[Reminiscences]Chapter 6 5. With an Ideal of Unity > 회고록 《세기와 더불어》

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회고록 《세기와 더불어》

[Reminiscences]Chapter 6 5. With an Ideal of Unity

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작성자 편집국 작성일20-06-15 21:10 댓글0건

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[Reminiscences]Chapter 6  5. With an Ideal of Unity

  

   


 

5. With an Ideal of Unity

 

We speeded up our march towards Liuhe. Liuhe, along with Xingjing, Tonghua, Huadian\and Panshi, was widely known as an important operational base of the Korean independence movement in south Manchuria. Many fighters of the new generation who aspired to communism, as well as the independence fighters of the previous generation, were operating in that region. The Sinhung Training School which was famous as the first military academy in the history of the independence movement of Korea was located in Hanihe, Liuhe County, in south Manchuria.


We had decided on Liuhe as our destination in\order to conduct extensive political work for expanding the mass foundation of the AJPGA in that area. We had also intended to launch an intensive campaign to give the masses revolutionary training\and expand the ranks of the guerrilla army not only in Liuhe but also in Sanyuanpu, Gushanzi, Hailong, Mengjiang\and other places on our way back to Antu. This was one aspect of the strategy of our campaign in south Manchuria.


On our way we stopped at Sanyuanpu, Gushanzi, Liuhe\and Hailong to work with the revolutionary\organizations there.

After the September 18 incident the revolutionary\organizations in these areas had been severely disrupted by the enemy’s white terrorism. Most of the\organizations which the communists of the new generation had formed over several years at the cost of their blood\and sweat had been disrupted\or disbanded. Some\organizations would never be reactivated because all their members had been killed\or arrested.


Hailong had suffered most because of the September 18 incident. The Japanese consulate was situated there\and the enemy had struck deeper root there than in any other area. Everywhere we went, there were people who had been trying hard to re-establish contact with their\organizations.


In all the places\where we stopped we met members of the primary party\organizations which had been expanded rom the first parent party\organization, as well as core members of the YCLK\and the AIYL\and leaders of the Peasants\union, the Anti-Japanese Women’s Association\and the Children’s Expeditionary Corps. We acquainted ourselves with the activities of these\organizations\and discussed with them the immediate revolutionary work\and fighting tasks. In the course of this I learned that there were some problems that could not be overlooked with regard to the tendency\and way of thinking of the members of the revolutionary\organizations in these areas.


The first problem was the defeatist tendency which had become widespread as a result of the September 18 incident.

This tendency found expression first in the fact that people were thinking that things were hopeless since Manchuria had been occupied by Japan. Quite a few people were thinking that it was useless to wait for Korea’s independence,\or that there was no knowing when Korea would become independent, because Japan, who had defeated Qing\and Russia, the largest country in the world,\and occupied Manchuria, was now casting her covetous eyes on China proper, because the US\and British armies, powerful as they were, would not be a match for the Japanese army,\and because Japan might even occupy the whole world. The illusion about the Japanese army that had been created by its victory in the Sino-Japanese War\and the Russo-Japanese War became exaggerated\and widespread around this time.


Some people even thought that it was empty talk to say that the Korean nation could defeat Japanese imperialism on its own. Such an opinion might lead to a capitulationist idea that there was no need to fight for the revolution when there was no hope of success.


Without overcoming this defeatism, it was impossible to rally the people\and enlist the broad patriotic masses in the revolution.

We\selected the commanding officers\and men who had been well-qualified politically\and practically,\and sent them among the masses to give them public lectures\and explanations on the subject of the September 18 incident\and the future of the Korean revolution.


The audience was interested mainly in news of our battle against the Japanese,\and particularly in the size\and the tactical\and strategic principles of the AJPGA. I repeated the speech I had made to the people in Liujiafenfang\and the audience applauded.


The most popular topic in our lectures\and conversations was the story of the battle on the border between Antu\and Fusong Counties. When compared to the victory of Japan in her sweeping conquest of Manchuria that resulted in the setting up of Manchukuo, our victory in the battle that destroyed a company of the enemy was insignificant. But the people listened to our account of the battle with the utmost interest. They were struck with admiration at the news that the young AJPGA which had just made a start had destroyed a company of the Japanese army on a road in broad daylight when Japan was lording it over Manchuria.


