[Reminiscences]Chapter 12 4. Revolutionary Comrade-in-Arms Zhang Wei-Hua (2) > 새 소식

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  [Reminiscences]Chapter 12 4. Revolutionary Comrade-in-Arms Zhang Wei-Hua (2)




4. Revolutionary Comrade-in-Arms Zhang Wei-Hua (2) 




Can a friendship continue between a living person\and a dead friend?

If it can, how?

This question was put to me by Kim Pong Sok shortly after my\orderly Kim Jong Dok, his bosom friend, died at the battle of Jiguanlazi. Kim Pong Sok was my\orderly in the guerrilla army. He grieved over the death of his friend for a long time.

At that time I replied that a friendship could continue between a living person\and his dead friend: the former remembered the latter, while the latter lived on in the memory of the former. By way of illustration I took the example of my friendship with Zhang Wei-hua.

It reflected personal experience. Several years had passed since Zhang Wei-hua’s death, but I had not forgotten him. He appeared occasionally in my dreams\and shared a friendship with me as he had during his lifetime. On such occasions I had a very strange feeling.

Kim Pong Sok asked me again, “Comrade Commander, what can the living do for the dead?”

Apparently my\orderly wanted profound advice, which could act as a lifelong motto for him. But I was not prepared to give him such an answer. In fact, the matter of friendship between the living\and the dead occupied a certain place in my mind, but my view on this matter was as simple\and commonplace as that offered by woodcutters in remote mountains.

“In my opinion, first\and foremost a living person should strive to remain loyal to the will left behind by his dead friend.”

This was the only reply I gave Kim Pong Sok at the time. I believe that other people would also have replied in similar vein if they were in such a situation. My answer was so simple that it could have been given not only by woodcutters, but also by primary schoolchildren, but Kim Pong Sok took it very seriously. Kim Jong Dok’s last wish was that Kim Pong Sok attend to his commander with all his care until the liberation of the country. Kim Pong Sok remained true to his last wish, supporting me wholeheartedly until the day of liberation. He also fell in battle.

During the anti-Japanese war, all my comrades-in-arms held the common view that loyalty to the last wishes of the fallen comrades constituted the highest moral toward them.

“Let’s avenge the enemy of our fallen comrades!” “Remember the company commander’s last wish\and capture that height!” “Let’s liberate the country at any cost, as the fallen comrades had wished!”

Such slogans, declaimed by guerrilla fighters on numerous occasions on battlefields, in camps\and on their marches, reflected their aspirations\and desire to accomplish the cause, which their fallen comrades had failed to complete. The Korean communists tried to be loyal to their fallen comrades by faithfully carrying out their revolutionary task. I did the same, fighting bloody battles to accomplish their unfinished cause\and prove myself worthy of their deep trust\and great expectations rom me, expressed during their lifetime. rom this point of view, I am still doing my best to carry out the revolutionary task entrusted by the Party\and my people.

Can I claim, however, that this is all I can do to fulfil my moral obligations to fallen comrades? When the country was liberated, the concept of such obligations acquired an incomparably rich meaning, in keeping with the requirements\and conditions of the new times. People, who had previously believed that the accomplishment of the unfinished cause of their fallen comrades marked all they should do to be loyal to them, no longer held this view. They wished to bring to the homeland the remains of their comrades-in-arms which were scattered all over a foreign land,\and make their distinguished services, buried in the events of history, known to coming generations. As the country became prosperous, they also wanted to erect bronze statues\and name new cities\and streets after their fallen comrades.

Their loyalty to fallen comrades was fully demonstrated by their love for the children of the martyrs. As soon as we returned to the homeland, we sent officials to bring home the bereaved children of revolutionaries scattered in foreign lands. We discovered them one by one, as if picking up tiny treasures on sand fields\and enrolled them in the Mangyongdae School for the Bereaved Families of Revolutionaries. We also enrolled the children of the martyrs, who had fought in the homeland in this school\and transformed them into able builders of the new Korea.

