[Reminiscences]Chapter 24. Nationwide Resistance against The Japanese 1. In Anticipation of the Day of Liberation > 새 소식

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[Reminiscences]Chapter 24. Nationwide Resistance against The Japanese 1. In Anticipation of the Day of Liberation

 

      


 

Chapter 24. Nationwide Resistance against The Japanese

1. In Anticipation of the Day of Liberation 

 

 When writing their curricula vitae after the liberation of the country, quite a few anti-Japanese revolutionary veterans put down “Military Academy 88”\or “Training School, Camp 88” in the column of academic attainments.


The then personnel management officials were amazed at the fact that the anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters who had gone through arduous guerrilla warfare were all graduates of a military academy. But what was really meant by “Military Academy 88”?


Later, the officials found out the answer to this question while listening to the great leader’s account of military\and political training during the years of the IAF.


After the formation of the IAF, we underwent intensive military\and political training while carrying out brisk small-unit actions\and reconnaissance activities.


Our educational programme covered a wider range of subjects\and a greater depth of content than those used in regular military educational institutions. Training was several times as intensive as that in regular military academies.


Since the training programme was aimed at producing officers, it would be no exaggeration for the trainees to say that they graduated rom a military academy. I think, therefore, that the anti-Japanese revolutionary veterans had the years of the IAF in mind when they wrote that they had finished “Military Academy 88”\or “Training School, Camp 88”, on their curricula vitae.


Needless to say, we neither put up such a sign nor issued such a diploma. After a few years of training, however, they thought that they had completed the course of a modern military\and political university.


Our comrades learned much in those days–military theory,\and the strategy\and tactics of modern regular warfare.


The education in the period of the IAF was not confined to military affairs. It was comprehensive education\and training in political\and military subjects, as well as in the preparations for the operations to liberate the country\and for the building of the Party, state,\and army in the liberated homeland.


So we attached equal importance to political\and military education. We studied political economy, philosophy, the theory of party-building,\and economic management.

These educational activities, however, did not go smoothly at the outset. Towards the end of 1942\and in early 1943, the tide of the Second World


War began to turn in favour of the anti-fascist forces. The sweeping victory of the Soviet army at Stalingrad broke the back of fascist Germany\and marked the turning-point not only in the Soviet-German War but also in the whole of the Second World War.


With the long-awaited day of national liberation drawing on, mountains of work piled up, calling for my attention. The matter of the greatest concern for me then was how to build a new country in the liberated homeland.


We would have to build the Party, the state\and the army\and develop the economy\and cultural undertakings. But we were short of cadres, the leading\and hard-core elements of the revolution. That was the most difficult problem.


At that time I thought of training the anti-Japanese fighters, who had been tempered\and tested in the arduous armed struggle, into competent cadres with versatile capabilities, equal to any challenges not only in the military field but also in the fields of Party work, state administration, economic management, education\and culture. I decided to resolve all these problems through military\and political training within the framework of the IAF. The initial training programme, however, had allotted a smaller proportion to political education than to military training.


I believed that politico-theoretical education should not make up a smaller proportion than military training. I brought this question up with General Apanasenko. He said that the first\and foremost task of the IAF was to train the military cadres for national revolution in Korea\and Northeast China,\and that we should speed up training to ensure that everyone mastered the strategy\and tactics of modern warfare,\and acquired skills in the use of weapons\and equipment so that they could fight in cooperation with the Red Army when a new situation was created in Korea\and Manchuria.


I insisted, “We must not be biased towards the training of military cadres. In\order to build a new country after the liberation of Korea, we must train all the cadres needed in various fields as pillars for the building of an independent\and sovereign state. To this end, we must increase the proportion of political education in the training programme. But I do not mean that we should take time off military training for political education. I mean to carry out the training as planned, while conducting just as much political education.”


Apanasenko was convinced.


As a result, the proportion of political education considerably increased in the military\and political training programme of the IAF.


Setting about the military\and political training, we took active measures to awaken the men to the need for this training. The Party members’ groups\and YCL\organizations held meetings\and made public their resolutions by means of newspapers\and billboards, as well as over the radio in the camp.


Each contingent\selected able cadres as political teachers.


