110th Anniversary of the Birth of President Kim Il Sung
April 15, 1912
Kim Il Sung was born into a poor peasant family at Mangyongdae, Pyongyang district on April 15, 1912. His family was a patriotic one that was fully immersed in the Korean people’s national liberation struggle against the Japanese. Hence, from a very young age, Kim Il Sung became active in the anti-Japanese movement.
In October 1926, at the age of 14, he organized the Down-with-Imperialism Union (DIU), the program of which was to achieve the liberation and independence of the country.
During his days at Yuwen Middle School in Jilin, China from 1927 to 1929, he rallied young students around the revolutionary organizations. This period of the movement against Japanese imperialism also saw the growing influence of communist ideas and Kim Il Sung played a key role in the formation of the Young Communist League of Korea on August 28, 1927.
For his revolutionary activities, Kim Il Sung was imprisoned in Jilin from the autumn of 1929 to the spring of 1930.
At a meeting of the cadres of the Young Communist League and a kindred organization, the Anti-imperialist Youth League in June 1930 at Kalun, Changchun County, China, Kim Il Sung advanced the line of armed struggle and the formation of an anti-Japanese national united front. He also stressed the necessity of founding the Communist Party.
On July 3, 1930, he founded the first Party organization at Kalun based on the young communists who had emerged in the course of the struggle. Also in July, he led the formation of the Korean Revolutionary Army, the first armed organization of the Korean communists. In 1932, this became the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army (KPRA), the first standing armed force of the Korean people, with Kim Il Sung as its commander.
From 1932 to 1945, the KPRA waged armed struggle against the Japanese from its bases in China and the Korean mountains. Kim Il Sung and the Korean communists maintained close links with the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) and the struggle they waged made an important contribution to the world-wide victory over fascism in 1945.
In 1945, the Korean communists alongside other patriotic organizations, drove out the remnants of the Japanese army and established the nucleus for a popular democratic republic.
As part of the post-war consolidation of the Allied victory over Japan, U.S. and Soviet troops entered Korea but subsequently, U.S. troops refused to leave the southern zone and established their own puppet regime, permanently partitioning the country.
In the north, meanwhile, the Korean communists under the leadership of Kim Il Sung founded the Central Organizing Committee of the Communist Party of North Korea on October 10, 1945. In February 1946, Kim Il Sung was elected chairman of the Provisional People’s Committee of North Korea. The Committee was a people’s government based on the worker-peasant alliance under the leadership of the working class, and relied on the Democratic National United Front which embraced broad anti-imperialist and anti-feudal democratic forces.
It was in this period that agrarian reform and the nationalization of industry were effected alongside other democratic reforms and the task of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution in the northern half of Korea was carried out in a short period of time.
On August 28, 1946, Kim Il Sung founded the Workers’ Party of Korea, a unified political party based on the merger of the Communist Party of North Korea and the New Democratic Party of Korea. At the Second Congress of the Workers’ Party in March 1948, he put forward the policy for the country’s independent reunification.
On September 9, 1948, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was founded and Kim Il Sung was acclaimed as head of state.
During the Fatherland Liberation War (the “Korean War”) from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953, Kim Il Sung led the Korean People’s Army to victory against the U.S. and southern puppet forces,
During the war, the DPRK was devastated by U.S. carpet bombing of the whole country and in the post-war period, Kim Il Sung led the economic reconstruction efforts and the laying of the foundation of a socialist system. At a meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party in August 1953, he set forth the basic line of giving priority to the growth of heavy industry, while, at the same time, developing light industry and agriculture.
Kim Il Sung advanced a self-reliant economic and social policy based on the notion of Juche. His many works including Every Effort for the Country’s Reunification and Independence and for Socialist Construction in the Northern Half of the Republic (1955), the Theses on the Socialist Rural Question in Our Country (1964), the Theses on Socialist Education (1977), etc. all embody the spirit of Juche, of finding a uniquely Korean, human-centred solution to the problems of the country. Fifty volumes of his Collected Works have been published starting from his writing in 1930.
At the Sixth Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea in 1980, Kim Il Sung said that the general task of the Korean revolution was to model the whole of society on the Juche idea.
Throughout this period, Kim Il Sung raised national reunification as the supreme task of the country. In 1972, he put forward the three principles of national reunification — independence, peaceful reunification and great national unity — and, in 1980, he proposed reunifying the country by forming the Democratic Confederal Republic of Korea. In April 1993, he advanced the 10-point plan for national reunification of north and south Korea based on the principle of one nation, two systems.
Kim Il Sung specified independence, friendship and peace as the cornerstones of the foreign policy of the DPRK and the Workers’ Party of Korea and under his leadership, the DPRK built close links with the Non-Aligned Movement and countries throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.