In the 1970s we built the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery on the Jujak Peak of Mt. Taesong, in a bid to pass on the images of our comrades-in-arms to posterity. We also built the Patriotic Martyrs Cemetery,\or the second revolutionary martyrs cemetery, on a hill in Sinmi-ri, Hyongjesan District.


All these policies\and measures represented an expression of the noble comradeship\and unchanging purity of the Korean communists in their efforts to fulfil their moral obligations to the revolutionary martyrs as best as possible. Throughout more than half a century of revolutionary practice, the Korean communists set an example in their relations with their fallen comrades-in-arms, to say nothing of their living comrades. This example deserves universal praise.

The unprecedented history of human relations\and comradeship, created by the Korean revolutionaries, indicates that friendship can continue between the living\and dead. One need only recall my friendship with Zhang Wei-hua, to prove my case.

It would not be correct to think that my friendship with Zhang Wei-hua ended with his death. If a man’s friendship ends with his friend’s death, can such a bond be considered a sign of real friendship? If a living man remembers his dead friend, the friendship remains alive\and vibrant.

My friendship with Zhang Wei-hua has continued even after his death. Zhang passed away, but I have never forgotten him even for one moment. The fragrance of his personality penetrated my mind more deeply as the days went by. When the anti-Japanese war ended in the victory of the Korean\and Chinese communists, Zhang Wei-hua was the first man I recalled rom countless Chinese comrades\and benefactors. In the liberated homeland, I recollected with deep emotion each of my Chinese benefactors, who helped me\and my family\and supported the Korean revolution with all their hearts. When good times arrived, I missed them all the more.

Whenever I recalled Zhang Wei-hua, I always remembered his bereaved family. I recalled his family, in particular when the democratic reforms were under way, centring on the agrarian revolution in northeast China, following the unconditional surrender of Japan, when the whole of Manchuria was subjected to the civil war between the Kuomintang army of Jiang Jie-shi\and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The liquidation of the evil landlords\and comprador capitalists\and the overthrow of pro-Japanese elements\and traitors to the nation everywhere led me to worry about Zhang’s family, who might have been regarded as a target of dictatorship\and unfairly punished. Whenever the neighbouring country launched a campaign of social upheaval\or movement to destroy some aspect, I worried about the fate of Zhang’s bereaved family. Although Zhang Wei-hua was a martyr, who had rendered distinguished services for the revolution, he had worked mostly underground, so I wondered if the masses would recognize him, a rich man’s son, as a communist, not as a reactionary\or traitor to the nation. I eagerly waited for a chance to meet his family. However, the complicated process of building a new country, the great war against the Americans\and the work carried out to lay the foundations of socialism led me to postpone many plans. I wanted to find\and meet many people, but resisted such temptations\and concentrated on state affairs.

The first news of Zhang’s family reached me in 1959. That year a visitors’ group rom our country had been to old anti-Japanese battlefields in Manchuria.

Prior to their departure, I met the group\and told Pak Yong Sun, the head of the group:

“Comrade Pak, do you remember Zhang Wei-hua, the owner of the Xiongdi Photo Studio, who supplied cloth\and money to us when the children were suffering rom illness\and shivering with cold in the secret camp in Maanshan? Over twenty years has passed since he died, but I have not even sent my regards to his family. When you\drop in at Fusong, remember me to his bereaved family\and give my best regards to them on my behalf.”

“I will keep your words in mind. I also thought that I am under moral obligation to see his family when we arrive in Fusong. We owed a great deal to him.”

Pak Yong Sun wiped his tearful eyes, apparently wet rom deep emotion.

“Zhang Wei-hua was Chinese, but he was virtually Korean\or a Korean revolutionary. His distinguished services occupy an honourable place both in the history of the Chinese communist movement\and in the annals of the anti-Japanese revolution of our country. Even if his family moved to another place rom Fusong, you must discover\where they are, with the aid of the Chinese public security\organs.”