They wanted to know all the details of the battle, even how the enemy had given up resistance to our counterattack\and run away. They showered us with a barrage of questions. We had to repeat several times the same details in the same place.


When I reviewed the people’s impressions of the result of the battle on the Antu-Fusong border, I realized once again that actions were more effective than words in convincing the people of the possibility of winning independence by the efforts of our nation,\and that it was important to demonstrate the strength of the guerrilla army through actual battles.


Another problem arising in the people’s tendency was that some young people, with the founding of the AJPGA, regarded the armed struggle as absolute\and underestimated the underground revolutionary activities. They were neglecting their\organizational life, thinking that it was pointless to hold meetings\and discussions\and scatter leaflets every day at a time when the enemy was crushing anything with its tanks, artillery\and aircraft,\and that it would be more worthwhile for them to rise in arms\and kill even one Japanese than to conduct underground activities.


They did not realize that the armed struggle was undertaken by nuclei trained in an\organization\and that it was impossible to form armed forces\and expand their ranks without a large\organizational reservoir. It could also be called an aftermath of the Left infantile disorder resulting rom the September 18 incident.


It was not very difficult to bring home to them the fact that the reservoir of the AJPGA was\organizations, that a revolutionary struggle was inconceivable\and could not be carried out without the\organizations,\and that if the\organizations were not active, the life of the gigantic\organism called the revolution would come to an end. We tried to convince them that the Korean communists were able to form AJPGA units in various parts of Manchuria\and launch the armed resistance entirely because the revolutionary masses had carried out their activities faithfully in their\organizations.


Another problem with the people in south Manchuria was the tendency to respond to the terrorism of Kukmin- bu with terrorism. In those days the Kukmin-bu reactionaries were intensifying their terrorism against the communists in south Manchuria\and the progressive nationalists who were attempting to alter its principles.


The members of the YCLK\and AIYL in the Liuhe area insisted on responding to the Right-wingers of Kukmin-bu who had indulged in terrorism. They would not accept our reasoning that it was harmful to react to Kukmin-bu terrorism with terrorism. They insisted that if nothing was done by force to deter them rom committing terrorism, it would only encourage them to further terrorism.


I had to explain at length why terrorism in return for terrorism was not just\and proper\and why it was reckless\and would do great harm to the revolution.


I told them to this effect: Needless to say, Kukmin-bu, by killing patriots, is committing a serious crime that can never be redressed,\and losing stalwart patriots at the hands of our compatriots is a tragedy for us all, a tragedy which we can do nothing to stop; for this crime Kukmin-bu will be cursed for ever by our nation\and by posterity; of course, I understand why you have labelled it as a gang of murderers\and resolved to take revenge; but we must think deeply why something so disgraceful happens before we take up an avenging sword; we must not assume that all the people in Kukmin-bu are evil on the ground that it has degenerated into a den of Right- wing nationalists; the problem is that the Japanese imperialists, in\order to make it reactionary, have smuggled their agents into it\and are plotting ceaselessly to break it up; alarmed at the emergence of a new progressive group in Kukmin-bu, they have been cunningly encouraging a split\and conflict within the\organization; if we destroy Kukmin-bu by terrorist means, only the Japanese will be happy\and benefit rom it; therefore, we must ferret out the Japanese agents in it\and lay the enemy’s plot bare while isolating its reactionary upper level; let none of us forget that unity is the guarantee of national resurrection.


At this the young people nodded. While correcting these tendencies, we gave the comrades in south Manchuria the tasks of restoring the disrupted\organizations as soon as possible\and rallying more people around them, of training hardcore elements\and sending them to the armed force, of expanding the party\organizations by recruiting young communists of worker\and peasant\origin who had been tested in the practical struggle,\and of improving the work with the Chinese nationalist anti-Japanese armed units.


When we were staying in the areas of Sanyuanpu, Gushanzi, Liuhe\and Hailong, many young people volunteered to join the army. This could be called a result of the political work we had conducted in south Manchuria.