After the formation of the IAF, the Headquarters of the Soviet Far East Forces\organized a short course for political trainers.


But reaction to the lectures was not encouraging at first. The Russian lecturers spoke poor Chinese\and could hardly make themselves understood. Therefore, a Chinese interpreter was appointed for each Russian lecturer. Even that method was not very helpful to our comrades, as translation took up half the time of the lectures, so they were not effective.


Given this situation, we got the Russian textbooks translated into Korean\and then compiled lesson plans to suit our specific conditions,\and distributed them to our political teachers.

The  materials  for  political  lectures  in  the  initial  period  comprised philosophy, political economy\and the history of the Communist Party of the Soviet\union, as well as the history\and geography of both the Soviet\union\and China. There were also lectures on The Communist Manifesto\and Problems of Leninism. Needless to say, these were helpful to our men in widening their political horizons.


It was unreasonable, however, not to teach the men of the KPRA Korean history\and the Ten-Point Programme of the ARF, while giving them lessons about the history of the Soviet\union\and China.

So, I saw to it that the Ten-Point Programme\and the Inaugural Declaration of the ARF, The Tasks of the Korean Communists,\and some other books we had previously regarded as essential reading were included in the teaching materials,\and that Korean history\and geography were taught.


The political teachers took much trouble to prepare their lectures. As they had to prepare\and give lectures while participating in training, they were always under heavier pressure of work than the\ordinary soldiers.

The lectures were fairly good. They were convincing because they were supported by the teachers’ rich fighting experience.


More than once I listened to An Kil’s lectures,\and I found them very interesting. An Kil, a veteran political worker, had an\original way of giving political lectures. As they were spiced with humour\and lively figures of speech, the students learned about revolution in a light-hearted atmosphere.


During lectures, he would recite a poem\or sing a song, when necessary.


During one lecture he quoted a full page rom Lenin by rote.


When his men on the march were too exhausted to walk properly, he used to\order a break,\and play the harmonica\and beat the drum, getting the men to dance\and sing. That was his way of doing things. He did the same with his lectures.


Rim Chun Chu was good at giving lectures,\and even better at tutoring. He would\organize discussions\or arguments among the trainees to get to know how well each of them was prepared\and how well he understood the lectures. On this basis, he would give individual guidance after school. If any of them still did not understand the lecture, he would teach him by his bedside.


Kim Kyong Sok was also a good teacher. Not being an eloquent speaker, he always used to make careful preparations for his lectures, often sitting up late. He was very popular among his pupils. After completing his preparations, he always asked my opinion about them. He was a very serious\and hard-working man. He would write down all that he was to say during his lecture.


Getting into this habit in those days, even after liberation, he used to write down for himself whatever speech he had to make, before speaking to his audience. He did the same with his reports to meetings.

The teachers’ enthusiasm resulted in the improvement of the trainees’ qualifications.


The lectures given by An Yong, Jon Chang Chol\and Ri Pong Su were also popular among the trainees.


Liu Ya-lou, a graduate of the Frunze Military Academy, also gave good lectures. I can still remember him giving a lecture on the new type of rocket the Soviet\union had developed, Katyusha.


I myself also often gave political lectures.


At the reviews of military\and political training, the soldiers of the Korean Contingent always won the highest marks.


Even Feng Zhong-yun, who was working in the political department of the unit, admired the results of the training of the soldiers of the Korean Contingent. He even asked me what the secret of their good results was. I said, “No secret at all. They have just worked hard, with towels tied round their heads,\and cooling their faces with cold water.” Then he commented, waving his hands: “Well, no one can match the Koreans in diligence.”


Indeed, our comrades were very diligent in those days. It was exactly their sense of responsibility for the revolution that stimulated the soldiers of the Korean Contingent to be exemplary in military\and political training.


However, there were some comrades like Pak Chang Sun who considered studying a headache at Matanggou years before. Typical of them was Pak Rak Kwon.

Pak Rak Kwon had been a member of the Young Volunteers’ Corps in eastern Manchuria. Later, he had been picked, along with other exemplary men\and officers, to be transferred to the 5th Corps at the request of the comrades in northern Manchuria. He had served as leader of the guard unit of the 5th Corps under the command of Zhou Bao-zhong.


