ON STRENGTHENING THE PEOPLE’S ARMY AND
CREATING A SOCIAL CLIMATE IN WHICH PROMINENCE
IS GIVEN TO MILITARY AFFAIRS
Talk to the Senior Officials of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea February 4, 1992
Before long we will be marking, in the presence of the great leader, the 60 anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army. There are many countries and armies in the world, but no army other than ours is to celebrate its 60 anniversary in the presence of its founder and leader. The 60 years travelled by our People’s Army under the leadership of the great leader are adorned with only victory and glory. Having announced its birth in the forests of Mt. Paektu, the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army defeated the heavily-armed Japanese imperialists and achieved the historic cause of national liberation under the command of the great leader, when he was in his twenties. After liberation it developed rapidly into a regular, revolutionary army, defending the homeland by force of arms.
During the grim Fatherland Liberation War, which would be decisive to the destiny of the country, our People’s Army defeated the US imperialists, who had boasted of being the “strongest” in the world, by displaying mass heroism and a unrivalled spirit of self-sacrifice for the sake of the Party and the leader, the country and the people, and thus safeguarded with honour the achievements of the revolution. After the war, it thwarted at each step the ceaseless manoeuvres by the US imperialists and their south Korean stooges to unleash a new war, at the same time as making a major contribution to the struggle for restoring the devastated economy and building a strong socialist country that was independent, self-sufficient and self-reliant in national defence. And today, while defending the country, it is performing heroic exploits in grand socialist construction, aimed at achieving the prosperity of the country and the happiness of the people. The mass heroism and exploits displayed and achieved by the men and officers of the People’s Army will shine forever in our Party’s history. For our Party and people, having the ever-victorious People’s Army, which is infinitely loyal to the Party and the leader, to the country and the people, is a source of great honour and pride. It is with these feelings that we must celebrate the 60 anniversary of the Korean People’s Army in grand style.
On this occasion, I am planning a grand military parade that is novel in its form and has a unique style of our own. I want the form and style to be original and unique, since this will be the first parade of its kind to be held following my appointment as Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army. Until now, it has been the convention to organize parades in such a way that the infantry columns march first, followed by the mechanized ones. We should, however, free ourselves from this established practice and arrange the parade in keeping with the nature of the People’s Army and in a style of our own. The People’s Army is the army of our Party, a revolutionary army that has inherited the traditions of the anti-Japanese revolution. In this army today there are anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters who fought bloody battles under the command of the great leader ever since the days of the war against Japan, veterans who braved the fierce flames of the Fatherland Liberation War, and the new generations, their descendants. In order to sustain the nature of the People’s Army, we should form the parade of columns of anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters, Fatherland Liberation War veterans, Mangyongdae Revolutionary School students, serving soldiers, Worker-Peasant Red Guards, and Young Red Guards.
The parade should be led by the column of anti-Japanese revolutionary veterans. They are the first generation of our revolution who, looking up to the great leader as the lodestar of the Korean revolution, followed him through bloody battles. It is an obligation incumbent on revolutionaries to value and pay tribute to the first generation of the revolution. Placing the column of anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters at the head of the parade will have a positive influence not only on them, but also on the second and third generations.
After that, the column of veterans from the Fatherland Liberation War should parade. We should see to it that not only generals on active service but also reserve generals and officers, are included in this column. This will please the reserve soldiers working in various sectors of the national economy, who will think that the Party continues to trust and give prominence to them as servicemen of the People’s Army, even though they are discharged from active service. We should provide them with new uniforms and confer on them higher military ranks so that they can parade in their new uniforms with new epaulettes.
Reserve generals from the provinces should also be enlisted in this column.
Behind the war veterans, students from Mangyongdae Revolutionary School should parade. This is a military school that trains the bereaved children of revolutionaries to become the backbone of national defence, inheriting the revolutionary cause of Juche pioneered by the leader. Busy as he was with the work of building the Party, the state and the army after liberation, the leader, ever mindful of his fallen comrades-in-arms, dispatched officials to various places to trace the whereabouts of their children, and had them brought to study at Mangyongdae Revolutionary School, where they were brought up to become reliable workers for the country. At this school today, the bereaved children of revolutionary comrades who worked faithfully for the Party and the leader, for the country and the people in their lifetime, are growing up as trustworthy successors to our revolution. The Mangyongdae Revolutionary School column, by parading behind the anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters and war veterans, will show that the revolutionary cause of Juche is being inherited creditably, and that fine successors to the revolution are being nurtured.
