Mt Paektu is the native home of Chairman Kim Jong Il (1942-2011).
Called the ancestral mountain of the Korean nation and the sacred mountain of the Korean revolution, it is the highest mountain in Korea, and had been uninhabited from time immemorial because of the rugged terrain features and rough weather. The “first residents” appeared in the primeval forests in the late 1930s, when Korea was under military occupation by Japan (1905-1945).
As the leadership base of the anti-Japanese armed struggle, which was being waged fiercely in the vast Manchurian plain under the leadership of Kim Il Sung, was to move to Mt Paektu, secret camps and the headquarters of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army were built in the Sobaeksu Valley.
In this nameless place, which was surrounded by high mountains and dense forests and where the Sobaek Stream meanders, a log cabin with a roe-hoof door handle, which was smaller than other log cabins, was set up.
In this small log cabin Chairman Kim Jong Il, who left indelible imprints in the political history of the world, was born on February 16, 1942.
Born to the guerrillas, his life was extraordinary from the beginning; he grew up wearing clothes permeated with powder smoke, eating army rations and hearing the charge sound.
The first human reflected in his eyes was his mother in military uniform, and he grew up among the guerrillas. His first playing ground was Mt Paektu.
Recollecting his uncommon birth and growth with deep emotion, President Kim Il Sung wrote: That Kim Jong Il is a son of Mt Paektu means that he was born of the anti-Japanese revolution as a son of the nation. He is a son of Korea who started his life and rose as a lodestar of our revolution in the embrace of the anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters.
In the days when a new democratic society was being built in the country, where backwardness, poverty and colonial survivals were prevalent after its liberation on August 15, 1945, in the days of the Korean war between 1950 and 1953, when he learned at the table of the Supreme Headquarters the mysterious tactics of defeating the allied imperialist forces, and in the days when many factories and beautiful streets were being built from the debris after the war under the leadership of President Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il cherished a grand ambition to lead Korea to the bright future by inheriting the cause of Kim Il Sung. The poem, O, Korea, I Will Add Glory to Thee, which he wrote when entering Kim Il Sung University in the early 1960s, depicts how great his ambition was.
The period of over half a century since June 1964, when he started working at the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea after graduating from the university, was the days when he implemented the ambition.
He developed the Juche idea, authored by Kim Il Sung, as the guiding ideology of the Korean people and the era of independence, and applied it to all the realms of his country, turning it into a country united single-heartedly, a powerful socialist country. He ushered in a golden age of art and literature, called Renaissance in the 20th Century by the world, and opened up a heyday of construction by having numerous architectural structures built to the surprise of the world.
In the end of last century the DPRK had to experience unprecedented economic hardships and trials owing to the harsh economic sanctions and blockade the allied imperialist forces imposed upon it by taking advantage of the collapse of several socialist countries and to the consecutive natural disasters.
During the period, which would have brought others to their knees more than one hundred times, Chairman Kim Jong Il was always with people and soldiers. On his field guidance tours he encouraged them, sharing weal and woe with them.
Thanks to his original Songun politics, the DPRK became a military giant, equipped not only with the state-of-the-art means of attack and defence but also war deterrent that no powerful enemy could belittle, defended its own style of socialism and made a firm springboard for building a powerful socialist country by reversing the tide.
Kim Jong Il worked heart and soul to remove the pain of national division.
Thanks to his will and decision, an inter-Korean summit meeting was held for the first time in the history of national division in Pyongyang in 2000, and the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration, a milestone for national reunification, was adopted.
His external activities aspiring to independence, peace and friendship proved their justice and vitality in practice.
Many countries established diplomatic relations with the DPRK, transcending differences in ideology and social system. The DPRK contributed to encouraging the international trend to aspire to independence, peace and friendship by expanding and developing economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation with many countries and strengthening solidarity with the progressive peoples, who aspired after independence and justice.
The achievements of the great man, who contributed to the progress of mankind and society, will be handed down to all generations to come.