He was a brave fighter who was ready to go through fire\and water. He was full of wit\and swift in action as befitted a commanding officer.

In his days in the Wangqing guerrilla unit he once received a serious wound in the abdomen during an encounter with a Japanese “punitive” force. Holding back his entrails with his hand, he crawled back to the guerrilla zone.


He acquitted himself well as the commander of the guards of the unit in northern Manchuria\and became a favourite of Zhou Bao-zhong. Zhou himself said that he had escaped death on several occasions thanks to Pak.

Pak Rak Kwon had a special skill in handling weapons. Trying any weapon once\or twice was enough for him to be able to dismantle\and reassemble it easily\and swiftly, even with his eyes shut.


However, he loathed studying military theory. Whenever he was asked to study theoretical problems he would pull a long face immediately as if he had swallowed some bitter pill,\and during theoretical study lessons he would sit in the farthest corner, trying to avoid eye contact with the lecturer.


I told him: “You are a platoon leader now. But in the future, when we fight large-scale modern warfare, you may have to command a regiment\or a division. If you hate learning the knowledge of modern warfare as you do now, how can you command a regiment\or a division? If you only rely on your own experience in commanding your unit, you may cause the deaths of many of your men. Do you want that to happen?”


After that, he applied himself to theoretical study with a firm determination. I once saw him out on the Amur all day long, engrossed in the study of the theory of infantry tactics, his whole body drenched with sweat as if he had a fever.


After liberation, he was dispatched to Northeast China.


He participated in the battle to liberate Changchun in command of a regiment. He contributed to the victory in the battle to liberate the large city by his efficient command of his regiment because he had applied himself to the study of tactics while at the base in the Far East region, I think. He took the lead in the regimental charge at an enemy’s position. He is said to have been wounded in several places by splinters rom a mortar shell\and died a heroic death worthy of his name. He is remembered as a hero by both the Koreans\and the Chinese in their history.


“Study is also battle.”–this is a truth we learned in actual life. A revolutionary must study to the last moment of his life, without a moment’s interruption. Unless he studies, his mind will get rusty. Then, he will be devoid of foresight.


It is precisely for this reason that Comrade Kim Jong Il always emphasizes the need to study hard, regarding it as the first part of the process of training people to be revolutionaries.


We also educated the men\and helped them widen their political horizons through the facilities for extracurricular activities\and the means of information\and agitation available at the base.


At the training base was a club equipped with a projection room, a library\and a radio room,\where the officers\and men used to have meetings\and film shows.

During the broadcasting hour, the base radio gave wide publicity to the soldiers, platoons, companies\and battalions worthy of being held up as models in their study, military\and political training,\and daily life. It also broadcast news about the international situation, especially the news of the war against Germany, every day.


The IAF also published a newspaper. Each contingent\and company had its wall newspaper,\and platoons had their field bulletins. These forms of media carried news items about the ideological\and moral education of the soldiers,\and about the preparations for\and reviews of military\and political training.


We also gave the soldiers revolutionary\and class education through the anniversary activities for the Red Army\and the October Revolution, May Day\and other holidays. In those days the unit gave wide publicity to the Soviet heroes\and heroines who had fought courageously in the Soviet-German War, which had a good influence upon the soldiers. Memorial services for the fallen revolutionary comrades-in-arms were\organized in a significant way so that they served as occasions for giving revolutionary education to the soldiers.


When Ryu Yong Chan died, we also held a memorial service for him at the training base. He had been enlisted with the help of Kim Jong Suk, who, during her underground work in Taoquanli, had won him over to the revolutionary\organization\and trained him. He was a good fighter. He was drowned in the Amur when a ship carrying sand for the construction of a barracks capsized.


We also held memorial services at that time for Front Commanders Apanasenko, Vatutin,\and Chernyakhovski.


During the memorial services our own band played dirges.


The allied forces occasionally\organized lectures\and meetings with the participants in the Soviet-German War.


We carried out both the study of military theory\and military exercises in real earnest at the Far East base. We did tactical training,\and all kinds of drills such as shooting, swimming, skiing, parachuting,\and radio communication, to get ourselves ready for modern warfare.


We spent much time on offensive\and defensive training, with emphasis on tactical problems. We also studied artillery, topography, sanitation, engineering,\and anti-chemical warfare.


