This month, the Korean people will mark the 75th anniversary of the birth of Kim Jong II, chairman of the National Defence Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the eternal leader of socialist Korea. They will also mark the fifth anniversary of awarding him the title of Generalissimo of the DPRK. Kim Jong II was born on February 16, 1942, at a secret camp on Mt Paektu when the armed struggle was being waged by the Korean revolutionaries under the leadership of Kim II Sung (1912-1994), eternal President of the DPRK, to liberate their country from the military occupation by Japan.
The secret camp was a major base of the armed struggle.
At that time, the guerillas barked the trees in the forests and inscribed on them such slogans as “Heir to General Kim II Sung was born on Mt Paektu; O Korea and compatriots, we inform you of the birth of the Shining Star of Paektu; and the birth of the Shining Star of Paektu is the honour of Korea.”
True to their expectation and desire, Kim Jong II became the shining star, adding glory to Korea and carrying forward Kim II Sung’s cause — this was his lifelong mission.
Kim Jong Il assisted Kim Il Sung in his work from his early years.
And, while dealing with the overall work of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the State and the armed forces, he performed exploits noteworthy in history.
Through energetic ideological and theoretical activities, he ensured that the Juche idea and Songun idea authored by Kim Il Sung shone as the eternal guiding ideology of Korea and a great ideology guiding the era of independence.
He also developed the WPK into an ever-victorious guiding force, the DPRK into an invincible socialist State and the Korean People’s Army into a matchless revolutionary army.
In the closing years of the previous century, when the country was experiencing the worst trials owing to the extreme moves of the US-led imperialist allied forces to stifle the DPRK, Kim Jong Il firmly defended socialism by dint of his unique Songun politics.
He turned the whole society into a grand, harmonious family with his policy of loving and trusting people and further strengthened the whole country into a politico-ideological power in which all the people are united with a single heart. He also unfolded an ambitious blueprint for building a powerful socialist country, and laid firm foundations to this end.
The most distinguished exploit he performed is that he ensured that the DPRK, which is not large in territory, entered on its own terms the club of a small number of countries that can manufacture and launch artificial earth satellite and possess nuclear weapons.
The victory the DPRK achieves one after another and its eternal prosperity is inconceivable separated from Kim Jong II’s career. In this regard, the Korean people celebrate his birthday on February 16 as the Day of the Shining Star, as the greatest national holiday.
On February 14, 2012, Kim Jong Il was awarded the title of Generalissimo of the DPRK. From his childhood, he was possessed of the view of prioritising arms and was keenly interested in military affairs.
On August 25, 1960, in the lead-up to his entering Kim Il Sung University, he visited the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su Guards 105th Tank Division of the KPA. This signalled the start of his Songun-based leadership, which reflected his will to safeguard the destiny of the country and nation and accomplish the socialist cause, with the army as the main force.
Since then, holding fast to the work of the army as well as of the Party as the main thing, he paid primary attention to preparing the army politically and ideologically and at the same time strengthened its military and technological might comprehensively.
He made energetic efforts to develop the defence industry so that the KPA could be perfectly equipped with modern and powerful means of attack and defence. Kim Jong II devoted his all to making the climate of prioritising military affairs prevail across society and accomplishing the tasks of arming all the people and fortifying the whole country in a more thorough-going way.
This turned the whole country into an impregnable fortress. What is particularly noteworthy in his Songun-based leadership spanning more than 50 years is that he led to victory the US-DPRK nuclear stand-off that was as fierce as a world war.
Hinged on this showdown was the destiny of socialist Korea and the world socialist movement after the end of the Cold War, and the peace and security of the DPRK, Northeast Asia and the rest of the world; it was a “war without gunshot.”
During the first nuclear crisis in early 1993, when the United States instigated the IAEA to enforce on the DPRK a “special inspection” claiming about its “suspicious nuclear development,” and during the second nuclear crisis at the turn of the new century, when the Bush administration, branding the DPRK as part of the Axis of Evil, put it on the list of targets for pre-emptive nuclear strike, Kim Jong Il exerted all his efforts to increasing the national military strength, so as to reliably safeguard the sovereignty of the country and stability in the region.
The reckless nuclear blackmail by the US resulted in the DPRK possessing a powerful nuclear deterrent. The days are gone forever when the US threatened the DPRK with nuclear weapons.
A century ago, Korea was forced to suffer the bitter lot of slavery, as it had no proper weapons. However, today it is demonstrating far and wide the might of a world-class military power, which is possessed of nuclear deterrent.
This constitutes the greatest exploit he performed. On December 17, 2011, Kim Jong Il passed away, and the title of Generalissimo of the DPRK was conferred on him on February 14, 2012 for his immortal exploits of turning his country into a world-class military power and leading to victory the anti-imperialist, anti-US showdown by dint of his Songun-based leadership, unique in the political history of the world.
Through outstanding and energetic ideological and theoretical activities, Kim Jong II published many works including “On the Juche Idea”, in which he synthesised and systematised in a comprehensive way the Juche idea created by Kim Il Sung.
He scientifically resolved various theoretical and practical problems arising in implementing the cause of independence of mankind. This provided the progressive peoples of the world with a powerful ideological and theoretical weapon for building a new, independent and peaceful world free of aggression and war.
In late 20th century, when the imperialists were clamouring about the end of socialism availing themselves of the successive failure of socialism in various countries, Kim Jong Il made public many works such as “The Historical Lesson in Building Socialism and the General Line of Our Party” (January 1992), “Abuses of Socialism Are Intolerable” (March 1993) and “Socialism Is a Science” (November 1994).
In the works, he proved in a scientific way the validity, truthfulness and inevitability of the triumph of the cause of socialism and dealing resolute blows to all the anti-socialists who were manoeuvring to block the accomplishing of the socialist cause in Korea and the cause of global independence.
Kim Jong Il led the efforts to carry out the cause of global independence. He ensured that the DPRK, through its practical examples in the anti-imperialist struggle, instilled strength and courage in the countries and nations aspiring after independence.
In January 1968, a US armed spy ship Pueblo was captured in the territorial waters of the DPRK. The US threatened that it would take a retaliatory action and would not hesitate to ignite an all-out war unless the DPRK returned the captured crew and ship.
Kim Jong Il declared a stand of principle, that he would not release the crew unless the Americans submitted a letter of apology and that, since the ship was spoils of his country, he would not return it in any case though they signed the letter of apology.
The US could not but yield. The results of the incident of the US spy plane EC-121 in April 1969 and the Panmunjom incident in August 1976 were the same. In his lifetime, Kim Jong Il energetically conducted external activities; he met many political, social and other prominent figures of the world, including heads of State and party of Russia, China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and other countries.
He met top-level delegation of the EU and even figures from hostile countries, including ex-President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright of the United States and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
Everyone who met him, regardless of their nationality, religious belief, idea or political view, sympathised with his principled and fair view on global independence.