페이지 정보작성자 편집국 작성일20-08-19 22:39 댓글0건
[Reminiscences]Chapter 17 3. Joint Celebration of Army\and People at Diyangxi
3. Joint Celebration of Army\and People at Diyangxi
When we arrived at Kouyushuigou on our way backrom the attack on Pochonbo, the rank\and file suggested to me through their commanding officers that we take a day’s rest. As far as I remember, the rank\and file had never asked Headquarters for a rest in the whole period of the anti-Japanese war. How tired they must have been to make the suggestion! To be candid, my men\and officers had not had a day’s rest in those days. The men\and officers had spent a day on Konjang Hill,\and they were too excited to sleep\or to feel tired. Once a round of battle was over, however, the strain that had gripped the unit suddenly gave way,\and everyone yearned for rest\and relaxation. I myself felt exhaustedrom the lack of sleep.
Moreover, the peasants in the village in Kouyushuigou begged us commanders to stop\and relax. They had prepared rice-cakes\and slain hogs, they told us, hoping that we would accept their hospitality. The soldiers, who were hungry, were all the more eager at the mention of rice-cakes\and pork. Even the political commissars of regiments fell in with the men’s suggestion\and advised me to accept their hospitality.
Nevertheless, I did not give the\order for a break. Commander must be all the more vigilant at such a moment: we may have left the battle ground across the border, but we could still suffer disaster unless we were on the alert. The enemy’s border guards must have got flurried under issued emergency mobilization orders,\and they might attack us any minute.rom past experience, it was pretty obvious that the enemy would chase us.
When would the enemy appear? A quick estimate showed that we had no more than half an hour to stay at Kouyushuigou. It was a small village with little space to accommodate hundreds of soldiers\and civilians carrying booty, even if they ate quickly.
After ensuring that part of the booty was divided among the villagers, I\ordered my men to put rice-balls in their packs. At the same time I sent back home some of the people who had followed usrom Pochonbo to act as our carriers. Then, together with the few remaining people carrying our goods, we climbed Mt. Kouyushui. I had a hunch that a battle would have to be fought on that mountain. It was a rocky, steep mountain with a gradient of 60 degrees; climbing it with a heavy load was no easy job. If the man in front loosened a stone by mistake, it might cause a chain reaction resulting in a disastrous rockslide. Several times I passed the message to my men through my\orderly, Paek Hak Rim, to be careful not to dislodge any rocks; every man climbed the slope with care, helping the man in front by pushing him up.
As the unit reached the summit, I prepared the men for a possible combat even before they had cooled off their sweat. With a view to combine an exchange of fire\and a rockslide to suit the terrain, the unit built several rock piles\and settled down to wait. Then we had a light breakfast of rice-balls.
I looked down\and found a horde of enemy troops climbing in our wake. It was a special border guard force under the command of Okawa Shuichi. The enemy was approaching in fairly high spirits. When they came within 30 metres of us, I gave the\order to fire. The rifles\and machine-guns went into action. I also took up a rifle\and started shooting.
The enemy crawled up the mountain doggedly, taking cover behind rocks. In that terrain rifle fire was not effective. I\ordered a rockslide,\and my men began to roll down the stones they had gathered. We had employed the rockslide tactic on Mt. Ppyojok to defend Xiaowangqing\and now again on Mt. Kouyushui. It was a powerful ploy.
This battle was another demonstration of the fighting efficiency of our men. As we had not given the enemy time to offer resistance during the Battle of Pochonbo, the battle ended too easily in our one-sided attack. But on Mt. Kouyushui the enemy’s attack was so tenacious that it was worth fighting.
When the bugle sounded, O Paek Ryong charged down the slope\and killed the enemy machine-gunner, waving the machine-gun he had captured at me. Kim Un Sin fought hand-to-hand with a bulky enemy soldier until he managed to wrest a grenade-launcherrom him.
Our counterattack was so violent that one puppet Manchukuo army unit, which came laterrom the west of Mt. Kouyushui, flinchedrom attacking. They shot a few rounds without really aimingrom afar, then looked on as the battle raged. I\ordered my machine-gunners to fire a few shots at random in that direction. Firing random shots when the puppet Manchukuo forces lingered about us was a practice we had acquired in our days in Jiandao. The puppet Manchukuo army soldiers wanted it this way. When we complied with their request, they refrainedrom provoking a real fight with the revolutionary army\and went back after firing a few random shots of their own.
That day our blocking party repulsed the attack of the Hyesan garrison led by Captain Kurita.