The training for guerrilla warfare was concentrated upon raids\and ambushes. Because of their rich experience in actual warfare of this kind, all the soldiers plunged into this training in real earnest.

During military training, we would pitch our tents over a vast plain, the scene of which is still fresh in my memory.


When I directed the training, the company commanders\and platoon leaders prepared their plans\and carried them out. We made it a principle to undertake our style of training suited to the terrain of our country\and the physical constitution of the Korean people, drawing on experiences in the anti-Japanese war\and the Soviet-German War.


We carried out tactical training in such a way as to follow up one subject of the curriculum with field exercises about it, through which we would judge the degree of the soldiers’ understanding of the subject.


I myself conducted tactical training for the commanding officers. The objective of tactical training was to make each soldier equal to the job of a man a few ranks higher, that is, to make a company commander capable of commanding a battalion\or a regiment, a platoon leader a company\or a battalion, a soldier a platoon\or a company, etc.


Tactical training was conducted with a platoon\or a company as a unit. When briefed about the situation\and given the mission, the man appointed as the commander would estimate the situation, make his decision,\organize the operation\and then give\orders.


Let me tell you what happened at the beginning of tactical training.


One day I went down to a company to inspect its tactical training. Son Jong Jun was acting as a platoon leader that day.


He was commanding his platoon with an air of confidence. I gave him a new situation in which various obstacles were laid in its way\and a reinforced enemy company was on a height. He attempted a frontal attack, but I prompted him to employ the tactics of roundabout breakthrough,\and made him restart the attack.


It was not accidental that he attempted to employ a battle\order that was not suited to the situation. It was an outcome of the training given by rote according to the then battle regulations\whereby the troops were to attack in extended\order behind a mechanized unit. Such an attack was unsuited to the specific conditions of our country, which has many mountains\and valleys.


I made sure that all the lesson plans for tactical training were re-examined, revised\and applied to meet the specific conditions of our country on the principle of developing them by drawing on our experience of guerrilla warfare. I told O Jin U to draw up a model tactical training plan for an attacking platoon. A noncommissioned officer as he was then, he drew up a perfect model training plan with my assistance. In accordance with this plan, we\organized a demonstration for the whole contingent. The reaction was very good. O Jin U also drew up a plan for manoeuvres involving the whole contingent.


Shooting drill consisted mainly of firing at fixed targets at different distances, moving targets,\and suddenly appearing targets. The firing range was located eight to twelve kilometres away rom our camp.

The Korean Contingent was also the best of all the allied forces in marksmanship. Ri Tu Ik in particular was a crack shot.


We\selected the best shots for drills in sharp-shooting plus map-reading. They first drilled in firing straight shots at fixed targets. They shot so much that they said they could still feel their ears ringing even after their return to their quarters. After the drill we handed out to each of them a compass\and a map marked with the route of a march, giving them the mission of catching a certain number of birds at such\and such places,\and returning by such\and such an exact time. It was not an easy task, for they would have to spend almost a whole day to move as dictated by the marks that required them to change their course at a certain point by what angle\and return by going round a certain place,\and moreover, they had to shoot birds. This was mainly aimed at helping them to master marksmanship\and map-reading.


In our days at the training base in the Soviet region of the Far East, we also had a lot of skiing\and swimming drills. Anticipating the great event of the country’s liberation, we needed to learn such skills for the guerrilla actions we were to carry out by basing ourselves in the Rangnim\or Hamgyong Mountains,\and for our operations to liberate the homeland by crossing the Amnok\or Tuman Rivers.


Swimming drills took place in the Amur during summer. Considering the fact that ours is a maritime country, we attached special importance to swimming. Most of the soldiers of our contingent had grown up without seeing the sea,\and those who could swim were few in number. So most of them were afraid of rivers.

 

In those days swimming was regarded as almost as difficult a drill as parachuting.


We first made the trainees drill by moving their limbs while lying on the ground before taking them to the river\and teaching them through demonstration by the few who knew how to swim.


After their first experience in the water, we stretched a rope across the river\and let them swim across with the help of the rope.


Feng Zhong-yun\and a few others never learned how to swim; once in the water, they would sink like stones. Feng once lost his glasses in the water.


