The Golden Age of Asia,

Korea was a country raising its lamps

Again the lamp will be lit

We are waiting for it

To illuminate the East


This is a poem written by Rabindranath Tagore(1861-1941) of India.

Korea had long ago been famous as a land of morning calm, a country with a time-honoured history of 5 000 years and outstanding cultural traditions.

The "lamp", however, was put out by the Japanese imperialists' occupation. It was reduced to a colony in 1905. Under the imperialist occupation of Japan, Korea was turned literally into a land of the Middle Ages, its people finding themselves at a crossroads of life and death. The name of the country was removed from the world map.

KIM IL SUNG(1912-1994), who was born at the time of national distress, set out on the road of revolutionary struggle to rescue his country and people from misery. Having crossed the Amnok River at the young age of thirteen with a firm determination never to return home before the country was liberated, he set about waging the revolution. Convinced from the first days of his revolutionary struggle that the masters of the Korean revolution were none other than the Korean people themselves and that when all of them rose up and fought in unity, they would defeat the Japanese imperialists and realize the country's liberation, he closely rallied enthusiastic young people and started an anti-Japanese armed struggle.

During the 15-year struggle against Japanese imperialism, he put forward outstanding policies and lines and applied original strategies and tactics, thus leading the Korean people's struggle for national liberation to victory. The anti-Japanese armed struggle he organized and led occupies a prominent position in the history of national liberation struggle of the colonial countries of the world.

The Korean people had to fight against Japanese imperialism that had been boasting of being "tiger of Asia" and vying with fascist Germany to bring the world under its control; they had neither backing of a state nor support from a regular armed force: they also had to obtain everything- weapons, ammunition, clothes, food and others-by themselves. It was, indeed, an arduous struggle beyond imagination.

The anti-Japanese guerrilla fighters, however, under the leadership of their commander KIM IL SUNG endowed with ardent love for the country and nation, waged a bloody struggle and devoted their all, life and blood, to the sacred war of national liberation. Many battles, including the Pochonbo Battle in June 1937 and the Musan Area Battle in May 1939, inflicted telling blows on the ruling structure of Japanese imperialism and instilled in the hearts of the Korean people the hope of national resurrection. At last, the Japanese imperialists were defeated and the historic cause of national liberation was accomplished on August 15, 1945. As Tagore prophesied, the "lamp" was lit again.

This significant day over 66 years ago brought about a fundamental change in the destiny of the Korean people. They, who had been suffering colonial slavery for decades, regained their freedom and liberation, and embarked on the broad road of building a new society, independent and creative. After liberation such democratic reforms as land reform, nationalization of major industries and enforcement of a law on sex equality were carried out in the northern half of Korea, followed by the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on September, 9, 1948, the first of its kind in the East. The DPRK has developed into a people-centered socialist state where the people have become the masters of everything and everything serves them, a state independent in politics, self-supporting in the economy and self-reliant in defence.

Korea is now demonstrating its might as an impregnable fortress of socialism, an independent power, under the leadership of KIM JONG UN who is successfully carrying forward the cause of KIM IL SUNG and KIM JONG IL.

Korea-Asia Pacific Exchange

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