KIM IL SUNG
ON PREPARING FOR THE GREAT EVENT OF NATIONAL LIBERATION
Report to the Meeting of Military and Political Cadres of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army Held in Xiaohaerbaling, Dunhua County
August 10, 1940
Comrades, We are gathered here today to discuss the policies and tasks to be carried out by the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army in coping with the new, rapidly changing situation. It is nearly ten years already since the Korean communists founded the Anti-Japanese People’s Guerrilla Army and launched an armed struggle against the Japanese imperialist marauders. In the past decade the Korean communists, through an arduous struggle, gave a telling blow to the Japanese imperialist aggressors militarily and politically and laid a solid foundation for bringing about a new upswing in the Korean revolution as a whole. First and foremost, during the ten years of hard-fought struggle the KPRA, the central force of the Korean revolution, grew in strength militarily and politically. Since its founding it has steadily expanded and strengthened its ranks with revolutionary youth, including progressive workers and peasants, and armed itself with weapons seized from the enemy, thus reinforcing its military equipment. In addition, through unremitting fierce battles against the enemy and military and political training, all the officers and men of the KPRA have been tempered militarily and politically like steel and have accumulated a wealth of combat experience. The result is that the KPRA has grown and strengthened into a powerful revolutionary armed force. We have also laid a firm basis for founding a Marxist-Leninist party. Amid the flames of the armed struggle we Korean communists made tireless preparations to found a Marxist-Leninist party. We revolutionized the workers, peasants and other broad sections of the working people and united them around the communists, so as to lay a mass foundation for building the party. We also trained many communists of worker and peasant origin in practice, through antiJapanese armed struggle and underground revolutionary activity. Numerous hard-core elements in particular grew out of the severe trials and the fierce flames of struggle; they are the most valuable assets of our revolution. They are now contributing greatly to our revolution, and there is no doubt that they will become the pillars of our future party. We have achieved great success also in the movement of the anti-Japanese national united front to organize and rally broad anti-Japanese patriotic forces. We have organized and united workers, peasants and broad sections of the masses opposed to Japan. Particularly, the formation in May 1936 of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland, an organization of the anti-Japanese national united front, opened up new prospects for rallying broad anti-Japanese patriotic forces around the communists and expanding and strengthening the revolutionary forces. After the founding of the ARF broad sections of our antiJapanese masses who love their country and fellow people–workers, peasants, youths, students, intellectuals, small and medium-size manufacturers and tradesmen, churchmen, and nationalists–rallied as one in the national liberation front and began fighting staunchly along the road of anti-Japanese struggle illumined by the Ten-Point Programme. All these are precious, valuable successes achieved at the cost of the blood of our revolutionary comrades. We must not efface the successes already won but develop them further and, basing ourselves on them, fight staunchly until final victory. Comrades, The rapidly changing situation of today urgently demands that we map out a new line of struggle and fight vigorously for its implementation. The Second World War fascist Germany provoked by invading Poland is expanding rapidly with each passing day. After its invasion of Poland, fascist Germany occupied a number of countries in Europe and some time ago completely occupied France. In the East the Japanese imperialists are frantically trying to expand the aggressive war to the whole of Asia. They are manoeuvring to spread the flames of war to Southeast Asia, despite their failure to wind up the war of aggression on the Chinese mainland, which has been going on for several years. Japanese imperialism, which depends on foreign countries for most of its major strategic materials, such as petroleum, steel and rubber, attached vital importance to its inroad into Southeast Asia and has long dreamed of occupying the countries in this part of the world. The British, French and Dutch imperialists are so concerned with the occupation and pressure by fascist Germany in Europe that they have no time to pay attention to their colonies in Southeast Asia. Availing themselves of this opportunity, the Japanese imperialist blackguards are today going to occupy the countries of this area. While making frenzied attempts to expand the aggressive war, the Japanese imperialists are making the most desperate “punitive” offensive against the KPRA to guarantee the “security of the rear.” In the past ten years the Japanese imperialists have sustained telling blows in their colonial rule and aggressive war by the intensive military and political activities of the KPRA. They have calculated therefore that unless the KPRA is “annihilated,” they will not be able to conduct “simultaneous operations against the Soviet Union and China” or achieve their sinister ambition of Asian conquest, and they are staging an unprecedentedly large-scale “punitive” offensive to “completely annihilate” the revolutionary army. Since last autumn they have mobilized more than 200,000 men–including crack Japanese units, troops of the puppet Manchukuo army and police forces–and thrown planes and a great amount of modern military technical equipment into the “punitive” operations against the revolutionary army. Along with the military offensive the Japanese imperialists are intensifying their political and ideological offensive. With a view to cutting off the organizational