Kim Kyong Sok was nearly drowned while practising swimming alone.


Jon Sun Hui was the best swimmer because she had lived by a river. When she was young she used to cling to the back of the grown-ups when crossing the river; ashamed of it as she reached the age of discretion, she had learned swimming. Having experience as a nurse with the 7th Corps, she served at the training base as a nurse in the dispensary. Many of her comrades learned swimming rom her.


The swimming drill was followed by a river-crossing drill, making them an all-round drill, so to speak. After a forced march of about 25 kilometres in full kit, the soldiers made a raft for each platoon to cross the river.

In this drill a straggler meant the loss of a mark. Choe Kwang’s platoon was well-known for its proficiency in river-crossing, though it always had to surrender the first place to the others because of Kong Jong Su.


Kong Jong Su had worked as a farm hand before enlisting in the guerrilla army. Impeccable as his character was, he was born sluggish, most unlike a soldier. He burnt several caps one winter. He was slow to move, even when his trousers caught alight rom a campfire.


During his service in the 5th Corps he was in Choe Kwang’s platoon. Once, exasperated by this man, Choe Kwang had tried to drive him out of his platoon, but Kong hobbled along in its wake, nevertheless.


Choe Kwang was moved by his doggedness. That man will never change, Choe Kwang thought to himself.


I said to Choe Kwang: “Though told to go away, he still followed us to make revolution. That shows what a good person he is. Let’s do our best to help him, though it costs us a great deal of effort to do so.” Bearing my advice in mind, Choe Kwang gave him individual training, including diving into the water rom a springboard seven metres high.


I watched them rom a distance. Kong was nervous that he might do belly-flops in the water. Anyhow, he was a man of special character. After the liberation of the country he served as my aide-de-camp\and as a bodyguard to Choe Yong Gon,\and commanded a battalion.


We also had canoeing on the Amur, using a one-man canoe, called an amurochika in Russian, with one paddle. The local Nanayian people were good at paddling this canoe. My men would compete in paddling to\and rom Khabarovsk.


We also had landing exercises. Since our country is sea-bound on three sides\and has many rivers, river-crossing\and landing operations were essential for future campaigns against Japan.

We once had a landing exercise aimed at Rajin Port.


Parachuting was more difficult than swimming. In this training course the women soldiers were more courageous than the men. There were some cowards among the men, but none among the women.

The first stage was a mock drill, in which the trainees would jump rom a springboard into a pile of sawdust. The next stage was getting used to turning round on a revolving wheel. Women soldiers felt sick during this drill, but they never gave up.


Parachute practice took place on the vast plain around Voroshilov,\where there was a landing-strip.


The trainees first had to learn how to fold their parachutes. Then they would ascend a tower about 50 metres high\and descend by parachute. This trained them to turn their bodies once against the wind. Only then were they allowed to parachute rom an aircraft. Ten to twenty soldiers would parachute first rom an altitude of 1,000 metres,\and later rom 600 metres. The\order to\drop used to be given at the height of 800 metres.


The landing-strip was surrounded by wide sugar-beet fields. When we landed, women working in the fields would run towards us, helping us draw up the chutes\and peeling sugar beets for us.


They gave souvenir badges to those who recorded high scores in these drills. Choe Yong Jin rom our contingent took the badge for the highest score.


I also took part in parachuting on several occasions. The drill produced a variety of episodes. Some lost their caps, some their boots, some got sprains, some got caught in trees,\and so on.

Soldiers who weighed more than 80 kilogrammes\or less than 40 kilogrammes were not allowed to participate in parachuting for reason of safety. An overweight person might fall too rapidly\and get injured,\and an underweight person might be blown far off course. Jon Sun Hui was so light that she was once blown higher than the plane. Kim Jung Dong also used to fly astray. He was a very small man. I once saw him hung up in a tree. When I helped him down, I found that he was as light as a child.


During the Fatherland Liberation War, Kim Jung Dong performed great exploits in the battles to liberate Seoul\and Taejon,\and was awarded the title of Hero of the Republic.


Parachuting was combined with air-borne operations, mostly rom 1944. The training in air-borne operations involved actions to destroy the resisting enemy while descending by parachute, rapid deployment after landing, the striking of the enemy rom behind,\and so on.


