The history of today’s Korean People’s Army goes back not simply to the 8th of Febrary 1948 when the standing , regular revolutionary armed force of the DPRK was founded but to the 25th of April when the anti-Japanese People’s Guerrilla Army was founded in Antu, Manchuria .
I should point out to those unfamilar with Korean history that many Korean people had been exiled to Manchuria because of the oppressive harshness of Japanese imperialist colonialist rule so Manchuria became a scene of the Korean people’s revolutionary struggle for independence against Japan
The foundation of Anti-Japanese Peoples Guerrilla Army, in 1932, by the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG, a gifted military strategist and ever victorious iron willed brilliant commander, constitutes the bedrock of the Songun (army first revolution. As respected Marshal KIM JONG UN said in his speech at the parade of the Korean People’s Army “ The Korean People's Army is, both in name and in reality, a revolutionary army that inherited the traditions of the anti-Japanese struggle–the indomitable revolutionary spirit of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army and its rich fighting experience and adroit art of warfare.
Thanks to the birth of this Juche-oriented regular army our Republic, from the very beginning after its founding, enjoyed the prestige of being a dignified people's country with its own strong armed forces; it defeated the imperialist aggressor forces that had been boasting of being the "mightiest" in the world and achieved a great victory in the Fatherland Liberation War.
April 25, 1932, the day when our revolutionary armed forces began to take historical roots, was fundamental to vanquishing the brigandish Japanese imperialists and realizing the sacred cause of national liberation”
I think the above quote very nearly sums up the nature , essence and history of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK .
The Anti-Japanese People’s Guerrilla Army became the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army in March 1934. It fought many severe battles under the leadership of the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG and finally liberated Korea on the 15th of August 1945 . On the 8th of February 1948 the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army became the Korean People’s Army , the regular standing revolutionary armed force of the DPRK. However it is not the purpose of this modest paper to give an in depth history of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK nor a long list of battles . I think there are many others who can do these .
Today I want to concencrate on some themes that are integral parts of the history of the DPRK revolutionary armed forces right from the start on the 25th of April 1932. Firstly , independence and self-reliance . Korea’s revolutionary armed forces have always been self-reliant and independent . Today the DPRK has its own nuclear deterrent that it has built through self-reliance .Korea has complete control over the nuclear deterrent and indeed all branches of the armed forces , it did not need anyone’s permission to build the nuclear deterrent . I remember as a kid reading a science book that my mother had given me which had a section on nuclear weapons . I read how British nuclear weapons can only be fired if 2 keys are inserted into the control, one key is held by a British officer and one key by an American . In the DPRK no other country holds a key to its nuclear weapons. Today in south Korea , the US still holds the right of wartime operational command of south Korea’s armed forces .
When President KIM IL SUNG founded the Anti-Japanese People’s Guerrilla Army they had no other country they could rely on. As President KIM IL SUNG explained in Volume Three of his memoirs “ With the Century “ some people “ once planned to build a hand-grenade factory in the guerrilla zone with the help of the Soviet Union. This was the time when communists all over the world looked to the Soviet Union in humble reverence as a beacon of hope for the emancipation of humanity. The thought of getting assistance from the country which had carried out a revolution before any other gave rise among the people to a spirit of dependence on others. While the idea of depending on others and the aspiration to make a revolution with the support of others engendered the idea of adulation of capitalist powers among the nationalists, it was also the root cause within the communist mentality of reliance on me Soviet Union. At that time we considered it a natural internationalist duty for the communists of the Soviet Union, the first country to have succeeded in a revolution, to support the communists of the less developed countries.
But the Soviet Union sent no reply to our request, neither a promise to comply with it, nor notification that she could not do it or was not in a position to assist us. It was at this time that we resolved firmly to rely only on ourselves. The silence from the Soviet Union confirmed us in our belief that self-reliance was the only way to live, that the decisive factor in promoting the revolution was to enlist our own forces to the maximum and assistance from others was an auxiliary factor.”
Thus the Anti-Japanese Guerrillas constructed their own arsenals and manufactured their very own
Yongil bomb using materials that were available. After liberation President KIM IL SUNG established the DPRK’s first munitions plant at Pyonchon in Pyongyang . They manufactured rfiles and sub-machine guns. This was the basis of the DPRK’s self-reliant defence industry . This proved its worth as in the early 1960s the Soviet Union as a means of putting pressue on the DPRK suspended all deliveries of weapons.
Our delegations have witnessed the might of the Korean People’s Army during different military parades such as in 2012, 2013 , 2015 and 2017 . We could only marvel at the array of DPRK manufactured military hardware . Now the DPRK can produce its own ICBMs .
Secondly, underpinning the strength of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK is army-people unity . In the DPRK the people and army are united. The KPA is deeply respected by the people . This is a contrast to the imperialist countries . In imperialist countries soldiers are viewed with suspicion because of their role in imperialist wars and in oppressing the people or even contemptuously viewed as "thick squaddies " -people of low intelligence unable to do any other job. However in the DPRK service in the army is a matter of honour and every youth wants to join the army. The army is respected by the people and seen as their army , the army of the people.
The DPRK has established firm traditions of army-people unity. Their origins lay in the anti-Japanese armed struggle. During the anti-Japanese armed struggle the great leader comrade Kim Il Sung always emphasised that just as a fish could not live outside water the guerrillas could not live without the people. President KIM IL SUNG always made sure that the Anti-Japanese Guerrillas did not live off the people but people for any food that was given to them. Once some guerrillas were given an Ox by some villagers and wanted to slaughter it but President KIM IL SUNG forbade them to do so and told them to return the Ox to its owner.
During the Fatherland Liberation war the KPA and Korean established firm bonds of fraternity. The army-people unity displayed in the Fatherland Liberation War was an important factor propelling the victory of the Korean people against the US imperialists.
Today the KPA and people are united as one .The KPA undertakes many construction projects such as Ryomyong Street . It was the KPA that bore the brunt of the rehabilitation and construction work after the floods in the north west of the DPRK in 2015.
Thirdly, the revolutionary armed forces of the Korea have always been internationalist in nature though they stress stalwart and invariable independence. During the anti-Japanese armed struggle the units of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army fought together with the Chinese anti-Japanese units. When the Soviet Union was attacked by the Japanese imperialists in 1938 the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG put forward the slogan “Let Us Defend the Soviet Union with Arms!” and the KPRA units launched military operations against the Japanese imperialists . Similarly the KPRA gave support to the Mongolian People’s Republic when it was attacked by the Japanese imperialists .
After liberation in 1945 President KIM IL SUNG sent 250,000 troops to assist the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in its struggle to liberate China from reactionary bureaucratic KMT rule.
The Korean People’s Army gave internationalist assistance to the Vietnamese people in their liberation war. They not only KPA Air Force pilots but engineering units. There is a now a section of the reconstructed Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang which is devoted to the KPA pilots who fought in Vietnam . The KPA Air Force also assisted Egypt in the 1973 Mid East War. The KPA also assisted a number of other countries in their struggle against US imperialism.
The glorious KPA commanded by dear respected Marshal KIM JONG UN is today standing guard over the independence of the DPRK and the socialist gains of its people. The KPA is also defending peace and security not only on the Korean peninsula but the entire Asia and the Pacific region .
LONG LIVE THE 86TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE KOREAN PEOPLE’S ARMY !