|Leader Kim Jong Un|
THE KOREAN people will soon be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Workers Party of Korea and throughout the world communists will join them at events to mark the foundation of the party that has led the Korean revolution to victory after victory in the decades that followed.
The Workers Party of Korea has led the Korean revolution, performing tremendous feats in socialist construction, defeating US imperialism, beating the US-led economic blockade and overcoming natural disasters to become a nuclear power and a modern socialist society that serves the people throughout their lives. The revolutionary struggle was led by great leader Kim Il Sung and dear leader Kim Jong Il. Today leader Kim Jong Un follows their footsteps at the helm of the Party that is leading the drive to build a thriving socialist republic.
The Workers’ Party of Korea was founded on 10th October 1945 but the struggle began in the dark days of 1910 when the Japanese army marched into Korea, deposed the feudal ruler and the peninsula became a colony of Japan.
There was always resistance but it was drowned in blood. But the 1917 Great October Russian Revolution had an enormous impact on the Korean people, inspiring a new uprising in 1919. The Japanese occupation forces responded with predictable fury, driving the patriotic forces underground. And while the workers and peasants looked to the Soviet Union for help and inspiration, the bourgeois nationalists hoped that the other Pacific power, the United States, would come to their aid.
At that time the communist movement in Korea was small and bitterly divided into warring sects. Groups sent emissaries abroad to try to get recognition from the Communist International. All claimed to be the authentic voice of Korean communism while furiously denouncing their rivals. All attempts to set up a united communist party quickly collapsed.
But a new generation of communists was emerging from the patriotic youth and students of the country who wanted to drive the Japanese out and build a new tomorrow for the Korean people. Kim Il Sung was one of them.
Kim Il Sung was an outstanding communist leader and thinker who will always be remembered by working people all over the world. His 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 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.
When Kim Il Sung formed the Down with Imperialism Union at the age of 14 in 1926 no one, least of all the Japanese imperialists, could have dreamt that within 20 years Korea would be free. This was a movement that captured the imagination of all Korea’s progressive youth, which soon grew into the bigger Anti-Imperialist Youth League. From this organisation came many of the pioneers of the underground Young Communist League of Korea, directing student strikes and joining in the campaign to boycott Japanese goods.
The divisions amongst the existing Korean communists had left them isolated from the masses. Kim Il Sung strongly denounced their acts, of trying to rely on outside forces and striving for the recognition of others, as a disgrace to the Korean nation.
He stressed that a revolutionary movement was not something to carry on with the approval of others but a work to be done out of one’s own conviction. Problems should be solved by oneself, he said, and only when the struggle was waged well would others recognise it.
From student leader Kim Il Sung became the guerrilla leader; the “Young General” who took up the gun to drive the Japanese colonialists out of the country. When Kim Il Sung gathered a small band of heroes to form the first guerrilla units to take on the might of 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.
Comrade Kim Il Sung led the Korean masses to victory against the brutal Japanese colonialists in 1945. He took up the gun again to defend their freedom when US imperialism and its lackeys invaded the north in 1950. The Americans were fought to a standstill and forced to sign a humiliating armistice in 1953. Though the American terror bombers had left north Korea in ruins, the masses rallied round the call of the Workers’ Party of Korea to rebuild their shattered country and lead the drive for a modern, independent socialist republic in the free part of the Korean peninsula.
In the north the WPK led the drive to build a new life for all the working people of the DPRK. In American-occupied south Korea the WPK led the popular forces in their struggle against US imperialism and their local lackeys and pawns.
In the decades that followed Kim Il Sung worked tirelessly for the peaceful reunification of Korea while creatively applying Marxism-Leninism to the concrete problems of Korean society emerging from feudalism and colonial slavery in the 20th century. Kim Il Sung’s philosophical works, based on the revolutionary experience of the Korean communist movement and generations of struggle, steered the WPK as it marched forward to build a new way of life for the Korean people.
When the Korean War ended the WPK led the campaign for reconstruction. Industry was restored and expanded. Illiteracy was conquered, unemployment abolished and a comprehensive educational system established. The people began to enjoy free housing and medical treatment. By 1970 north Korea had become a socialist industrialised republic, an achievement that has made it a powerful beacon for socialism in Asia.
Unlike British communist leaders in the past, and indeed many others in Europe and beyond, Kim Il Sung stressed that Marxism-Leninism goes far beyond simple economic formulas and the Soviet “model”.
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 into 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.
Kim Il Sung, the great leader of the Korean revolution, died in 1994 but his work lives on in the Workers’ Party of Korea. His successor, Kim Jong Il, told the Korean people and the world that they could “expect no change from him” and with Kim Jong Il at the helm, natural disasters were overcome, diplomatic isolation was broken and the intrigues of US imperialism have been exposed.
The Korean revolution is an inspiration to all communists and freedom-fighters throughout the world. The Korean people, determined to preserve their independence and socialist system, have closed ranks around the Workers’ Party of Korea and the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the face of new threats from American imperialism.
The achievements of Democratic Korea today are based on the sacrifices of generations of Koreans in the past and the tireless work of the leadership of the Workers Party of Korea that follows in the footsteps of the great revolutionary leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
Now First Secretary Kim Jong Un is following the footsteps of those who came before him in striving to peacefully re-unify the Korean peninsula so brutally partitioned by US imperialism, strengthen the armed forces that are the ultimate guarantee of the independence and freedom of the people of Democratic Korea and ensure the health, education and well-being of every citizen in the DPRK. Still under constant threat from US imperialism and its lackeys it is even more important than ever to support the DPR Korea.