This column should be followed by those of serving soldiers. They will present a grand spectacle of the a-match-for-a-hundred-foe ranks of the People’s Army, which, by inheriting the loyalty to the Party and the leader and the indomitable revolutionary spirit cherished by the anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters and heroes of the Fatherland Liberation War, instils in our people confidence in certain victory.
The columns of Worker-Peasant Red Guards and Young Red Guards should follow the columns of serving soldiers. The Worker-Peasant Red Guards and Young Red Guards are paramilitary forces organized in line with our Party’s policy of arming the entire population. It will be good to include these columns in the parade so that we can demonstrate what our paramilitary forces, as well as our regular army, look like. Only in our country would these forces take part in such a parade. We must do everything in our own way. And we must make it a tradition to organize the parade of the People’s Army in our way.
We must strengthen the People’s Army and create a social climate in which prominence is given to military affairs.
As I have been emphasizing for a long time, state power is defended by force of arms. This truth has been proved in the course of history. The party is also defended and developed by the army’s strength. The leader has said that he strengthened and developed our Party by relying on revolutionary force of arms, adding that we should continue to exert great efforts to strengthen the People’s Army. We must consolidate the People’s Army and accomplish the revolutionary cause of Juche, which was pioneered on Mt. Paektu.
The path of revolution is arduous and beset with trials. The theme song, Song of Comradeship, from the revolutionary film, Star of Korea, contains the lines: We must take the road of revolution rain or snow/Let us be true to our oath. These highlights the philosophical truth that the road of revolution is not smooth but littered with severe trials, and that we must brave them at any cost, however hard they may be. The road of revolution is not smooth, so we must never think of following it in comfort, putting up an umbrella when it rains and wearing an overcoat when it snows. The completion of the revolutionary cause of Juche, which originated on Mt. Paektu, requires us, at all times and in all conditions, to channel great efforts into strengthening the People’s Army.
Strengthening the People’s Army means making it the army of the leader, the army of the Party and the army of the people. To this end, we must consolidate the Party’s leadership of the People’s Army and train all soldiers into revolutionary soldiers of the Juche type who are infinitely loyal to the Party and the leader. If we firmly establish the system of Party’s leadership of the People’s Army and prepare all its members to be soldiers who are each a match for a hundred foes, we have nothing to be afraid of.
It is essential in strengthening the People’s Army to build up the ranks of its cadres with officers for whom loyalty to the Party and the leader is a matter of faith, conscience, moral obligation and everyday concern. Such officers will never betray themselves, whatever the adversity, and will dedicate their lives without hesitation to the Party and the leader, the country and the people. The cadre ranks of the People’s Army must be built up with young and able people. Modern warfare is three-dimensional and employs high-tech weaponry. So, we will emerge victorious from a war against the enemy only when the ranks of cadres of the People’s Army are reinforce with young and able people who can deal skilfully with various situations, however complex.
The Party training course for commanding officers of the People’s Army must be organized well. With its aim of improving their ability to command and administer their units by placing the main emphasis on training their Party spirit, it is an advantageous system the like of which is found only in our country. So far, this short course has achieved the expected results. We must organize it more effectively to ensure that all commanding officers regard loyalty to the Party and the leader as a matter of faith, conscience, moral obligation and everyday concern, acquire a revolutionary approach to organization, and cultivate the skills of command and administration of their units.
The General Political Bureau of the People’s Army must conduct effective political and ideological education among the soldiers, so that they all discharge their duties as soldiers of the army of the leader, the Party and the people. The superiority of our People’s Army over the armed forces of other countries lies in its political and ideological superiority. During the Fatherland Liberation War our People’s Army, though young, was able to defeat the militarily and technically superior US imperialists and humble them, because its soldiers fought with a political and ideological determination to devote their lives to the Party and the leader, to the country and the people. The General Political Bureau of the People’s Army must further strengthen the soldiers’ education in the Juche idea so as to instil in them loyalty, Party policy, revolutionary traditions, class awareness and an understanding of communism.
The role of the political departments of the Ministry of Public Security and other military organs must be enhanced, too. These political departments must conduct efficient political and ideological education among the soldiers so that, in the face of the prevailing situation, they all fulfil their duties as defenders of the Party.