“Yes, I will find them, even if I have to search all over China.”

After the visitors’ group left for China, I waited anxiously for news rom Fusong. As war wounds healed\and the cities\and countryside were transformed along socialist lines, I could afford to devote my mental efforts to my fallen comrades-in-arms\and their bereaved families.

A few months after leaving the homeland, Pak Yong Sun sent me a telegram with the news about Fusong I had been awaiting so eagerly. The telegram said:

“Today I met Zhang’s family in Fusong. I conveyed your greetings to them as you, Premier, so desired. Zhang’s wife expressed many thanks in tears. She gave us a photograph. We are doing our best to collect materials about the joint struggle of you Premier\and Zhang Wei-hua. I will report all the details when we are back home.”

Later Pak Yong Sun reported to me that Zhang Wan-cheng died in 1954\and that after his death, Zhang Wei-hua’s wife lived a frugal life in the old house in Fusong with her son Zhang Jin-quan\and daughter Zhang Jin-lu.

When Pak Yong Sun conveyed my greetings to her, Zhang’s wife was deeply touched\and overcome with emotion.

“There is a saying that the sky changes every hour\and a man changes throughout his life, but General Kim Il Sung’s friendship has always been constant. Twenty years have passed since my husband’s death, but the General still remembers him. I can’t find words to express all my thanks to him.”

As a token of courtesy, she offered a photograph she had kept for several decades\and requested that Pak deliver it to me. This was the picture,\where Zhang Wei-hua\and my brother Chol Ju posed together.

This photo was displayed in the then museum of national liberation struggle with other materials collected by the visitors’ group in autumn that year. Ever since then Zhang Wei-hua’s face has become known to our people. When I visited the museum I paused for a long time before his picture. It touched me so deeply that I felt that Zhang, who I last saw at Daying twenty years previously, had come to Pyongyang alive.

In those days few of our people knew about Zhang Wei-hua. The flunkeyists at important propaganda posts had failed to publicize the revolutionary history\and revolutionary traditions of our Party, consequently only a few people knew about Zhang’s aid to me\and the distinguished services he had performed for the Korean revolution. Only a few anti-Japanese veterans knew of my relations with him. I wanted to tell my entourage proudly what a good man, excellent revolutionary\and faithful internationalist he was. My affection for him\and pent-up feelings over his death, which I had quelled for 20 long years, gushed out:


“Comrades, this is Zhang Wei-hua, my classmate in Fusong Senior Primary School No. 1. He was my friend\and faithful revolutionary comrade-in-arms. His comrades-in-arms included many Korean communists. Zhang Wei-hua was a great internationalist fighter who understood Korea through us, sympathized with\and supported the anti-Japanese struggle of the Korean people through our friendly relations. He could have lived in luxury by forsaking the revolution; he instead volunteered for the struggle. He dedicated his life to this cause\and protected me. This picture strengthens my yearning for him. The happier we become, the more we must remember such benefactors as Zhang Wei-hua\and other Chinese friends who helped us in our revolutionary cause with their blood.”

Since then, our publications have given wide publicity to Zhang’s merits. Zhang Wei-hua, along with Luo Sheng-jiao\and Huang Ji-guang, is now well known to all our people as a famous internationalist martyr. Our younger generation remember Zhang Wei-hua with boundless affection\and reverence, as they recall Kim Jin\and Ma Tong Hui.

The day after our visitors’ group arrived in Fusong, Zhang’s wife said to her children:

“General Kim Il Sung\and your father were on intimate terms like real brothers since the days of primary school. They were so friendly towards each other that all their schoolmates in Fusong envied them. Thanks to the influence\and guidance of General Kim Il Sung, your father fought resolutely against the Japanese imperialists. That was why your grandmother used to say that you should call him uncle. The General always keeps your father\and our family in mind. Jin-quan, you must write to your uncle, thanking him\and wishing him good health.”


