111th Anniversary of the Birth of President Kim Il Sung
April 15, 1912
Strengthening the Nation’s Defence Power
The following item is part of the report given by President Kim Il Sung, in his capacity as General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), to the 5th Congress of the WPK on November 2, 1970.
The situation in our country is still acute and tense. The aggressive maneuvers of the U.S. imperialists are being further intensified and their plots to provoke another war are becoming more blatant. Under the wing of the U.S. imperialists, the Japanese militarists are again increasing their aggressive maneuvers against Korea. The puppet clique of south Korea, the stooges of both the U.S. and Japanese reactionaries, are behaving recklessly in an attempt to execute their war policies of their masters. In our country the danger of war is mounting with every passing day.
To deal with the prevailing situation we must speed up socialist construction to the maximum and build up our national defence power at the same time. We should continue to maintain the line already put forth by the Party, that of arming the entire people, turning the whole country into a fortress, converting the entire army into an army of cadres and modernizing it from top to bottom. Furthermore, we should more thoroughly implement the principle of self-defence in guarding the nation.
The most important in increasing the defence capabilities of the country is to arm all the people more efficiently. Everyone should learn military science seriously and take a more active part in military training. The workers, farmers and all other working people should always maintain their readiness to annihilate the aggressors anywhere they attack, while at the same time accelerating socialist construction, with a hammer or sickle in one hand and a rifle in the other. When all the people are under arms, when all the people hate the enemy, when all the people join in fighting against the aggressors, it will be possible to defeat any enemy.
Our People’s Army is entrusted with the honorable mission of protecting our magnificent socialist achievements and the freedom and happiness of the people from the encroachment of the enemy. The People’s Army should keep itself fully prepared to deal the aggressors rapid crushing blows and annihilate them even in the event of a surprise attack by the enemy.
The important task to be fulfilled for strengthening the combat power of the People’s Army is that of stoutly arming the soldiers both politically and ideologically and, on this basis, ensure that they continually study and perfect the art of war suitable to the actual conditions of our country, thus modernizing the army.
Ours is a country with many mountains and rivers and long coastal lines. If we make good use of such topographical features, skillfully using mountain warfare and night actions and correctly combining large-unit operations with small unit operations and regular-army warfare with guerrilla warfare, we shall be completely able to destroy an enemy, even if he is armed to the teeth with the latest military hardware. This was proved by the experience of our Fatherland Liberation War, and is being proved today by the war in Viet Nam.
Therefore, we have to base ourselves strictly upon our own specific conditions in modernizing the People’s Army and developing military science and technology. If we try, instead, to copy foreign war strategies mechanically or introduce foreign weapons and other military hardware dogmatically, on the pretext of modernizing the People’s Army, it will result in a serious setback to our nation’s defence construction.
We must perfect our military strategy in such a way as to compensate for defects in the People’s Army, reinforce its weak links and develop its strong points in line with the requirements of the Party’s military strategic thought based on a full consideration of the existing conditions of our country and the experience of the Fatherland Liberation War. On this basis, we must advance our military science and technique and constantly improve the weapons and other military hardware of the People’s Army. We must always adhere to the principle of producing many weapons suitable to the specific conditions of our country and modernizing our military equipment in line with our industrial capacity. The combat training of the People’s Army soldiers must also be conducted in such a way that they master the art of war which is best suited to the actual conditions of our country and develop our military science and technique fully.
Ours is a small and newly-developed country. It must be admitted that we are not in a position to compete with developed countries in military technical equipment and we are not required to do so. The destiny of war is by no means decided by modern weapons or military technology. Although the imperialists have a military technical ascendancy, our People’s Army has politico-ideological superiority. The lofty mission and revolutionary spirit of fighting for the freedom and liberation of the homeland and people, and the noble traits such as comradeship between officers and men, conscious military discipline and bonds of kinship with the people, are characteristic features of our People’s Army which no imperialist armed forces of aggression can ever possess. Precisely because of such politico-ideological superiority, our People’s Army can readily defeat the enemy who is technically superior.
In order to strengthen our nation’s defence capabilities, the whole Party and all the people should get down to the task of accelerating war preparations still more. All Party members and all the working people must combat indolence and slackness and always maintain keen revolutionary vigilance. They should be on the alert, ready to fight and repel the enemy without the slightest fear no matter when the surprise attack might come. We must never become victims of a pacifistic mood and, in particular, we must strictly guard against the revisionist ideological trend of being afraid of war, and prevent it from penetrating our ranks.
The outcome of a war depends largely on whether or not the manpower and material requirements of the front and the rear are fully met over a long period. We should ensure ample reserves of the of the necessary materials by intensifying the movement for increased production in all fields of the national economy, develop the munitions industry, reorganize the economy as the situation demands and prepare ourselves in advance so as to be able to continue producing even during the course of a war. In this way, we shall build up a firm material base for better implementation of the principle of self-defence in protecting the nation.
Comrades, our national defence capability is literally of a defensive nature and is designed to defend the security of our country and our people against imperialist aggression. We have no intention of threatening or carrying out aggression against anybody. Threats and aggression against others have no place in the policies of our Party. Our country is a peace-loving socialist country, and our people is one which ardently loves peace. Our consistent advocacy of peace stems from the inherent nature of our state and social system. We are doing all we can to preserve and consolidate peace. However, no one should take our desires and persevering efforts for peace as a sign of weakness. Our people have no interest in provoking others but they will never allow anyone to attack them. We are trying to prevent war, but we are not afraid of it. If the imperialist aggressors invade us with their armies, we shall destroy them to a man and not one will return home alive. We shall strengthen the nation’s defence capacities and decisively smash any surprise attack by the enemy, firmly protect out socialist achievements and indomitably defend the eastern outpost of socialism.
(Kim Il Sung’s Works, Vol. 25, pp. 251-255.)