In\order to solve the difficult problems in promoting the revolutionary movement in Liuhe, we had to enhance the role of Choe Chang Gol\and other members of the first party\organization\and the hardcore members of the YCLK who had been sent to work in this area. Therefore, we tried hard to discover the\whereabouts of Choe Chang Gol with whom we had lost contact the previous year. If we met him, we could hold a serious discussion on intensifying the revolution in south Manchuria to suit the new situation in which Japan had occupied Manchuria\and we had started the armed struggle. We could show him the direction for his work. Choe Chang Gol was our representative in south Manchuria, so to speak.


Liuhe was the area in which Choe had operated, according to the decision of the DIU,\and a place with which he was greatly associated. He had served as a soldier of the Independence Army there\and had been recommended to Hwasong Uisuk School by Ryang Se Bong. After the closure of the school, he went back to his former company\and, serving as adviser to the Independence Army, devoted all his energy to expanding the DIU’s influence in Liuhe\and in the wide area of south Manchuria. In Liuhe he took part in a raid on the branch of the Japanese consulate in Jinchuan county town.


The rapid expansion of the ranks of the DIU in Liuhe, Xingjing\and other places in south Manchuria could be attributed not only to the unremitting efforts of Kim Hyok\and Cha Kwang Su but also to the titanic struggle\and the efficient\and seasoned working ability of Choe Chang Gol who could be called the master of that area. He went into the Independence Army, a forbidden area for the new ideology,\and did not hide the fact that he was a communist while he lived among them; on the contrary, he actively awakened the progressive Independence Army soldiers to consciousness\and transformed many of them into adherents of communism. He conducted work with people on so large a scale\and in so daring a way that his superior officer connived at it, instead of reporting him to his seniors, even when Choe did political work for months 4 kilometres away rom the area\where his unit was stationed.


Liuhe had been under the strong influence of the factionalists\and the conservative nationalists who were indulging in an anti-communist conspiracy. Those rom the M-L group formed an\organization called the Residents’ Association in Panshi County in opposition to the nationalist\organizations in south Manchuria. Inside the Independence Army which was on the verge of division because of the antagonism between the progressive group\and the conservative group, some Left-wingers who aspired to socialism, joining hands with the Tuesday group\and the Seoul-Shanghai group, were speeding up their efforts to form a national single-front\organization.


Hyon Muk Kwan, Ko I Ho\and other conservatives launched a wide reactionary offensive against those aspiring to communism. In this complicated situation Choe Chang Gol formed an AIYL\organization in Liuhe\and expanded it rapidly.


The factionalists tried to find fault with him, saying that the AIYL in Liuhe was not a proper\organization since the General Federation of Korean Youth in China was the one\and only\organization of the Korean youth in China. The factionalists rom the M -L group infiltrated alien elements into the Liuhe AIYL to break it up rom within. They recruited dozens of young men rom Panshi\and summoned them to Danigou to form a terrorist\organization called Cudgel; then, they gave the police the false information that the Independence Army was plotting a riot in Sanyuanpu\and, in cooperation with the police, attacked the cadres of the AIYL.


Choe Chang Gol checked their shameful act\and rescued the hardcore members of the league rom the assault.

He did not retaliate against the provocations of the factionalists by resorting to arms. By nature, he was broad- minded in his approach to people\and in handling affairs. When he met me in Kalun later, he said that he was very surprised that he had not lost his reason\and had refrained rom opening fire when he saw AIYL members spitting blood\and having their flesh torn by the cudgels of the factionalists.

 

Cha Kwang Su was delighted at our going to Liuhe. He did not hide his delight, looking forward as he was to seeing Choe Chang Gol. Cha Kwang Su, like Choe Chang Gol, knew Liuhe. When Choe, with a pistol at his side, had been working under the command of Ryang Se Bong, Cha taught the children there. At that time they had become comrades sharing the same idea.


“I am fastidious about people, but I lost my heart to Cha when I first met him. He appears boisterous, but he is a man. He has ten Karl Marxes in his head.”


Once Choe Chang Gol said, jokingly, as he recalled their first encounter:

“If I were a girl,” Choe continued, “I would not hesitate to marry that boisterous fellow. It seems the girls in Jilin are all blind.” Cha Kwang Su smiled at his joke.


In his days in Jilin Cha Kwang Su was still a bachelor. Choe Chang Gol always said he would arrange a match for Cha\and lead his horse to his bride’s house on his wedding day.