During parachute training, we lost some weight\and we often felt hungry. Training was intensive,\and on top of that, our food rations were reduced in\order to support the front line after the outbreak of the Soviet-German War.

Under these circumstances, we cultivated idle land to obtain additional food. We planted potatoes, soy beans\and vegetables. We benefited a lot rom the side-line farm.


We also gathered edible herbs to supplement our diet. The area surrounding the training base was green with bracken, Atractylodes japonica, aralia shoots,\and other edible herbs.

When we boiled soup with edible herbs, the Soviet doctors in the dispensary warned us against eating them, as they might have been poisonous. However, after having a taste of the soup, they said it was delicious. When we told them that edible herbs were medicinal stuff, they began to ask for them.


Our comrades once quarrelled with a Jewish Russian major in the Soviet army, the man in charge of the supply work of the unit, in the fields while planting potatoes. The major was angry with our comrades who were planting cut-out eyes of potatoes, arguing that we would make a mess of potato farming. Our comrades retorted, saying that the yield in autumn would prove who was right.


That year we had a rich harvest of the crop. The potatoes planted whole yielded something like pebbles,\whereas the cut-out eyes planted by our comrades produced fist-size potatoes. Only then did the major recognize our expertise in farming. Although that spring our contingent had boiled\and eaten all the potatoes rom which eyes had been cut out, we harvested twice as many potatoes as the others did.


Our comrades\organized a hunting team to catch wild animals,\and on holidays went fishing in the Amur. The Amur teemed with fish,\and we caught one which weighed scores of kilogrammes.

In the spawning season, shoals of salmon came up the river. We caught them by casting nets\and pickled them. We would take out their eggs\and pickle them too.


We once caught so many wild animals\and fish that we sent some to the western front.


We also conducted wireless communication drill at the training base. There were some soldiers rom northern Manchuria who had learned


wireless communication in the second half of the 1930s, as they had frequented the Soviet\union. Pak Yong Sun\and Ri Ul Sol were the first in our contingent to learn it, at the temporary base. On their return rom Voroshilov\where they had attended a short course in wireless communication for three months, they imparted their skill to others. Wireless communication was taught to men soldiers, including Ri Jong San\and Ri O Song,\and almost all the women soldiers, including Kim Jong Suk, Pak Kyong Suk, Pak Kyong Ok, Kim Ok Sun, Ri Yong Suk, Wang Ok Hwan, Ri Jae Dok\and Ri Min.

Most of the units that had been active previously in eastern\and southern Manchuria could not make use of wireless communication. The training of wireless operators needed assistance rom either the Comintern\or the Soviets, which was not easy to get. As they had no wireless operator, they had captured wireless equipment on several occasions to no avail.


We had appointed messengers to Headquarters\and all the units to ensure communication on foot. Our messengers had had to walk really long distances that had to be covered at the risk of their lives. No small number of them had been killed on their missions.


After his enlistment, Ri Chi Ho served as a Headquarters messenger for several years. While carrying out his mission to ensure communications for Headquarters, he had endured many hardships, suffering hunger\and being subject to flogging when arrested. Braving these hardships, he had rendered distinguished services.


For all these sufferings, however, prompt communication was impossible. That was why we attached special importance to training in wireless communication.

Training the backbone of the signal corps was imperative not only for the building of the regular armed forces but also for the establishment of the communication system, the nerve system of the country,\and for cultural\and information services, in the liberated homeland.


In those days Kim Jong Suk, while participating in a variety of drills such as those for wireless communication\and parachuting, went to various parts of the homeland to carry out small-unit actions there.

The women soldiers were exemplary in the wireless communication drill. They also participated equally with the men in the other drills such as for skiing, swimming, parachuting\and river-crossing. Their training was very intensive. Even the Soviet officers said that the drills were several times more difficult than those they had gone through during their days at military academies. However, all the women soldiers attended the drills without any complaint.


When starting parachute training, we had decided to exclude the women with children\and those with weak constitutions. The women soldiers were all disappointed at this. An Jong Suk even came to me to protest in tears: “Some of us even left our children behind to come here\and take part in training!”


When coming to the Far East region, she had left her little child at the wattle gate of a stranger’s house. Ri Jong In, too, was said to have left her daughter in the shed of someone else’s vegetable field, before coming to Russia.