Excited by his mother’s reminiscences, Zhang Jin-quan, a vivacious young man in his twenties, passed a sleepless night. In 1959, Zhang Jin-quan was a handsome young man, who was two years older than his father at the time of his suicide. He sent me a long letter on behalf of his family.

After receiving his letter, I spent several sleepless nights recalling Zhang Wei-hua.

My friendship with Zhang Wei-hua surfaced in my mind again, owing to my greetings to his family\and Zhang Jin-quan’s letter to me.

We can say that a living man’s friendship with his dead comrade continues, thanks to the former’s love for\and concern about the latter’s children. My friendship with Zhang Wei-hua was deepened\and developed in a new way, thanks to my frequent meetings with his children.

After receiving the letter rom Zhang Jin-quan, I became deeply concerned about this young man, whose face\or character I had never known. His handwriting closely resembled his father’s. I deeply hoped that he would resemble his father,\and even thought that it would be wonderful to see him in person, rather than his photograph.

However, it was a mere dream. To realize this dream, I had to overcome various difficulties: it required unflagging enthusiasm\and patience on my part. There is a stiff barrier, a border, between Zhang’s bereaved family\and me. The border is very strict with everyone; it does not understand old friends\or their loyalty.

In May 1984, twenty years after receiving the letter rom Zhang Jin-quan, I was lucky enough to pass through northeast China by train on my way to visit the Soviet\union\and other socialist countries in east Europe. In the mountains\and fields of northeast China I had experienced all kinds of hardships during the anti-Japanese armed struggle, living there for over 20 years. This place, which remained as dear to me as my own home town, was full of events, which stirred up my emotions in recollection. This was the land I had yearned so strongly to see again in my lifetime that I had trodden it in my dreams until my ankles ached. Probably for this reason,\organizing Secretary Kim Jong Il chose the route to the Soviet\union via Tumen, Mudanjiang, Harbin, Qiqihar\and Manzhouli.

Familiar mountain ridges caught my eyes for a long time. How many people fell in this land shedding blood! I could not turn away rom the carriage window, seeing in my mind’s eye, after decades, the vivid images of my old comrades-in-arms who used to snatch a light sleep together by campfires, share grass gruel\and would during battles get covered in powder fumes together.

When our special train made for Dunhua after leaving Tumen, my memory of Zhang Wei-hua’s wife\and children in Fusong evoked the desire to call my entourage to me. I said to them:

“This is the place I have yearned to visit for a long time. If time permits, I want to call on my old comrades-in-arms in the days of the guerrilla army\and other friends\and acquaintances, visit the old battlefield,\where fallen comrades lie buried. It’s such a shame that I can’t! Zhang Wei-hua’s family are said to be still living in Fusong, which is only a hundred miles rom here. I want to send them a gift as a token of my best wishes.”

A few days later the Chinese officials concerned conveyed my gift to Zhang’s family.


On returning home rom my visit to Europe, I received a second letter rom Zhang Jin-quan\and invited him to Pyongyang. I requested General Secretary Hu Yao-bang to help Zhang Jin-quan’s visit to our country.

In April 1985 Zhang finally paid a historic visit to Korea, together with his sister Zhang Jin-lu\and his eldest son Zhang Qi. On a spring day, when all trees\and plants were shooting\and blooming, I received the distinguished guests rom Fusong at the Hungbu Guest House.

As soon as I caught sight of Zhang Jin-quan\and Zhang Jin-lu, leaving the car, I became so excited that I could say nothing for a moment. Zhang Jin-quan resembled his father, Zhang Jin-lu was the spitting image of her mother\and Zhang Qi had all the good points of his grandparents. The close resemblance to their parents, must have been a joy for them; it also made me happy. I felt as if the late Zhang Wei-hua\and his wife had returned\and appeared before me. I gazed at them in a bid to find a resemblance to Zhang Wei-hua in their demeanour.\and I held them together in my arms, as I had done when I met Zhang Wei-hua in Miaoling\and Daying.

