Kim Jong Suk, Praised Forever
Kim Jong Suk (1917-1949)is a Korean woman who enjoys the eternal admiration of not only Korean people but many world personages.
Legendary Woman Guerrilla General
Kim Jong Suk was born into a poor farm family in Osandok-dong, Hoeryong City, North Hamgyong Province in the part of korea, on December 24, 1917. At the time when she was born, Korea was under the Japanese military occupation (1905-1994).
Born in such a state of national sufferings, Kim Jong Suk embarked on the road of struggle in her teens to save her country and fellow people. At the age of 18, she joined the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army led by Kim Il Sung (1912-1994).
Since then she fought bloody battles with arms in her hands, winning fame as an anti-Japanese woman general, for over ten years until the country was liberated (August 15, 1945).
During the days many anecdotes were told of her. They included the stories that her marksmanship was so mysterious that it looked as if her bullets had an eye, how she lured many enemy soldiers single-handed to defend the security of her unit, how she made the enemy shudder by leading a song while a few members of a sewing unit and by a few sewing machines in a forest only for 20 days, and how she aroused the board sections of the masses to the sacred anti-Japanese war by her skilled, sophisticated activities behind the enemy lines, and so on.
It is quite natural that she was called an anti-Japanese heroine, a woman guerrilla general, for she was possessed of extraordinary resourcefulness, peerless courage and mysterious marksmanship..
The following is among the slogans that anti-Japanese fighters wrote on the barked trees at the time:
“Twenty million countrymen, generals for liberating Korea are Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Suk,” “Kim Jong Suk, anti-Japanese woman general of Mt. Paektu, is a heroine of the century that Korea has produced,” and “A woman general of Mt. Paektu beats the Japs, being elusive in her movements and acting swiftly.”
People linger in front of a picture in the Korean Revolutionary Museum on Mansu Hill in the heart of Pyongyang, the capital of the DPRK. The picture depicts a fact that happened near Dashahe in Northeast China in the days of the anti-Japanese armed struggle.
Commander Kim Il Sung commands a battle there standing high on a rock, five or six enemy soldiers steal up on him with their rifles aimed at him, and at this critical moment Kim Jong Suk flies herself to him, shields him and shoots enemy down with a Mauser held fast in her hand.
The moment must have been only a few seconds. But every second was telling: it would decide Korea’s destiny.
Similar events were witnessed not only near Dashahe. During many battles she safeguarded Kim Il Sung from danger at the risk of her life.
For her, Kim Il Sung was the heart of Korea, destiny of Korea, whom she had to defend at all costs, even by sacrificing herself.
Throughout her short life, she devoted her all for the sake of Kim Il Sung’s safety and good health. The stories about how she dried his wet clothes against her body in the winter cold during the consecutive fierce battles, how she thinned her hair to make liners for his shoes and how she made overcoat for him with floss-silk that is said to be bullet-proof, still move the listeners.
Even after Korea’s liberation she regarded herself as a bodyguard of Kim Il Sung, and reliably defend his personal safety as he was guiding the building of a new country in difficult circumstances. To say nothing of preparing his meal, she knitted his socks or gloves for herself. The preparing of soybean paste and kimchi for which he had a special liking took much effort, but she spared no effort for doing it by herself.
She lived only for four years after the country’s liberation, and she visited as many as hundreds of units on over 700 occasions t assist Kim Il Sung in his cause of building a country.
In order to hand down her exploits forever, the Korean people named after her many areas and units, such as Kim Jong Suk County, Kim Jong Suk Naval University, Kim Jong Suk University of Education, Pyongyang Kim Jong Suk Silk Mill, Kim Jong Suk Sanatorium and Kim Jong Suk Nursery.
Brazilian newspaper Hora do povo once wrote:
“Chairman Kim Jong Il of the NDC of the DPRK answered questions raised by a Russian newswoman. He counted among his most intimate persons his mother who passed away when he was a child.
My mother was a woman revolutionary fighter. She wished a good success of all her son’s work…… I owe a big debt of gratitude to her.”
This afforded international society an opportunity to dwell on Kim Jong Il’s memory of his mother.
Kim Jong Suk wrapped him in a patched quilt and brought up her son not in a soft cradle in a quiet house but in a small log cabin in a secret camp on Mt. Paektu (the highest mountain in Korea. The Korean people call it the ancestral mountain from olden times), amidst severe snowstorm and gun reports of the anti-Japanese armed struggle.
She would put her pistol in his small hands and taught him how to shoot it, saying with deep meaning that the country should be liberated and defended by forces of arms. After Korea’s liberation, she would visit army units and military schools together with her son, and tailored him a general’s uniform.
In her lifetime she used to request him to grow up to become an excellent general like his father; a few hours before she died, she showed him the military uniform of Kim Il Sung.
Her pistol and Kim Il Sung’s military uniform that were handed over to young Kim Jong Il by Kim Jong Suk-these were valuable inheritances associated with her wish that Kim Jong Il should carry forward Kim Il Sung’s cause down through generations, defend Korea and exalt Korea’s dignity by force of arms.
Her wish is being put into brilliant practice in the DPRK leaping towards a great, prosperous and powerful country under the ever-victorious Songun leadership of Kim Jong Il.