They insisted that they should be allowed to participate in the parachute drill, saying that to hasten the day of national liberation was the only way for them to meet their dear children again.


Unable as she was to take a bit of the food served at the mess hall, Pak Kyong Suk was never absent rom training in wireless communication. Even soon after delivery, she participated in the training course with great enthusiasm. She was so active in both her studies\and exercises that the instructor of the wireless platoon spoke highly of Korean women, noting that they were indeed hard-working\and persistent.


Pak Kyong Suk once accompanied Kim Chaek to the enemy-held area, carrying wireless equipment on her back,\and engaging in small-unit activities for several months. She was very dexterous in operating the wireless.


Kim Jong Suk was also enthusiastic about her training. Once she sprained her ankle, but continued to take part in skiing training, although her leg was badly swollen. When I expressed my worry about her, she showed her concern about me, taking out a sugar cube wrapped in paper\and saying: “If you do the drill with this in your mouth, you will feel better.”


What worried me most during the parachute drill was whether\or not the underweight women would be able to land properly. However, they would open the chute in time\and land right at the fixed spot. Some of them would put bricks into their knapsacks to add to their weight when parachuting.


This was the mettle of our fighters in their youth.


Overcoming all hardships with a smile for the future of the liberated homeland was our joy\and pleasure,\and made our lives worthwhile. Although the training was intense,\and we could not get enough sleep\and


were not strong enough, we endured all the hardships\and trials with a smile for the future of the liberated country.


Our veterans still hold those days dear.


Everyone has a time of youth. It is by no means easy, however, to spend one’s youth so as to recollect it with a high sense of honour\and pride even in the distant future. How valuable\and noble it is to devote one’s life to the cause of the country\and the nation, overcoming all manner of hardships, full of ardour\and fighting spirit!


I firmly believe that our young people, too, will make a staunch struggle for the motherland\and revolution, braving difficulties\and hardships, by inheriting the spirit of the martyrs who laid down their lives in the anti-Japanese revolution.


Anticipating the great event of national liberation when Japan\and Germany were in decline, we channelled great efforts into the study of the homeland to build up the motive force of the Korean revolution. Without the correct theory\and strategy\and tactics of the Korean revolution,\and without knowledge of the history\and geography, the economy\and culture,\and the ethics\and customs of the homeland, it would have been impossible to achieve independence by our own efforts, to build a new country,\and to take an independent stand\and attitude towards the revolution.


Most of our comrades, however, were not well-informed about their motherland, for they had been born in Manchuria. Born as he was in North Kyongsang Province, Pak Song Chol had left his hometown at the age of about ten\and lived in Manchuria afterwards. Ri Ul Sol, too, though hailing rom Songjin, had lived in Changbai rom the time he crossed the Tuman as a child until he joined the guerrilla army.


Therefore, I decided to teach the soldiers the Juche-oriented line of the Korean revolution\and about their motherland.


The problem, however, was a lack of books on Korea at the training base. I obtained books published in Korea by giving assignments to those going into the homeland for small-unit activities,\or with the help of Soviet people. Once I obtained a book entitled The Outline of Korean Geography,\and read it, which helped me a lot in my study of the geography of our country.

One day I gave Rim Chun Chu an assignment to draw a large map of Korea, adding that he should include in it all the famous mountains, rivers, plains, lakes, mineral deposits,\and the specialities of all regions, as well as the scenic spots\and places with cultural relics.


Rim drew the map with great efforts, by patching several pieces of white paper together.


During a political lecture, I put up this map\and made a speech titled, The Korean Revolutionaries Must Know Korea Well to the political cadres\and political instructors of the KPRA. In my speech I emphasized that the Korean revolutionaries must have a good knowledge of Korean history\and geography, pointing out a few tasks for greeting the great event of the national liberation on our own initiative. After that, all the Korean soldiers of the IAF made a careful study of their motherland under the motto “The Korean Revolutionaries Must Know Korea Well.”


I think it was around the Harvest Moon Day that we sat up deep into the night, talking about the homeland\and our native places, looking up at the bright moon hanging over the forest.