The civilians who had followed usrom Pochonbo carrying booty witnessed the entire battle\and were greatly impressed by the fighting power of the People’s Revolutionary Army. They saw clearly how the enemy were vanquished.\and what they saw that day became silent material for their education: they reaffirmed the combat efficiency of the People’s Revolutionary Army,\and they discovered that, although the Japanese army boasted of being “invincible”, it was not they who were invincible, but the KPRA. Takagi Takeo17 himself spoke highly of the fighting efficiency of our army at the battles of Pochonbo\and Mt. Kouyushui.
Later Pak Tal told me that enemy personnel who survived the battle on Mt. Kouyushui were so terrified that they did not go to battle again anywhere for some time. He added that the survivors included a policeman of Korean nationality whom he knew well. Apparently he was a clever man. While climbing Mt. Kouyushui, the policeman saw the footprints of the guerrillas\and perceived that the guerrillas might be lying in ambush. He pretended to be rearranging his puttees\and\dropped behind. When the Japanese policemen had nearly reached the summit, the sound of machine-guns, exploding grenades\and screams reached him,\and he fled down the mountain, hiding himself by the river until the battle was over. He told Pak Tal proudly that he had remained alive because of his quick wits.
Okawa Shuichi, chief of the special border guard force, who miraculously survived the battle of Mt. Kouyushui, apparently lived in Japan as an\ordinary citizen until just a few years ago. In his last years he wrote a reminiscence of the Japanese defeat in that battle. Reading the article, I learned that he had been seriously wounded: one of our bullets went through his tongue, which to my mind is one of the nastiest of all wounds. He was in hospital for a long time, but remained almost uncured.
I saw a picture of him\and his wound. The wound had never really healed. Like many of the soldiers\and policemen of old Japan, Okawa was one of the victims of the notorious “imperial spirit”.
The victory we achieved in the battle of Mt. Kouyushui, along with the later success of the battle of Jiansanfeng, consolidated our victory at the Battle of Pochonbo\and demonstrated once again the combat power\and invincibility of the KPRA. The enemy on the border shook with fear of us. The statement in their documented records that they annihilated “a large number of the enemy” in the battle of Mt. Kouyushui is sheer fabrication. Not one of us was killed.
The enemy enlisted the people living near Mt. Kouyushui by force, plundering their sleeping quilts\and the doors to their houses to carry off the dead bodies. All in all, we wiped out the enemy on Mt. Kouyushui, the enemy we had planned to annihilate in Hyesan. In other words, the objective of our attack on Hyesan was attained at Mt. Kouyushui.
After the battle we had an emotional reunion with Choe Hyon’s unit, which had returned safely by breaking through an encirclement. Choe Hyon’s shoes\and clothes were tattered beyond deion. He warmly congratulated us on our victories at Pochonbo\and on Mt. Kouyushui. Then, he said abruptly, “We were encircled by the enemy near Pegae Hill, but all of a sudden they lifted the encirclement\and ran away. What does that mean, General?”
I briefly explained how we attacked Pochonbo to rescue his 4th Division.
He laughed loudly\and said, “Seeing them running off like that, I wondered if it wasn’t the hand of God, but after all we owe it to you, General. It is really wonderful.”
He used the pronoun “they” whenever he spoke, in contempt of the Japanese soldiers\and policemen.
When I asked him to take me to his division, as I wanted to see the soldiers, he pulled a face, saying that they were not presentable.
When I asked him what he meant, he answered that they were too ragged.
I called Kim Hae San\and\ordered him to issue uniforms to the soldiers of the 4th Division. They had been kept for Choe Hyon’s unitrom the 600 uniforms made before the advance to the homeland. As Choe Hyon said, the appearance of the soldiers in his division was indescribable. Their beggarly clothes\and their heavily sunburnt faces told the true story of the arduous road they had traversed. Only after shaving\and changing into a new uniform did he come to see me\and give an official report about his past activities. Their battle results were great.
In Diyangxi we met the 2nd Division of the 1st Corps. That division, too, had fulfilled its mission satisfactorily. I thanked the soldiers of the 4th\and 2nd Divisions for their flank\and rear support\and cooperation with the main force thrusting into the homeland. In this way the revolutionary army units, which had launched themselves in three directions in accordance with the resolution adopted at the Xigang meeting, assembled on the tableland at Diyangxi, fixed earlier as the place for reunion,\and shared their friendship. The green plateau was full of holiday atmosphere as those present talked about their experiences in battle.
The extraordinary results achieved by the revolutionary army in the course of carrying out the policy put forward at the Xigang meeting brought great happiness to the people around Mt. Paektu who had witnessed them. According to information obtained through Pak Tal’s\organizations, the people in Kapsan, Phungsan\and Samsu, men\and women, young\and old, were bubbling over with excitement, declaring that the day when the revolutionary army would liberate them was near at hand.