ties between our revolutionary army and the masses, they are reinforcing their weapons and equipment at internment villages to prevent the people from going out freely and are intensifying as never before the barbaric repression and slaughter of the revolutionary organizations, revolutionaries and patriots. The savage repression and slaughter by the Japanese imperialists have reached a peak and, because of these barbarities, numerous Korean patriots are being massacred ruthlessly. The enemy is also stepping up the policy of economic blockade against the revolutionary army. The Japanese imperialists are especially tightening their control over provisions; they cruelly punish the people who have salt or matches to spare, on the charge of “collusion with communist bandits.” However, their massive “punitive” offensive without precedent against the revolutionary army does not mean they are mighty; it is no more than the last-ditch efforts of those who are on the brink of ruin. No amount of large-scale “punitive” offensives and desperate efforts can help the Japanese imperialists to break the indomitable fighting spirit of the officers and men of the KPRA, tempered like steel in arduous struggle, or check the triumphant advance of the antiJapanese armed struggle. By frantically expanding their aggressive war, the Japanese imperialists are being further isolated internally and externally and are sinking deep into a bottomless mire politically, economically and militarily. First of all, as the front extends, the Japanese imperialists are unable to meet the rapidly increasing demands for combat forces and munitions. They have already lost more than half of their elite units in the Sino-Japanese War, but still fail to replace them. Obviously in this situation they will be unable to meet the demands for armed forces at their front, which is extending to the whole of Asia. The Japanese imperialists are experiencing great difficulties with munitions supplies, too. In the Sino-Japanese War they have fully revealed their fatal weakness: They depend on imports for most of the major strategic supplies needed in large quantities for modern warfare. Japanese imperialism’s difficulties in the supply of munitions will increase as the war expands and assumes a protracted nature. The Japanese imperialists’ frenzied efforts to spread the aggressive war are meeting with strong resistance from broad sections of Asian peoples, including the Korean and Chinese peoples. Inspired by the military and political activities of the KPRA, our people are now engaged in all forms of anti-Japanese struggle to counter the brigandish plunder and despotic repression of Japanese imperialism, and the Chinese people are courageously carrying out the anti-Japanese war for national salvation, giving a telling blow to the Japanese imperialist aggressors. In addition, the peace-loving people of the whole world, including the great Soviet people, are strongly condemning the Japanese imperialist efforts for aggressive war. The Japanese imperialists are also confronted with the powerful resistance of the people in their own country. Among the workers, peasants and other broad sections of the Japanese population, discontent with the reactionary warlords and trends against the aggressive war are growing with each passing day. By spreading the flames of the aggressive war to the whole of Asia, Japanese imperialism is further aggravating its contradictions with the US, Great Britain and other imperialist powers, which have their colonies and concessions in this part of the world. So, the Japanese imperialists are encountering strong resistance and protest and denunciation from all sides and are heading for an irreparable quandary. All this clearly shows that the fall of Japanese imperialism is definite, that it is a question of time; and it proves that the day is approaching when our people will win the historic cause of national liberation. This situation urgently requires that we be well prepared for the great event of national liberation. Basing ourselves on the precious achievements made and experience gained during the nearly ten years of anti-Japanese armed struggle, we must first make thoroughgoing preparations to fight a final battle to vanquish the Japanese imperialist marauders once and for all. We must also make preparations for founding a working-class party, a people’s government and armed forces in the liberated homeland and for continuing to push ahead with our revolution vigorously. Unless we do this, we cannot defend the revolutionary gains or advance the revolution. Most important in preparing for the great event of national liberation is to preserve and accumulate the forces of the KPRA, the central force of the Korean revolution, while, at the same time, training them to be competent political and military cadres. Only by doing this, can we successfully fight the final battle with the Japanese imperialists, win a brilliant victory, and build a new Korea in the liberated motherland, with the forces of the KPRA as its backbone. Therefore, we are confronted with the most important strategic revolutionary task of preserving and accumulating the revolutionary forces on our own initiative while avoiding losses in reckless battles. In order to accomplish this strategic task successfully, our large unit operations should be switched over to small-unit operations. The Japanese imperialists are intensifying the “punitive” offensive as never before. Therefore, if we continue to fight the enemy with large units as before, our forces will suffer inevitable losses. This will only help the enemy to realize their attempt to weaken and wipe out the forces of the KPRA at any cost and will have grave consequences for our future anti-Japanese national liberation struggle. Fundamentally, having our revolutionary forces consumed and weakened through direct confrontation with the enemy making a frenzied last-ditch stand runs counter to the demand of guerrilla warfare, the basic principle of which is to destroy large enemy forces while preserving the