The yearning\and love for the motherland were the source of our inexhaustible strength\and courage. We braced up\and stepped up our study\and training efforts.


In those days the anti-Japanese fighters fully assimilated the whole course of the curriculum one would normally learn at a regular university, while undergoing intense training that was almost beyond their physical strength. It was by no means easy to do so, but the sweat they shed\and the efforts they made bore fruit in the liberated homeland.


Among those who worked with us after liberation were quite a few people who had graduated rom noted universities. When I met some of the graduates of the\oriental Working People’s Communist College, I found them not particularly informed of either Party-building\or nation-building.

 

The anti-Japanese veterans were conversant with any duty.


When I entrusted Kim Chaek with the responsibility for the industrial sector, he ensured the reconstruction of the devastated national industries in a short span of time. An Kil, who was given the task of establishing\and running an institute for training the military cadres necessary for the building of regular armed forces, fulfilled his task without much difficulty.


No one could match the former guerrillas in work among the masses\or political work.


Throughout the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle, we worked hard to make preparations for shouldering the future of the liberated motherland, looking into the bright tomorrow, always confident about the victory of the revolution.


When I proposed drawing up the blueprint for the reconstruction of Pyongyang City when the Fatherland Liberation War was still raging, some people were taken aback, saying that it was preposterous to talk of a blueprint for reconstruction when one could hardly know when the war would end. However, no sooner was the war over two years later than we could start reconstructing Pyongyang City without any delay, on the basis of the blueprint.


Revolutionaries must plan their work\and push ahead with it in anticipation of events that will take place in the distant future, while dealing with the tasks in hand.

How good it is to rise above hardships, plan for the future\and create life by anticipating approaching events, rather than to complain about difficulties! Compressing time\and speeding up the coming of the future is characteristic of the positive spirit. When we were looking forward to the final victory of the anti-Japanese revolution, we constantly speeded up military\and political training, to hasten the day of national liberation, full of revolutionary optimism\and confidence.


Only those who work day\and night for their motherland’s future, overcoming today’s difficulties with a smile, only those who plan the future for their posterity, thinking\and studying ceaselessly, can become genuine communists\and ardent revolutionaries.



 Related articles

[Reminiscences]Chapter 21 Roar of Gunfire in the Large-Unit Circling Operations 7. The End of the “Maeda Punitive Force”

[Reminiscences]Chapter 22. Let Us Keep the Revolutionary Flag Flying for Ever  1. At Xiaohaerbaling

[Reminiscences]Chapter 22. Let Us Keep the Revolutionary Flag Flying for Ever  2. Looking Forward to a Bright Future

[Reminiscences]Chapter 22. Let Us Keep the Revolutionary Flag Flying for Ever  3. On Receiving a Message rom the Comintern

[Reminiscences]Chapter 22. Let Us Keep the Revolutionary Flag Flying for Ever  4. The Autumn of 1940

[Reminiscences]Chapter 22. Let Us Keep the Revolutionary Flag Flying for Ever  5. My Memories of Wei Zheng-min

[Reminiscences]Chapter 23. In Alliance with the International Anti-Imperialist Foreces 1. The Khabarovsk Conference

[Reminiscences]Chapter 23. In Alliance with the International Anti-Imperialist Foreces 2. The Revolutionary Kim Chaek

[Reminiscences]Chapter 23. In Alliance with the International Anti-Imperialist Foreces 3. Greeting the Spring in a Foreign Land

[Reminiscences]Chapter 23. In Alliance with the International Anti-Imperialist Foreces 4. The Days of Small-Unit Actions

[Reminiscences]Chapter 23. In Alliance with the International Anti-Imperialist Foreces 5. Trust\and Treachery

[Reminiscences]Chapter 23. In Alliance with the International Anti-Imperialist Foreces 6. Formation of the International Allied Forces

[Reminiscences]Chapter 23. In Alliance with the International Anti-Imperialist Foreces 7. With My Comrades-in-Arms of the Northeast Anti-Japanese Allied Army

[Reminiscences]Chapter 23. In Alliance with the International Anti-Imperialist Foreces 8. Fighters f rom Northern Manchuria

[Reminiscences]Chapter 23. In Alliance with the International Anti-Imperialist Foreces 9. Nurturing the Root of the Revolution


                  

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