September 22, 2014 is the 65th anniversary of the demise of Kim Jong Suk (1917-1949), who is admired by the Korean people. Though she lived a short life, she left an unforgettable memory in the heart of the people.
Kim Jong Suk was born into a poor peasant’s family in Hoeryong, located at the northern tip of Korea. She went to an alien land at her early age with her parents to seek for a living with a deep sense of sorrow of the ruined nation due to the military occupation of Korea by the Japanese imperialists (1905-1945). She set out on the road of the anti-Japanese revolution out of desire to liberate the country by repelling the Japanese imperialists and build it into a prosperous, independent and sovereign state where people live happily.
Having cherished such a desire she joined in the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army (KPRA) led by Kim Il Sung in September 1935 and fought with arms in her hand till the liberation of Korea.
It is beyond imagination that a woman spends a decade, eating and sleeping under the open sky, and fights an armed struggle. However, she demonstrated her outstanding military wisdom and resourcefulness, dauntless courage and bravery and excellent marksmanship in many battlefields during the arduous anti-Japanese war, thus winning a reputation as an anti-Japanese heroine. When the KPRA conducted a grand counterattack against the spring offensive of the Japanese in 1938 she was awarded a gold ring from Kim Il Sung for her distinguished services.
The slogans written on the trees by anti-Japanese fighters are good illustrations of her military performance. They read: “Twenty million Korean people, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Suk are generals to liberate Korea,” “Kim Jong Suk, anti-Japanese heroine of Mt. Paektu, is a peerless woman borne by Korea,” “Woman general of Mt. Paektu mows down Japs, shortening the distance and deploying elusive tactics,” and so on.
After Korea’s liberation (August 15, 1945) Kim Jong Suk performed great achievements in the efforts to build a new Korea.
Though she lived in the liberated country for only four years she left her indelible traces all across the country. She visited on over 700 occasions hundreds of units including steel and iron works and railways under rehabilitation, textile and silk mills, coal and other mines, rural and fishery villages, and encouraged the people to the building of a new society. She made a significant contribution to laying solid military foundation for the building of a new Korea by developing the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army into a regular army, the Korean People’s Army, while inspecting Pyongyang School, military schools, infantry corps, tank and airforce units.
Finally on September 9, 1948 the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a people-oriented state she had desired so much, was founded.
For the Safety and Good Health of Kim Il Sung
In the Korean Revolution Museum on Mansu Hill in the central part of Pyongyang, the capital of the DPRK, people do not easily take their eyes off a picture in portrayal of a battle in Dashahe, China, during the anti-Japanese armed struggle.
Kim Il Sung, commander of the KPRA, commands the battle from a rock, and enemy soldiers are stealing towards him, taking aim at him. At this critical moment, Kim Jong Suk races to Kim Il Sung, shielding him with her own body and shooting the enemy soldiers with her Mauser…
It was only a few seconds but every second was a critical moment decisive of the destiny of Korea. Many literary works, including novels, films and art works, represented that life-or-death situation.
Not only in the Dashahe battle but in many other battlefields she always threw herself as a human bomb to ensure the personal safety of Kim Il Sung.
Even after the liberation her loyalty to him remained unchanged. In the complicated situation just after the liberation she was always in the nearest place beside him and stood guard without being relieved.
Kim Jong Suk devoted her whole for the safety and good health of Kim Il Sung.
During the anti-Japanese armed struggle amid continuing severe battles she washed his clothes and dried them by her body temperature in a bitter cold weather, made shoe liners by thinning out her hair and an overcoat with silk cotton known as bullet-proof material. Such heartwarming stories move the people into admiration.
Kim Jong Suk defended at the cost of her life the ideas and lines put forward by Kim Il Sung. In January 1939 she went to a secret camp in Qingfeng with wounded and sick soldiers on his order. When she witnessed that the chief of the camp slandered the ideas and lines of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Suk stood up against him at the cost of her life.
“We are soldiers of General Kim Il Sung. Who are you? You are an enemy of revolution. The revolution will never pardon you.”
Kim Jong Suk will be remembered forever by the Korean people as an incarnation of devotedly defending the leader.