guerrilla forces to the maximum. As the enemy makes their desperate efforts, we should smash their designs and preserve and accumulate the forces of the KPRA by switching over to small-unit operations. Also, that the KPRA halts its large-unit activities and switches over to small-unit activities is an urgent problem in fully preparing the revolutionary forces of our people. In order to be fully ready for the great event of national liberation, our people should be thoroughly prepared politically and ideologically, while, at the same time, preserving and accumulating the forces of the KPRA. Only by doing this, will it be possible, with the advent of the great event of national liberation, to successfully organize and conduct full-scale popular resistance against Japanese imperialism in coordination with large-unit operations of the KPRA. At present the enemy is intensifying fascist repression and its reactionary ideological offensive against our people as never before, for the purpose of checking their revolutionary advance and lulling their national consciousness and class awakening. Therefore, all the officers and men of the KPRA, the nucleus of the Korean revolution, have the pressing task of carrying out mass political work more actively than ever before. To conduct mass political work vigorously, we should form numerous small units and political work teams composed of officers and men of the KPRA, so that they can go deep among broader sections of the anti-Japanese masses, and must intensify underground activity. Only then can we achieve success in the work of organizing and awakening the broad anti-Japanese masses revolutionarily, even in the difficult situation when the enemy’s “punitive” offensive against the revolutionary army and their fascist repression of the people are becoming fiercer than ever. For the KPRA to stop its large-unit activities and switch over to small-unit activities at the present moment is not only demanded by the development of our anti-Japanese national liberation struggle but also advised by the Comintern. The fascist powers that provoked the Second World War in an attempt to materialize their wild ambition of world domination are making desperate war preparations to invade the socialist state of the Soviet Union, at the instigation of the US and British imperialists. Fascist Germany is busy preparing war against the Soviet Union through a general mobilization of manpower and material resources in a number of occupied countries in Europe; and in the East the Japanese imperialists are scheming to unleash an aggressive war against the Soviet Union, which they have planned for a long time. Protecting and instigating each other in the West and the East, fascist Germany and imperialist Japan have concentrated many crack divisions along the borders of the Soviet Union and in their vicinities, watching for a chance to invade the country. So the socialist state of the Soviet Union, the great bulwark of the working class and oppressed nations of the world, is now faced with the danger of being attacked by the two most bestial fascist powers from the West and the East. If the fascist powers make a pincer attack on the Soviet Union, not only its security and socialist construction but also the development of world revolution as a whole and world peace will be seriously threatened. In view of this urgent situation in which the menace of the invasion of the Soviet Union by fascist Germany and imperialist Japan is mounting, the Soviet Union is now pursuing a policy of easing the situation in the East, in order to have time to forestall the fascist aggression and, in particular, check the menace of a pincer attack by the two fascist powers and strengthen the country’s defence capabilities. In this connection, the Comintern has recently sent a liaison officer to us and advised that the anti-Japanese guerrilla units operating in the area of Manchuria stop large-unit operations for the time being in order to ease the tense situation along the Soviet-Manchurian border and not to give the Japanese imperialist aggressors the excuse of igniting an aggressive war against the Soviet Union. We have to take into account the advice of the Comintern, because the Japanese imperialists regard the struggle of the anti-Japanese guerrilla units as a “hostile act” against them by the Soviet Union and try to use it as a pretext for provoking an aggressive war against the Soviet Union. It is the lofty internationalist duty of the communists to check and foil the attempt of the fascist powers to invade the Soviet Union and to defend this socialist state. If we suspend for the present large-unit operations according to the Comintern’s advice, it will give the Japanese imperialists no excuse for invading the Soviet Union and will be very helpful to the Soviet Union in carrying out its policy of easing the situation in the East, with a view to making fuller preparations to counter the aggressive schemes of the fascist powers. Therefore, we should fight for final victory with flexible tactics suited to the situation. Comrades, The new strategic policy of stopping large-unit activities to carry out small-unit activities is the most reasonable policy to hasten the final victory of the Korean revolution and develop world revolution in light of the changed situation. All officers and men should accurately understand the significance and correctness of the new strategic policy and stubbornly fight for its implementation. We should form small units and political work teams by adequately combining political and military cadres, veterans and recruits and actively organize and wage a struggle to carry the new strategic policy into effect as soon as possible. First, mass political work should be organized and conducted energetically to rally the broad sections of the masses opposed to Japan. Mass political work is of great importance in preparing for the great event of national liberation. Moreover, since the large-unit activities of the KPRA will cease to exist and Japanese imperialism’s fascist repression of the people