Whenever they met they would joke openly with each other, one claiming to be older than the other, so the other should respect his elder. Their friendship was intimate\and deep enough to stir the envy\and jealousy of everyone else.


It can be said their friendship was further strengthened during the days when they were expanding the ranks of the YCLK\and the AIYL in the areas of Liuhe, Xingjing\and Tieling. Choe Chang Gol, with Cha Kwang Su, formed the Gushanzi branch of the Young Communist League of Korea\and set up enlightenment\organizations called the institute of social sciences in Xingjing, Liuhe, Panshi\and in several other counties in south Manchuria, with Wangqingmen as the centre.


The institute had the mission of studying\and propagating Marxism-Leninism\and the guiding theory of the Korean revolution. Its mode of operation was similar to that of a correspondence course today. It summoned young people\and gave them lectures for about a fortnight at the end of the farming season\and enlightened its members by giving them lessons at home once every few months\and by posting the necessary study materials to them for the rest of the year. The members of the institute studied by themselves what they had learned in the lectures, referring to the materials,\and held a discussion once a week; they fully digested the materials by a question\and answer method through correspondence if there was a subject that was difficult to understand.


When I heard Cha Kwang Su’s explanation of the activities of the institute of social sciences in Liuhe in the autumn of the year when the conference of the General Federation of the Korean Youth in South Manchuria was convened, I could only admire the\original\and fresh mode of its operation\and I praised the three comrades (Choe Chang Gol, Cha Kwang Su\and Kim Hyok) who had been running the institute as people who had done a lot of creative work. The method they had created in practice showed that, if we racked our brains, we would be fully able to educate the young people to make them pioneers of the times\and trail blazers of history even in the difficult circumstances in which we were conducting an underground struggle.


As I led the column towards Sanyuanpu, looking forward to meeting Choe Chang Gol soon, I felt my heart beating no less than Cha Kwang Su.


Two years had passed since we parted with one another after forming the first party\organization in Kalun. In those years he had formed party\organizations\and expanded various mass\organizations in the wide region of south Manchuria including Liuhe, Xingjing, Hailong, Qingyuan\and Panshi,\and commanded a unit of the Korean Revolutionary Army, busying himself with recruiting men\and making the material preparations that were necessary for building a standing revolutionary armed force. In the spring of 1931 he had renamed the Jijiang command of the KRA the eastern revolutionary army\and taken command of it. The liaison officer who had brought this news to me rom Choe Chang Gol had told me that Choe had been having a great deal of trouble in his conflict with the reactionary group of Kukmin-bu.


Communications with Liuhe had been broken since then. I had been feeling anxious about this. I was uneasy not only because he was an inherent adventurer\and optimist who would devote himself unsparingly to any task, but also because he was a communist operating under the eyes of the reactionaries, within the frame work of Kukmin-bu which had begun to regard terrorism as an all-powerful means. He was on Kukmin-bu’s blacklist, so to speak.


Towards the end of the year when the Wangqingmen incident happened, the Kukmin-bu reactionaries had attempted to arrest six young communists, including Choe Chang Gol\and Choe Tuk Hyong,\and execute them at Daougou. This is recorded in history as the Liuhe incident.


Since this incident the progressive forces within Kukmin-bu who had been aspiring to the new ideology had denounced the reactionary group bitterly. Choe Chang Gol, who might have been a victim, had been furious, saying that he would take revenge on the fascist leadership of Kukmin-bu.


On being informed of the incident, I had sent Pak Kun Won to Liuhe with a letter which read: “A clash with Kukmin-bu, in any form, will be utterly destructive. There should not,\and cannot, be bloodshed among compatriots who are opposed to Japanese imperialism. We endured with tears in our eyes the grief of losing six of our comrades in Wangqingmen. Be cautious in everything\and do not act on impulse.”


After the Liuhe incident Kukmin- bu had split into two camps at an executive committee meeting\and a conference of the Korean Revolutionary Party held in August, 1930. Hyon Muk Kwan, Ryang Se Bong, Ko I Ho, Kim Mun Go, Ryang Ha San\and others persisted in their conservative policy,\whereas Ko Won Am, Kim Sok Ha, Ri Jin Thak, Ri Ung, Hyon Ha Juk, Ri Kwan Rin\and other young figures, opposing the implementation of this policy, had labelled the Korean Revolutionary Party as a fascist political party which opposed the people’s views,\and proposed a new, innovative principle that the party should be dissolved\and that the proletariat should be made the vanguard of the class struggle so as to provide leadership for the Korean peasants in Manchuria.