We must create a social climate in which prominence is given to military affairs.
Recently the people’s attitude towards the People’s Army has been enhanced and more and more examples of fine conduct in assisting the army have been witnessed. It is said that when soldiers leave for and return from their military training, the people living in their neighbourhood come out to cheer them. The relationship between the soldiers and the people is, needless to say, good, and the soldiers’ morale is high. Nowadays, many people, happy with my appointment as Supreme Commander, wish to send their sons and daughters to join the People’s Army.
From this fact alone, we can see how excellent our people are.
Party organizations must praise such examples of good conduct as giving active assistance to the People’s Army and make them public, so that this becomes a climate in society.
In order to create a social climate in which prominence is given to military affairs, it is also necessary to raise the military ranks of members of the reserve. Then, the people will appreciate better the great importance attached by the Party to military affairs. At the moment, there are a large number of reserve soldiers in our country. If they are awarded higher military ranks they will strengthen their determination to devote themselves to the Party and the people. This measure will also ensure greater success in the work with the masses. It is an expression of the Supreme Commander’s great trust in and affection for the reserve soldiers. If higher military ranks are conferred on them, their children, to say nothing of the persons concerned, will be very pleased, and this will also be conducive to creating throughout society a climate in which prominence is given to military affairs.
As this work is of great significance in every aspect, we must do it in a responsible manner.
We must continue to give full play to the traditional trait of unity between the army and the people. As fish cannot live without water, so the army cannot maintain its existence apart from the people, and the people cannot conceive of their security apart from the army. Therefore, the people must take loving care of the army, as they would their own children, and give active support to it.
Whenever I am told of examples of beautiful conduct by the People’s Army soldiers, I have the urge to give them wide publicity; whenever I have something available to give, I also have the urge to send it first to the soldiers. On the occasion of February 16 this year, I am going to ensure that most of my gifts are sent to the army.
I am going to send high-quality fur coats to the People’s Army soldiers. If soldiers whose duties involve lying flat even on frozen ground are supplied with them, they will be very pleased. All departments of the Party Central Committee must turn out and give assistance to this work. Some time ago, the director of the Light Industry Department of the Party Central Committee suggested to me that she would have the People’s Army soldiers supplied with fur coats. I told her the idea was laudable and I would make sure she received active assistance. The departments of the Party Central Committee must help her well so that good-quality fur coats can be produced quickly.
We must create a model county in the aspect of unity between the army and the people and generalize it.
At the moment, various model county movements, such as the model law-abiding county movement, model sports county movement and model county movement for August 3 consumer goods production, are being conducted in society. Conducting a model county movement of unity between the army and the people would be a good idea. I think it best to organize the movement in such a way as to create one or two model counties among such frontline counties as Phyonggang and Kosong, which are in direct confrontation with the enemy, and border counties where soldiers are stationed, and generalize the experience. The relevant department of the Party Central Committee, in cooperation with the General Political Bureau of the People’s Army, should select a county that deserves to be a model county and give focused guidance to it, so as to create an example.
Secretaries and department heads of the Party Central Committee should read the newspaper Joson Inmingun. It is now being edited to make it a worthy army newspaper. When I read the paper, I feel as if the singing of Go forward, brave soldiers of the People’s Arm is ringing in my ears. The leader also appreciates the newspaper highly.
Every morning I read Joson Inmingun before I read Rodong Sinmun. The former carries many articles that are not found in the latter. It can be said that this newspaper is fully imbued with the idea of the Supreme Commander. When one reads the newspaper, one can fully appreciate the political and ideological preparedness of the People’s Army. At the moment, the political and ideological preparedness of the People’s Army soldiers is very good. It is their unshakable faith to remain loyal to the leadership of the Supreme Commander and bring the revolutionary cause of Juche to completion. The General Political Bureau of the People’s Army must send Joson Inmingun to the secretaries and department heads of the Party Central Committee and to the Ministry of Public Security.
Rodong Chongnyon must be edited well to suit the characteristics of young people. Currently, it is not edited in such a way as to appeal to young people who are filled with vigour and enthusiasm. It can be called an imitation of Rodong Sinmun. Since it is important to give good education to young people, Rodong Chongnyon must be edited in such a way as to provide them with political sustenance.