is ready to blaze the trail under the leadership of the party and firmly guarantee its cause by force of arms.”
And: “The entire army having become an entity of comrades-in-arms and all the service personnel and people having formed a harmonious whole around the party – this is the real might of the KPA, and herein lies the main key to augmenting its military strength.”
He further stressed that it is people, not weapons, that are decisive: “What I believe in is not any of the modern military hardware, like guns or rockets, but the dear rank-and-file soldiers.”
As a people’s army, “officers and men of the KPA should fulfil their duty … by doing many more things for the benefit of the people, with a feeling of doing them for their own parents and brothers and of taking care of their own homes.”
Comrade Kim Jong Un went on to say that: “It is a firm determination of our party to ensure that our people … who have remained faithful to the party in the face of all manner of difficulties, do not have to tighten their belts again, but enjoy all the benefits of socialism.”
To this end, he called for a “great upsurge on all the major fronts for the building of an economic power and improving of the people’s standard of living”, adding:
“Peace is very valuable for our party and the government of the DPRK, who are making efforts to attain the general goal of building a thriving nation and improving the people’s living standards. But, more valuable for us are the nation’s dignity and the country’s independence.
“In order to reliably safeguard the dignity and independence of our republic and assure genuine peace and the country’s security, all the officers and men of the KPA should firmly defend our party’s cause of building a thriving nation by force of arms, always preserving its revolutionary nature and maintaining full combat readiness.”
For his own part, Comrade Kim Jong Un concluded: “I will always be a comrade-in-arms of my comrades, sharing the same destiny with them on the sacred road of the Songun revolution and, true to the behests of General Kim Jong Il, fulfil the responsibility I have assumed for the country and the revolution.”
During the week of celebrations, Pyongyang, also hosted a ‘World Congress on the Juche Idea’, which drew participants, both scholars and political activists, from more than 60 countries. The Juche idea was developed by Comrade Kim Il Sung on the basis of applying Marxism Leninism to the concrete conditions of the Korean revolution. (For a detailed background, see ‘In celebration of the centenary of Comrade Kim Il Sungs birth’, Lalkar, May 2012)
The declaration adopted at this congress laid stress on anti-imperialism, stating:
“Illusion about and fear of imperialism immediately leads to death. It is necessary to have a clear understanding of the nature of imperialism and maintain a thorough anti-imperialist stand … All countries and nations should thoroughly frustrate the imperialists’ moves of aggression, war and arbitrariness with united strength. They should oppose national egoism and resolutely reject the imperialist moves of division and alienation.”
Such themes were echoed in a number of speeches, particularly from those delegates coming from the frontlines of anti-imperialist struggle in the Middle East and Latin America.
Dr Saber Balloul, from the Faculty of Political Science at Damascus University in Syria, said:
“We Arabs know the meaning and value of Songun. Gamal Abdul Nasser, who was the great leader of the Arab nation decades ago, stressed that that which was taken by force should be retaken by force. Later, Hafez al-Assad emphasised the maxim once again and waged the October war against the predatory zionist entity …
“Dr Bashar al-Assad, the outstanding leader, chooses resistance and leads the honourable struggle of the Arabs, being aware that the US and Israel do not give us our rights as long as the Arab nation does not possess the strength to take back the deprived rights … Syria and the DPRK stand at the same post to oppose imperialism and for world peace and progress.”
Comrade Rosanita Campos, Vice President of the Free Motherland Party of Brazil, spoke of the anti-imperialist struggle across Latin America, which had led to progressive governments being established in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua and El Salvador, alongside socialist Cuba.
As well as the threat from US imperialism, she noted that “The British government is now moving to provoke war against Latin America, waging military exercises in the South Atlantic in order to maintain its foolish domination of the Malvinas, with the assistance of the USA.
“The Malvinas belong to Argentina. We never allow any foreign intervention against our nation. Latin America belongs to the Latin-American people.”
Comrade Campos also remarked: “The US is now in crisis. The UK and France are also suffering from crisis. It is not our crisis but the crisis of the monopoly capitalists, the imperialists. Latin America is not in crisis. It is growing and developing.”
Indeed, such revolutionary optimism permeated Pyongyang in April, inspiring the Korean people, as well as their comrades-in-arms from all parts of the world, to intensify the struggle against imperialism and for socialism, to which Comrade Kim Il Sung devoted his entire life.
> Understanding North Korea – ProletarianTV (YouTube)
> Kim Il Sung: 1912-1994– Proletarian, April 2012
> In celebration of the centenary of Comrade Kim Il Sungs birth – Lalkar, May 2012