The Korean War (1950-1953) witnessed a miraculous victory for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with less than two years of its history won in the fiercest confrontation against the United States, with the most influential military and economic power and the longest history of aggression in the world, and other imperialist allied forces. Credit went to Kim Il Sung (1912-1994), now held up as the eternal President of the DPRK, who was endowed with outstanding stratagem and unique military tactics.
When the south Korean army, egged on by the US, started the war at dawn on June 25, 1950, Kim Il Sung put forward the strategy of switching from defence to an immediate counteroffensive.
It was quite a new and original counteroffensive strategy never before found in military theories and manuals or even in other countries’ experiences.
Following his unique strategy, the Korean People’s Army frustrated the surprise attack of the enemy and liberated Seoul, the enemy’s capital city, within three days after the outbreak of the war, and more than 90 per cent of the southern part of Korea and 92 per cent of its population in little over than a month.
Douglas MacArthur, the then commander of the US Far East forces and UN Forces, wrote in his letter to the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Organization that the “enemy” was an offensive and well-trained professional army and its supreme military commander was excellent in command and well-versed in fundamentals of operational stratagem.
Kim Il Sung saw through the enemy’s motives and commanded the KPA to apply strategies and tactics properly.
One of his strategies was employed in frustrating the “General Christmas Offensive” so much vaunted by the US. When the US was getting overheated in preparing for a new general offensive hurling large troops in November 1950, the President pointed out that the US would start its attack on November 24 and ordered the KPA to go over to an all-out decisive counteroffensive on November 25. The troops of the US and its vassal states suffered a heavy loss and took flight.
Kim Il Sung put forth and made best use of original tactics that wrote brilliant pages in the modern history of war.
Many military tactics were created by him during the war, including mountain warfare, tunnel warfare, assaults, anti-aircraft and anti-tank teams, which were suited to the topographical features of Korea, military equipment of the KPA and the modern warfare. Of them the tactics of relying on tunnels was created based on geographical features of the country that is mountainous and a scientific analysis of the enemy that depended on his technical superiority.
By deploying the tactics of relying on tunnels the KPA defended Height 1211. In September 1951 Kim Il Sung made his way to the area of Height 1211 in the eastern sector of the front and indicated the orientation and ways to frustrate the frantic “autumn offensive” of the US. He took measures to build strong tunnel positions. In accordance with his order the KPA soldiers set up smithies on the heights, forged chisels, hammers, picks and other tools by melting the enemy shell and bomb fragments, and dug tunnels along the defence line, converting their positions into an impregnable fortress. Even in the thick of the enemy’s intensive bombardment they took a good rest in the tunnels, singing and dancing to the tune of musical instruments they made by themselves.
The then Allied Commander in the Far East Ridgway, who met with consecutive defeats owing to the KPA defence line consolidated into tunnels, cried in despair that it was the strongest one ever known in the world.
The superiority in numerical and technological strength much vaunted by the US, the so-called “world’s strongest,” was shattered to pieces by the strategic and tactical superiority of the KPA created by its Supreme Commander Kim Il Sung.
Recollecting the Korean war, former Portuguese President Francisco da Costa Gomes, who once served as the chief of staff of the Portuguese army in Macau, said: “The operations plans advanced by the United States in the war were all formulated after several rounds of discussion by dozens of bourgeois generals, like chiefs of staff and military specialists, of the Western countries on the US side. But General Kim Il Sung frustrated them all single-handed. Witnessing it, I learned that General Kim Il Sung was a universal genius in military strategy and a great commander.”