Owing to their contradictory ideals, the two groups had fought to bring down\and bury each other.

The Kukmin-bu group had, with the connivance of the Fengtian provincial administration, even bribed Chinese officials\and the military police\and enlisted them in purging the anti-Kukmin-bu group by terrorist means. They had assassinated five of their opponents, including Ri Jin Thak. In retaliation the dissidents had raided Kukmin-bu headquarters\and shot Kim Mun Go, the 4th company commander, to death. Later the dissidents had announced their secession\and formed an anti-Kukmin-bu committee with the aim of toppling Kukmin-bu.


My worries about the safety of Choe Chang Gol were founded on this political base. At a place not far rom Sanyuanpu I gave the\order to speed up the march. Our anxiety to see Choe as soon as possible spurred us on.

 

In Sanyuanpu we were struck dumb when we heard the news about him. The\organization members there said that he had been killed. According to them, he had been arrested by the Right-wingers of Kukmin-bu while guiding the work of the Gushanzi branch of the YCLK\and had disappeared. A young man called Pak rom the Gushanzi branch of the YCLK confirmed this story. He had come to us after hearing the news of the arrival of the AJPGA. He told us that the Kukmin-bu terrorists had lured Choe to Jiangjiadian in Jinchuan County\and killed him,\and had spread the rumour that they had executed him because he was a secret communist agent. Some said he had been killed while operating between Hailong\and Qingyuan.

Anyway, it seemed that there was no doubt that he was dead. I was so furious that I could neither speak nor cry. How could he, one of the builders of the DIU who had at all times been passionate\and considerate, leave us without a word of his death! This caused further overwhelming grief for us after our bitter experience on a nameless hill on the border between Antu\and Fusong Counties. The death of such a loyal comrade-in -arms as Choe Chang Gol at the historic juncture when the armed struggle had started with the birth of the AJPGA\and when the rumbling of its guns was heralding the advent of a new era over the vast area of Manchuria, was a heart-rending loss to our revolution.


Cha Kwang Su, sitting beside me on the grass that had withered under the scorching sun, was shedding copious tears.

I wanted to see the bereaved family of Choe Chang Gol, so I led the unit to Gushanzi. His wife, along with his son who could not yet even toddle\and his younger brother, greeted us. The widow was a strong-hearted woman. She did not weep in front of us. On the contrary, she requested my permission to join the guerrilla army to fight against the Japanese imperialists with arms in hand\and fulfil her husband’s unfinished cause.


We altered our schedule\and stayed overnight with the bereaved family.

The next morning when we were leaving Gushanzi the widow accompanied us for a long way to see us off. I did not know how to console her; I held her son in my arms\and stroked his cheeks. The boy, who had cut only two teeth, was the perfect image of his father. He said, “Papa!” “Papa!” as he touched my face. His mother shed tears for the first time at the sight of this. I also felt like crying\and, pressing my cheek against his, I gazed quietly at Gushanzi village for a while.


“Madam, let us bring this boy up excellently so that he can succeed his father.”

I became too choked to say anything more.


When we had marched about two kilometres rom Gushanzi, Kim Il Ryong, seeing me so depressed, proposed that we fire a volley in memory of Choe Chang Gol. He seemed to think that I might brighten up if a volley was fired for him. This was thoughtful of Kim Il Ryong, who had himself suffered manifold hardships\and difficulties.


I said, “I don’t want to believe the rumour that he was killed. How can we fire a volley for his death when we haven’t seen his body?”


When we arrived at Liangjiangkou, after passing through Mengjiang, we received the astonishing news that about 20 Independence Army soldiers who had been hiding in the Fusong area, in cooperation with a Chinese armed unit of about 70 to 80, were plotting to raid our unit\and disarm it. This plot had been hatched by the Independence Army under Kukmin-bu. They had discovered the route of the march of the AJPGA rom Mengjiang in the direction of Liangjiangkou\and then informed a Chinese nationalist army unit that our unit was the main force of the communist army. The Independence Army soldiers\and the Chinese armed unit were waiting for us in the village we were to pass through.