What was notable in Choe Hyon’s report was the story about a Japanese, named Kawashima, they had captured when raiding lumber yard No. 7 in Sanghunggyongsuri. The yard was merely a branch of the head office in Hyesan,\and Kawashima was its chief. The 4th Division soldiers told me that they had taken him to Diyangxi because, first, he was an interesting man, as he spoke Korean well\and his wife was Korean\and, second, they wanted to take him hostage for ransom.
Choe Hyon said that he had had a quarrel over the man’s fate with Jon Kwang\and Pak Tuk Pom, who had put pressure on him to execute the man. He asked my advice.
I curtly replied that executing him was out of the question,\and said, “It is untenable that Kawashima should be executed because he is a Japanese. Although he is chief of the lumber yard, he should not be killed if he is not guilty of any crime as a reserve soldier against our people. Such people must be dealt with prudently.”
Choe Hyon said he agreed with me.
That day I saw Kawashima in person. I said a few words to him\and found that he spoke Korean better than I had expected. I asked him if he was not afraid of the revolutionary army,\and he answered that he had been at first, but now he was not. He continued, “The Japanese authorities call the guerrillas ‘bandits’. But while following the revolutionary army these days, I realized that this was a lie. Bandits plunder others of their property, but I have not seen them doing such a thing. The guerrillas are fighting solely for the liberation of Korea. Even though they go hungry for days, they do not enter a grain field without the master’s permission. If they happened to get something to eat, they put it in the mouths of their comrades. How can such soldiers be bandits?”
I advised Choe Hyon, Jon Kwang\and Pak Tuk Pom to return him in safety after giving him education, as he was not guilty of any serious crime\and was a clever man.
According to informationrom our\organization later, Kawashima on his return to the lumber yard said to his fellows that “The Korean guerrilla army is not a banditti but a well-disciplined revolutionary army\and they are not so weak as to be conquered by the Japanese army.” Even after he was taken off to the police station he said the same thing, insisting that this was what he had witnessed. The police authorities sent him back to Japan, labelling him a Red. But the gist of what Kawashima said about the People’s Revolutionary Army was carried at that time in a newspaper published in the homeland.
Reading the article, Choe Hyon said to me with a laugh, “Kawashima is paying back what he owes to the guerrillas. I can now see why you advised us to release him.”
My experience with Kawashima reconfirmed my view that not all the Japanese people were bad\and that they should be dealt with discreetly, according to their acts\and ideological inclination.
The day we arrived at Diyangxi, Ri Hun, head of Shijiudaogou, called on us. He said that his villagers had prepared some food, though frugal,\and wanted to invite the guerrillas for a meal to celebrate the victories in Pochonbo\and on Mt. Kouyushui.rom the way Ri Hun spoke I sensed that the whole village was going to serve us a treat rather than a light meal, as before. Serving even a simple bowl of rice to each of the hundreds of guerrillas would be a great burden to the people of Shijiudaogou. We could not impose such a burden on them. So I advised him not to prepare the food.
However, Ri Hun, who had always been obedient to me, now stubbornly insisted that the people’s offer of hospitality not be turned down. He said, “This is not my personal wish, General. It is the unanimous desire of the people of Shijiudaogou. Please don’t decline our request. If I return with your refusal, even the women there will call me good-for-nothing\and throw stones at me. I can endure that, but what can I do if the entire village sheds tears?”
I found it difficult to decline their invitation. If we said no to the people’s hospitality\and left Diyangxi all of a sudden, how disappointed both the people\and the guerrillas would be.
I said to Ri Hun:
“Since things have come to this pass, it would be better for the guerrillas\and the people to get together\and enjoy the day to their hearts’ content. The day of Tano festival is just around the corner\and it would be a good idea to hold a grand celebration in broad daylight out on the Diyangxi plateau as a joint celebration between the army\and the people. Let them encourage each other\and share their friendship. Let’s have some entertainment\and an athletic meet so that they can enjoy the festival\and feel freerom worldly worries.”
The commanding officers of the 4th\and 2nd Divisions supported the idea. Having succeeded, Ri Hun was all smiles. That was the first time we tried an army-people joint celebration after the evacuation of the guerrilla bases.