“I welcome you!”

I greeted them in Chinese. Although my knowledge of Chinese had been affected by lack of practice for decades, I still said “I welcome you” in fluent Chinese. Some people say that it is a breach of conventions for a Head of State to speak in a foreign language in a diplomatic conversation, but I didn’t care. Zhang’s party was not on a diplomatic visit,\and I hadn’t invited them for diplomatic reasons. What was the use of diplomatic conversation\or conventions, when I was receiving the children of my comrade-in-arms?

Consequently I did not propose a toast at the luncheon given in their honour that afternoon. It was also a breach rom convention.


“I need not make such a speech, as we are one family members, aren’t we? Let’s raise our glasses to the health of the people sitting here\and friendship between Korea\and China.”

Zhang Jin-quan was pleased with my words.

Like his father, Zhang Jin-quan did not drink much. I did not offer many glasses to him. Each of us drank three glasses of mild blueberry wine. When President Mitterrand visited our country, I also offered him blueberry wine. It is a famous wine, which only the Japanese Emperor apparently drank during his rule of our country. Three glasses of wine had a profound symbolic meaning. In June 1932 when I bid farewell to Zhang Wei-hua in the Dongshaoguo distillery in the north of the crossroad of Fusong county town, we also drank three glasses of wine.

The luncheon in honour of our precious guests rom Fusong lasted three hours. It proceeded in a family atmosphere without any formalities\or conventions. After luncheon we talked a lot in the garden.

We focussed on the theme of loyalty. I recalled the loyalty shown by Zhang Wan-cheng\and Zhang Wei-hua to my family, based on my experience in Fusong. The guests expressed their thanks for my loyalty to their family.

“Your grandfather helped the independence movement of Korea\and your father helped the communist movement of Korea.” I spoke highly of their distinguished services in this manner.

That day I talked a great deal about the loyalty of Zhang Wan-cheng\and Zhang Wei-hua, not only because I wanted to praise them, but also because I hoped Zhang Jin-quan, Zhang Jin-lu, Zhang Qi\and all the other descendants of Zhang Wei-hua would become real men\and women who would value loyalty\and become iron-willed revolutionaries.


Moral obligations exist between sovereign\and subject\and father\and son, as advocated by feudal morality,\and also between friends\and comrades. I think that the phrase “confidence among friends” carries such a meaning. To encourage morality\and loyalty, the old sages said that virtue disarms opposition. They said:\where there is virtue, there is man,\where there is man, there is land,\where there is land there is wealth\and\where there is wealth there is use. The tenet of this\oriental philosophy, expressed concisely in five words—virtue, man, land, wealth\and use—is a profound\and valuable reference for contemporary life.

We do not reject unconditionally “the three fundamental principles\and five moral disciplines in human relations”. At the same time we do not tolerate a radical view of those who willfully consider this stand against the communist ideal\and criticize it as contrary to communist morality. How can it be wrong for a person to serve\and support his country? Why should a son’s respect for his parents be considered as contrary to law\and morality? We oppose the abuse of such morality to rationalize the feudal state\and feudal system\and preach to the people non-resistance\and blind obedience; we do not deny the tenet of “the three principles\and five moral disciplines in human relations”, which emphasizes the moral foundations of man.

The relation between Zhang Wei-hua\and myself was neither a relation between sovereign\and subject, nor a relation between father\and son. In my opinion, Zhang was not motivated to protect me at the cost of his life by the moral principle of relationship between sovereign\and subject. He merely demonstrated the noblest communist loyalty to his revolutionary comrade\and the revolution. Zhang Wei-hua’s self-sacrifice was so great\and valuable owing to its purity\and noble character.