is being stepped up more than ever before, if we do not actively conduct political work among the people, they will lose confidence in revolutionary victory and, consequently, we shall lose the revolutionary masses whom we have won over to our side. In order to bring the broad masses into the fold of the revolution, we should conduct exhaustive work to organize and guide mass organizations. The small units and political work teams of the KPRA should go among the broad anti-Japanese masses in Korea and Manchuria and actively work to restore and consolidate, expand and develop the revolutionary organizations, including the ARF organizations destroyed by the enemy. In this way we shall make sure that broader anti-Japanese masses are united in the revolutionary organizations. With a view to organizing and uniting the broad masses and firmly preparing them for a final battle with Japanese imperialism, all officers and men should become organizers of the masses and, at the same time, enhance their role as educators. We must fully acquaint the broad masses opposed to Japan with the viciousness and brutality of the colonial rule of Japanese imperialism, with the Ten-Point Programme of the ARF, with the strategy and tactics of the Korean revolution, with the rapidly changing internal and external situation and with the inevitability of the downfall of Japanese imperialism. Only then can we imbue the broad anti-Japanese masses with faith in revolutionary victory and steadily prepare them politically and ideologically so that in the decisive moment of the revolution they may join the KPRA in the final battle. We are going to conduct mass political work under the harshest fascist repression by the enemy. Therefore, we must observe the principles of underground activity most strictly, always organize and perform any work with the greatest care and thoroughness and guard secrets with our lives. Second, the military activities of the small units should be conducted skillfully in the vast areas of Korea and Manchuria. At present, the military activities of the small units are a major guarantee for hastening the final destruction of the Japanese imperialist aggressors and, in particular, for successfully ensuring political work among the broad masses and consolidating its achievement. While strictly guarding against reckless military actions that might harm the general interests of the revolution, we should constantly make shrewd assaults everywhere to kill Japanese imperialist troops and police and their lackeys and destroy military installations, thus throwing the enemy’s rear into confusion and militarily supporting the political activities among the broad masses. This will keep the enemy in a constant state of terror and increase our people’s confidence in the victory of the revolution. Meanwhile, the small units and political work teams must correctly understand the importance of military reconnaissance in preparing for a final showdown with Japanese imperialism and intensify reconnaissance of the enemy’s armed forces, fortified zones and military installations. Third, every officers and men must do all he can to raise his level of political consciousness and acquire a wealth of military knowledge. With the great event of national liberation approaching, we need many excellent cadres who are well prepared politically and militarily. Whether or not we shall be ready for the great event of national liberation depends on how firmly all the officers and men of the KPRA, the nucleus of the Korean revolution, prepare themselves politically and militarily. So all officers and men should make the most of every condition and possibility to intensify their studies in order to more thoroughly prepare themselves politically and ideologically and in military technique. They should intensify their study of Marxist-Leninist theory and, especially, study intensely the line of the Korean revolution, its strategy and tactics. All of them will then become competent political workers capable of undertaking and performing the duties of a higher rank and skillfully organizing and mobilizing the masses for the revolutionary struggle. At the same time, they should master guerrilla tactics and study hard the advanced military knowledge and the techniques of all arms needed for modern warfare. Fourth, we must strive to cement solidarity with all the revolutionary forces of the world. Strengthening solidarity with the international revolutionary forces is a lofty communist duty and one of the important factors ensuring victory for our revolution. We should continue to march onward, holding high the banner of proletarian internationalism. Now that the fascist states of Germany and Japan are intent on unleashing aggressive wars against the Soviet Union, we should first actively fight to check and frustrate their aggressive moves for the invasion of the Soviet Union and defend this socialist country and further strengthen friendship and solidarity with the Soviet people. Reinforcing our solidarity with the fraternal Chinese people is of particular importance in strengthening our revolutionary forces. We should expand and strengthen the fraternal friendship and militant unity of the Korean and Chinese peoples, forged already in the joint struggle against Japanese imperialism. In addition, we must cement our solidarity with the liberation movement of the working class and oppressed nations the world over and with the international anti-fascist popular front movement, thereby creating more favorable international conditions for readily meeting the great event of national liberation. Comrades, Deeply grasping the true purpose of the switchover in our policy and valiantly repulsing the desperate offensive of the Japanese imperialist blackguards with redoubled courage, all officers and men must carry forward energetically the preparations to meet the great event of national liberation. Final victory is ours. It is the Japanese imperialist marauders who will fall. Let us all carry on the brave struggle to hasten the great event of national liberation.