Those who gave us this information were the Young Communist League members of Liangjiangkou. There were many\organization members\and young people there whom I knew. It was immediately upon our arrival in Liangjiangkou that they gave us this information.


The guerrillas were furious, saying that we should annihilate the Kukmin-bu terrorists to avenge Choe Chang Gol’s death. Even those comrades who had joined me in soothing the young people in Liuhe who were calling for taking revenge on the Kukmin-bu terrorists who had killed six of our comrades in the Huaimaoshan valley when the General Federation of the Korean Youth in South Manchuria was at conference\and who had killed Choe Chang Gol, came to my headquarters\and suggested that we fight a glorious battle to teach them a lesson, saying that there was a\limit to our patience. It was easy to speak about teaching them a lesson, but it was not a problem that could be solved so easily. In the first place, the balance of forces favoured them.


But what mattered was not their superior numbers. The most awkward thing was that our opponent was not our enemy. It would amount to foolishness that could only be produced in the chaos of the early 1930s for two armed forces that professed the common cause of anti-Japanese national salvation to exchange fire. It was ridiculous for the AJPGA\and the Independence Army to commit fratricide,\and it was just as absurd that the Chinese anti-Japanese armed unit\and the Korean Independence Army in cooperation would attack the AJPGA.

 

Needless to say, there would be an outcome if we fought. But in this sort of fight neither the winner nor the loser would escape moral condemnation. No one would crown the victor with laurels\or cry over the death of the loser.


If by mistake we provoked the Chinese armed unit, a great obstacle might be laid to our activities. The allied front with the Chinese national salvation army formed through painstaking efforts would be broken,\and we would have to retreat to the early days when we had been idling away the time cleaning our weapons in the back room of someone’s house. Attacking the Independence Army unit would give rise to no less serious consequences. If the communist army attacked the Independence Army, the people would turn away rom us;\and the anti-communists would take advantage of it to slander the communists.


That was not what we wanted. It was unimaginable for the AJPGA\and the Independence Army to fight a bloody battle, levelling their guns at each other. Nevertheless, the Independence Army was preparing for a bloody battle on the other side of the River Songhua.


When I recollect the summer of 1932, I am reminded of the situation at that time before anything else. I spent a sleepless night racking my brains to find out a way to deal with the awkward situation, a solution that conformed with the principle of national unity\and the great cause of anti-Japanese national salvation. I think I aged ten years because of this affair.


I myself could not repress my surging indignation at,\and hatred for, the Kukmin -bu army which had not even fought a proper battle against the Japanese army, our common enemy,\and which did not hesitate to commit bestial, shameful acts against us. All the commanders were unanimous in saying in a black rage that we should deal with the Kukmin-bu fascists severely.

 

Cha Kwang Su, with his eyes flashing with fury, said, “Let us teach them a lesson so that they do not provoke us again, a good lesson, even if it means their being killed, so that they stain their hands with no more of the blood of their fellow countrymen.”


He went on to say that the time has now come to take revenge on Kukmin -bu for the death of our comrades at their hands. All the armed forces around us were our enemy. The Korean Independence Army, the Chinese national salvation army, the mounted bandits, the Red Spear Society, the Broad Sword Society—they were all our enemy. The AJPGA was in such adversity because we did not have Liu Ben-cao with us to testify that our unit was a special detachment of the national salvation army. We had succeeded in making our unit legitimate thanks to the good offices of Liu Ben-cao, but we were in danger of being attacked rom all sides if we did not take such a powerful surety as Liu Ben-cao along with us.


During our campaign to Tonghua, Commander Yu’s unit had withdrawn rom Antu\and, along with Wang De-lin’s unit, retreated deep into Ningan County. Antu had become a free zone. The self-defence army units had surrendered to the Japanese army in succession without having fought a proper battle. Some of the units were already reactionary at that time, having abandoned their anti-Manchukuo, anti-Japanese principles,\and had been dancing to the tune of advisers rom the Japanese army. It was because it had become a reactionary armed unit commanded by the Japanese army that the Chinese anti-Japanese armed unit dared to think of destroying our unit, which was known as the main force of the communist army.