At that time Zhang Jin-quan\and his company presented me, on behalf of the Fusong people\and his family, with a wooden-decorated clock, which bore the inion, “Two dragons play with a pearl”\and a Chinese painting “A long life”,\where a child was holding a basket full of peaches at a farmhouse. Zhang Jin-quan explained that it indicated their wish for my long life\and good health.

In return I gave gold watches, bearing an inion of my name, to Zhang Jin-quan, Zhang Jin-lu\and Zhang Qi.

Zhang Jin-quan had a check-up in Pyongyang\and had his ruined molar teeth replaced by gold false teeth.

I met Zhang Jin-quan\and his company again at a guest house in Sinuiju, a frontier city. I gave a luncheon again in their honour on their way back home\and talked with them for three hours.

When I gave them each a camera before saying farewell, they were deeply moved. I had chosen these gifts after a great deal of consideration. When he was running the Xiongdi Photo Studio in Fusong, Zhang Wei-hua sent us a camera. The cameras I gave constituted a return gift for Zhang Wei-hua’s present, as well as an expression of my wish, that they follow the example of their father, who had devoted his all to the revolution, running a photo studio. At that time Zhang Jin-quan said that he was also working as a photographer in Fusong.

Bidding farewell to them, I said:

“Tomorrow I will leave Sinuiju for Pyongyang. Back home, you must work well\and become excellent Communist Party members. Don’t covet


high positions\and don’t make mistakes. You grew up as fatherless children. rom now on I am your father.”

In 1987 Zhang Jin-quan visited our country again with his wife Wang Feng-lan, second son Zhang Yao\and granddaughter Zhang Meng-meng. During their stay in our country I met them seven times. This also marked a breach rom convention\or standards. Five-year-old Zhang Meng-meng was the youngest of all foreign guests to come to our country to congratulate me on my 75th birthday. She represented the fifth generation of Zhang’s family.

On April 13, together with her grandparents,\and uncle, Zhang Meng-meng enjoyed the joint performance of artists rom different countries, who took part in the April Spring Friendship Art Festival in Ponghwa Art Theatre. That evening I met Zhang Meng-meng for the first time in the theatre. As I made for the seat by the aisle rom the lobby, I exchanged greetings with Zhang Jin-quan’s couple standing at the first row beside the aisle\and embraced Zhang Meng-meng\and lifted her high in the air. She smiled brightly, nestling her cheek against mine, without displaying the slightest shyness.

At that moment the audience of thousands applauded us in unison. The foreign guests who had not known of our relations also clapped their hands for a long time, experiencing the joy of witnessing this happy scene.

At the moment of thunderous applause I thought,

“Meng-meng, I am the elder brother of your great-grandfather. Holding you in my arms, I feel a lump in my throat as I yearn for your great-grandfather. He greatly loved children. If he were alive, how much he would love you! But he sacrificed himself for my sake, before he had reached the age of thirty. I don’t know how I should repay him. You are the fifth generation flower of the friendship between Korea\and China. Your great-great-grandfather\and great-grandfather, my father\and I devoted all their lives for this friendship. You are a flower, which has thrived on the blood they shed\and efforts they made. For the sake of the friendship between Korea\and China, you must bloom beautifully, so that the world may see you.”

I held Zhang Meng-meng tightly in my arms. The small heart of the young girl throbbed rapidly close against my heart. I considered the moment when her vigorous heartbeat reached my heart, a meaningful moment, when my friendship with Zhang Wei-hua was linked to the fifth generation—from Zhang Wan-cheng, through Zhang Wei-hua, Zhang Jin-quan\and Zhang Qi to Zhang Meng-meng.... Despite the flow of stormy years, the friendship of our two families continued right up to the fifth generation, crossing long rivers\and streams. This is the friendship between our two families, as well as two peoples\and two countries— Korea\and China. Consequently Zhang Jin-quan subsequently named our friendship the “Traditional Friendship”.