Defudong, chosen as the place for the celebration, was a village that had been given revolutionary education by Ri Je Sun, Kim Un Sin, Ma Tong Hui, Kim Ju Hyon, Ji Thae Hwan\and Kim Il. As it was situated on a tableland dozens of miles awayrom the county town, neither policemen nor the district head frequented it. The enemy administrative\organs were relatively far away. The nearest police station to Defudong was situated in Ouledong, far away along a mountain path. When\selecting the place for the celebration we took all of this into account. The place produced many guerrillas in later days.
I stayed with 50 officers\and rank-and-file guerrillas in the house of An Tok Hun, chief of an ARF chapter. Ri Je Sun had joined hands with Ri Hun\and An Tok Hun before anybody else in Shijiudaogou. We\dropped in at his house before\and after the Battle of Pochonbo\and received much helprom him. His family aided the guerrillas well. His younger brother, An Tok Su, was also a fine man who zealously helped us in our work.
In Defudong there lived a rich man, surnamed Song. He was a landlord with a strong pro-Japanese disposition. He did not care at all what happened to the country so long as he was well-off, that was his view on life. One day our operatives, having found out that the man had much money, called Song\and Ri Hun to An Tok Hun’s house\and made an appeal to them to help the guerrillas. In summoning Ri Hun, a member of the secret\organization, to that place, the operatives had a plan: if Ri Hun said that he would donate a certain amount of money, Song could not refuse. Also, by shouting at Ri, they could further conceal his identity as a member of the secret\organization. Things turned out as they had expected. When Ri said he would contribute his share of money on behalf of his village, Song, unable to refuse, answered reluctantly that he would contribute 150 yuan for fear of future troubles.
Unhappy with this forced contribution, Song, in reprisal, gave a hint to his wife’s brother, who was working at a police substation, that operativesrom the guerrillas frequented An Tok Hun’s house. Informed of this, Ri Hun discussed the matter with the operatives. As a result, he sent An Tok Hun to the guerrilla army\and An’s family to Korea. But for this emergency measure, his family might well have been exterminated, for in summer\or autumn of 1937 the enemy burned Defudong down completely, calling it a “Red village”.
At An Tok Hun’s house I drew up the programme for the joint celebration in consultation with the influential figures in Shijiudaogou\and the commanding officers of the 4th\and 2nd Divisions. The young people in the village prepared about 50 noodle-presses at the same time. In each house the guerrillas\and the people got together\and spent a night, singing\and talking.
Chon Pong Sun’s story of scouting out Pochonbo provoked a burst of laughter each time he told it.
At the end of May 1937, Chon Pong Sun got our\order, through Kim Un Sin, a guerrillarom Ouledong, to find out the number of enemy weapons\and equipment\and the disposition of their forces. He learnedrom his relative living in Pochonbo that there were seven policemen in the police substation with one light machine-gun, five Japanese in the foresters’ station (the station head would soon be transferred to another locality),\and about 200 households in the town. But he wanted to confirm all this himself.
One day he went to Pochonbo\and drank a cup of wine at a pub; then he walked reeling to a general store in front of the police substation. Pretending to be drunk, he searched his pockets with trembling hands, muttering to himself that there must be 1 won in there. Then taking out a 5-won note, he said, “Ah, here is 1 won,”\and demanded a packet of Mako cigarette. In those days a packet of that type of cigarette cost 5 jon. The change should have been 4 won 95 jon. The wicked woman shopkeeper, however, gave him only 95 jon, thinking that he was too drunk to distinguish a 5-won noterom a 1-won note.rom then on, everything went as he had planned it. He demanded the storekeeper 4 won in addition to the 95 jon as a change, as he had given her 5 won. The storekeeper retorted, “What an impostor this guy is! You gave me 1 won,\and you insist that you gave me 5 won, ha! No more nonsense, be off with you.”
Thus they began a squabble. The storekeeper threatened that she would take him to the police,\and he responded that they should, indeed, put this quarrel before the policemen. The storekeeper readily agreed, confident that the police would side with her.
In the station the two continued to argue, swearing at each other. As both of them insisted that the other was wrong, the policemen were at a loss as to how to judge. While all this was going on, Chon found out the number of policemen, machine-gun\and rifles. After ascertaining what he had to, Chon said, “Then what about going to the shop with us, sirs? The 5-won note I gave her has a patch of paper in the centre. If we find it, then I am right,\and if not, she is right.” They went off to the shop with the duty sergeant.
True to his words, they found a 5-won note with a patch of paper in its centre. But the storekeeper insisted that she had got itrom a customer that morning. At long last, the storekeeper won the suit. Chon left the store, saying, “Madame, live in clover, cheating many more innocent people.” She was a dishonest woman, yet he felt thankful to her; but for her, he could not have found an excuse for going into the police substation.