Blinded by the anti-communist propaganda of Kukmin-bu, the remnants of the Independence Army who were ignorant of our real intention were trying, in conspiracy with the reactionary elements of the Chinese anti-Japanese nationalist units, to challenge us. I thought the matter over\and over again. Although they were a Right-wing military clique who had become bandits, we could not allow ourselves to retaliate\or punish them by military means because they were our fellow countrymen\and had been fighting to save the country. We had to dissuade them rom their challenge by political means. Thus did we regard the anti-Japanese united front as absolute. So, Pak Hun\and several other comrades under his command left for Erdaobaihe\where the Independence Army soldiers were stationed.


“Comrade Pak Hun, today your mouth, not your gun, is your weapon. You must persuade the Independence Army soldiers by words, not bullets. You are an eloquent man of a pleasing character. So you will be perfectly able to dissuade them rom committing fratricide. You must on no account resort to arms. Bear this in mind. A gunshot now would mean the end of our united front with the nationalists. What do you think? Do you think you can do it, though it does not seem a task that is suited to your character?” I asked. Pak Hun scratched his head, smiling.


“It’s a difficult task, but I will try.”


After Pak Hun left on his mission, I walked up\and down the bank of the River Songhua for a long time. I prayed silently that there should be no gunshot that night. Would Pak Hun succeed in dissuading the Independence Army soldiers? I asked myself anxiously.


Of course, he was an able man, an able agitator. But the furious temper of the man who, if angry, would behave like a bear, paying no heed to the consequences, worried me. I knew his weakness, but I sent him on the mission to the camp of the Independence Army without hesitation because there was no abler man than he in my unit. Cha Kwang Su was his equal in this matter. Judging purely rom the situation, Cha Kwang Su was the right man to meet the challenge. But he had been shaken by the news of the death of Choe Chang Gol.


I kept looking in the direction of Erdaobaihe, wishing Pak Hun success. Fortunately, nothing tragic happened that night, no unhappy incident, to my relief. The Independence Army soldiers were moved by our comrades’ earnest appeal for the unity of the patriotic forces. They confessed that they had been unhappy with the policy of their headquarters\and had been dubious\and hesitated over what to do. They resolved that they would hand over their weapons to the Anti-Japanese People’s Guerrilla Army\and fight in cooperation with them.


The high- ranking officers of the Independence Army refused to join us, but the rank-and-file soldiers felt the need to cooperate with us\and joined hands with us. This was the beginning of their merger with us.


In this way we got over another crisis without difficulty. It was fortunate that we, young people in our twenties, could display such magnanimity\and perseverance for the purpose of great national unity at a time when our hatred\and spite for Kukmin-bu was surging after we had broken with Ryang Se Bong\and heard of the death of Choe Chang Gol. If we, thirsting for revenge, had destroyed Kukmin-bu\or had an armed conflict with the Independence Army soldiers, we could not have faced the younger generation with a clear conscience as we do today,\and we could not have witnessed the historic event of about 300 soldiers of Commander Ryang Se Bong coming over in the dead of winter to the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, under the banner of cooperation.


No feeling in the world is greater, more ennobling\and more sacred than patriotism. The spirit of national unity can be called the lifeblood\and essence of patriotism. The Korean communists, since the first day they set sail for national liberation, have invariably been holding the idea of national unity dear at all times\and in all places,\and have not been sparing in their efforts to make the idea the reality.





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[Reminiscences]Chapter 4. Seeking a New Path 8. Crossing the River Tuman

[Reminiscences]Chapter 4. Seeking a New Path 9. An “Ideal Village” Is Transformed into a Revolutionary Village

[Reminiscences]Chapter 4. Seeking a New Path 10. Unforgettable Men\and Women

[Reminiscences]Chapter 5. People in Arms 1. The Earth in Agony

[Reminiscences]Chapter 5. People in Arms 2. The September 18 Incident

[Reminiscences]Chapter 5. People in Arms 3. To Oppose Armed Force with Armed Force

[Reminiscences]Chapter 5. People in Arms 4. Preparations for a Bloody Battle

[Reminiscences]Chapter 5. People in Arms 5. The Birth of a New Armed Force

[Reminiscences]Chapter 6. The year of trials 1. To South Manchuria

[Reminiscences]Chapter 6. The year of trials 2. The Last Image

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