On seeing Zhang Meng-meng in my embrace, the people became convinced that the friendship between Korea\and China would last through generations.

That day I wrote my name on the picture of Zhang Wei-hua\and my brother Chol Ju\and presented it to Jin-quan as a souvenir. He said that he would keep it as a family treasure.

During his company’s sojourn in our country, we provided them with a plane for their exclusive use\and a special train, as well as many attendants. They were provided with the hospitality accorded to state guests as Zhang Wei-hua’s descendants.


In April 1992 Zhang Wei-hua’s children came to our country again to congratulate me on my 80th birthday. It was their third visit to our country. Zhang Jin-quan\and his wife, Zhang Qi\and his wife, Zhang Yao, Zhang Meng-meng, Zhang Jin-lu\and her husband Yue Yu-bin who were living in Beijing, their daughter Yue Zhi-yun\and their son Yue Zhi-xiang\and so on—a company of twelve gathered in Pyongyang. The more frequent their visits became, the deeper\and warmer the friendship between Zhang Wei-hua’s descendants\and me grew. In memory of his third visit, Zhang Jin-quan presented me with his long memoir the Traditional Friendship. This book was written in a simple style, bereft of exaggeration\or artistic touches, about the friendship of our two families, which\originated rom my father\and Zhang Wan-cheng. For all its simplicity, every line of his writing was fluent\and vibrant with the unsophisticated feelings of friendship. This book touched me deeply. When I praised his writing, he blushed like a child\and said that he was afraid that he might not have described truthfully my benevolence to them.

In return I presented them with the Chinese edition of my reminiscences With the Century, Volumes 1\and 2.

“Two foreigners, Zhang Wei-hua\and Novichenko, protected me with their lives. Novichenko is still alive, but he would not have displayed such a self-sacrificial spirit, unless he had been ready to risk his life. It is not easy to make such sacrifice, when there is no time to think.”

I made this comment on their third visit to our country.

Zhang Jin-quan\and Zhang Jin-lu replied sincerely, “In a sense Novichenko’s exploit is several times greater than our father’s. What might have happened without him?”


“During my life I have met many people who helped me. Many benefactors saved me rom the death which shadowed me, including the late Reverend Son Jong Do, the father of Son Won Thae, one of your fellow visitors. Consequently I sometimes think that Heaven looks after a patriot\and that a saviour always appears to rescue him. This is not merely wishful thinking. Everywhere the people help individuals who are ready to dedicate their lives for the people. This is a truth\and dialectic.”

I said earnestly that they should serve as an excellent son\and daughter of the nation, serving the people\and dedicating all their lives for the people just as their father had done.

Zhang Jin-lu presented me with a dark-red woolen sweater she had herself made. She said that she had crafted a gift which I could wear. Feeling that I would not use any other present, which would end up on display in the International Friendship Exhibition, she knitted a sweater I could wear every day. She had thought deeply. Consequently I accepted her present with gratitude\and put it on before them as they wanted\and posed for a photograph.

When I talked to them, Zhang Jin-quan said that they planned to set up a new tombstone on the 55th anniversary of his father’s death\and requested that I write an epitaph for the tombstone. I was grateful to him for the suggestion. This proved that they sincerely regarded me as their uncle\and were following me wholeheartedly.

“Fifty-fifth anniversary already! I believe that your father passed away in the tenth month by the lunar calendar....”

I recalled solemnly the dreary autumn day of 1937.

“Yes, uncle. It was the second day of the tenth month of 1937 by the lunar calendar. It is October 27 this year by the solar calendar.”


“Well, let me erect a monument in my own name rather than write a monumental inion. What do you think?”

Surprised by my unexpected suggestion, Zhang Jin-quan\and Zhang Jin-lu looked at each other without uttering a reply. They had not requested that much rom me. They had merely expressed unabashedly their opinion, regarding me as head of their family. Consequently they were apparently embarrassed at my own suggestion for the monument.