The members of the underground\organization in Defudong were encouraged by Chon’s story of scouting. It heightened their dignity. It was a source of great pride to them that a member of the secret\organization in their village had contributed to the People’s Revolutionary Army’s advance into the homeland.
While the whole village was astir with preparation for the joint celebration, we received some disturbing information: the commander of a composite brigade of the puppet Manchukuo army had left Changbai for Hanjiagou for a “punitive” expedition against the People’s Revolutionary Army.
My unit, along with Choe Hyon’s, met the enemy\and annihilated them with one swift stroke. The remnants of the brigade were so frightened out of their wits at our attack that they called the lane along the battlefield on which their colleagues had been killed en masse “the path of wolf’s fangs”.
This battle raised the prestige of the revolutionary army even higher. The booty we captured included a large amount of food that would be of help in preparations for the joint celebration.
On the fifth day of the fifth month by the lunar calendar the joint celebration was held on the Diyangxi plateau. The three units of the army filled the wide vista of the tableland. Hundreds of members of the ARF had gathered there,\and the Korean National Liberation\union had sent its representative. The village heads had dispatched the enemy’s agents to other places in advance for the sake of keeping secrecy,\and the celebration proceeded in a free atmosphererom beginning to end. That day the guerrillas\and the people mixed freely. The presence of many old people made the occasion all the more pleasant. They all sat round food dishes\and enjoyed the festivities to their hearts’ content. Of all the foods the people prepared that day, rice-cakes made with mugwort\and marsh plant leaves were most highly appreciated.
Along with Choe Hyon, I greeted every elderly man\and woman, with the introductions being done by Ri Hun\and An Tok Hun. We then passed on to the young\and middle-aged men\and women, whom I greeted in general. They all deserved many thanks for their sincere help to the People’s Revolutionary Army in its advance into the homeland.
Some women guerrillas appeared at the celebration in Korean costumes. As they took off the military uniform, which they had worn day\and night,\and returned to the way they looked in their homes, they seemed as beautiful as fairies. They sat in pairs on the swings with the village girls. Songs were heardrom forest\and a dance was held. Some women beat the tune on dippers that had been overturned in large brass vessels filled with water.
“How could these strangers mingle with one another so warmly, like a family reunited after a long separation?” I thought, enjoying the sight of the plain,\where guerrillas\and people milled about, forming a living, moving garden of flowers. The enemy called us isolated beings, yet here we were, on a sea of people whose devoted love supported us. The joint celebration on the Diyangxi plateau was a pinnacle in the anti-Japanese revolution, which had managed to traverse the thorny path of history precisely because the guerrillas were loved by the people\and the people were protected by the guerrillas.
I made a speech on behalf of the People’s Revolutionary Army. It was a short impromptu speech to the effect that the revolutionary army would exist\and be victorious in every battle, since the army\and the people had achieved unbreakable unity in mind\and purpose. As far as I can remember, in this speech I gave an outline of the advance into the homeland.
A representative of the\organizations in the homeland also made a speech.
After speakersrom various circles had taken the floor, an old manrom Ouledong handed over a congratulatory banner to us on behalf of the ARF\organizations in Changbai County. Ma Tong Hui, who had performed the scouting mission so superbly at the Battle of Pochonbo, was authorized to receive the banner. The small banner of red damask silk with letters embroidered in yellow silk thread, had been made in a potato cellar by the members of the Women’s Association in Xinxincun\and Pak Rok Kum. They said that it had been embroidered stitch by stitch with a sentry posted outside the cellar, as enemy agents\or policemen might come any minute. It was really a wonder that a tough woman operative such as Pak Rok Kum could be so skilful at embroidery.
The joint celebration ended with a grand parade, considerably larger than any of the parades we had held since the start of the anti-Japanese war. During the military parades held in 1948\and after the victorious Korean war, I recalled with emotion the parade we held on the Diyangxi plateau.
The joint celebration of the army\and the people held in Diyangxi showed the whole world that a great political unity existed between the army\and the people.
Later, in the first half of the 1940s, the people who participated in this celebration refused to believe the Japanese imperialist propaganda that the revolutionary army had all been destroyed—a testimony of the deep impression the celebration had made on the people. The anti-Japanese guerrillas, too, were confident that the people would never lose their love for\and trust in them. They turned to the people each time they faced difficulties.
To our regret, Kim Chol Ho\and some other soldiers of the 4th Division were late that day, being slowed down by hunger\and weaknessrom the shortage of food,\and missed the grand celebration. I was very sorry to miss them on this occasion,\and on the Tano festival day in the liberated motherland several years later, I, with Kim Jong Suk, invited them all to my house.
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