Zhang Jin-quan said in a hurry, “I am afraid that is too much. I should not lay such a burden on you, uncle. Please draft the epitaph\and we will have it inscribed on the tombstone.”

“That may be good. But as the saying goes, all things being equal, choose the better one. I will prepare an inscribed monument, replete with epitaph\and send it by my people. You merely need to be prepared to receive\and erect it. What time would suit you?”

“I am awfully grateful. But I am sorry to have burdened you with an additional worry when you are so busy. I feel I have been impertinent to make such a request....”

They were perplexed.

“It will not take long to prepare a monument. As we have decided to erect it, it would be a good idea to hold the function on the anniversary of your father’s death.”

Zhang Jin-quan\and his party accepted my proposal with pleasure. He said that on their return to Fusong they would prepare for the occasion\and report thereon to the Chinese authorities concerned.

Consequently we agreed to erect the monument on the grave of my old revolutionary comrade-in-arms Zhang Wei-hua on my own behalf.

The workers of the Party History Institute in our country transported the monument rom Pyongyang to Fusong. The Chinese Party\and Government sent their people as far as the head of the Linjiang Bridge to greet our representatives warmly\and\organized a grand unveiling ceremony on Zhang Wei-hua’s grave in Fusong on October 27. China’s mass media attached great importance to the function\and widely reported the occasion.

The revolutionary exploits of the martyr Zhang Wei-hua constitute a bright symbol of the friendship between the Korean\and Chinese peoples. His noble revolutionary spirit\and services to the revolution will live on for ever in the people’s minds.

Kim Il Sung

October 27, 1992

This is the epitaph I wrote for the monument.

On our representatives’ return to Pyongyang, I saw the video recording of the unveiling ceremony\and admired the grandeur of the function. It represented a vivid picture of friendship\and loyalty, which could be only created by the Korean\and Chinese peoples\and the Korean\and Chinese fighters.

Can a friendship continue between a living man\and his dead friend? Whenever confronted by such a question, I replied that it could. I still give the same answer. My friendship with the third, fourth\and fifth generations of Zhang’s family, as well as the unveiling ceremony of Zhang Wei-hua’s monument held in Fusong, suffice to prove the validity of my reply.

A living man must not forget the dead. Only then can their friendship be lasting, true\and immortal. If the former forgets the latter, such friendship will die out there\and then. Frequent remembrance of dead friends, wide publicity of their distinguished services, good care of their children\and loyalty to their last wishes: these are the moral obligations of living men to their predecessors, martyrs\and deceased revolutionary comrades. Without this loyalty, there would be no true continuation of history\and traditions.

My mind was somewhat lightened, on sending the monument. But how can I fulfil all my obligations to Zhang Wei-hua, who sacrificed his life for me, by setting up even thousands of monuments to him?

His grandson Zhang Yao\and granddaughter Yue Zhi-yun now study in Pyongyang University of International Affairs, as their parents wished.

Whenever I miss Zhang Wei-hua, I visit their lodging house. It is not easy to fit in free time for foreign students, owing to the tight daily schedule of the President, who has to split seconds. But my assistants are liberal in arranging the President’s hours for Zhang Wei-hua’s descendants. I do not grudge any time to meet them.

When Zhang Yao\and Yue Zhi-yun greeted me in Korean on New Year’s Day, I was extremely satisfied. They spoke fluent Korean. I hope that they will have a better command of Korean\and become accustomed to Korean food\and become familiar with the Korean people as soon as possible.

The political situation in the world, which is about to see in the 21st century, is very grave\and complicated, but the old friendship between Zhang Wei-hua’s family\and me remains unchanged.

I have expressed for a long time now my wish to visit Fusong. This wish remains. I want to visit Zhang Wei-hua’s grave in Nandianzi, Fusong, but I am afraid that it may remain a mere desire. If I fail to accomplish this desire, I hope that I manage to visit him in my dreams.

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