So July 27th in the DPRK is celebrated proudly a day of glory. I was in Pyongyang for the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War, some five years ago and remember the grand military parade in KIM IL SUNG square and the spectacular firework display at the new reopened Fatherland Liberation War Museum on the evening of the 27th of July.
People ask how a small country like the DPRK was able to defeat the United States a country which had won many wars and had been one of the victors in world war. There is a certain narrative that really originated from the Right, from the imperialists, that simply is was down to the assistance of the big powers that neighbour the DPRK .An echo of us is to be found on the Left and sadly some organisations of varying political positions have been all too eager to paint the DPRK as the creation of or extension of the former USSR and the People’s Republic of China. Some think socialism can only be built either in big countries or with the help of big countries, one wonders how the October revolution actually happened without the support of a big power. Indeed some said that the DPRK would collapse or vanish after the fall of the USSR in 1991 but 27 years later the DPRK exists and prospers! In my modest paper I hope to dispel some myths.
When the war started in June 1950. The DPRK was only just under 2 years old. It is main priority was economic construction and the improvement of people’s living standards. It had not wanted a war but was not afraid of it. The allies of the DPRK , the USSR and China were not in a good position to give much help as the USSR was still recovering from the devastation of World War 2 and the People’s Republic of China had only been founded some 9 months before, its armed forces were exhausted from fighting the civil war .
It was the severe test for the DPRK that was only 2 years old at the test to fight the United States. The DPRK’s population was less than /15th the size of the US population. The US was the victor of the Second World War. They had emerged as the strongest imperialist power and the king of the capitalist world. Unlike other imperialist countries such as the UK and Germany, the mainland territory of the US had not been bombed. Its armed forces were formidable having defeated Nazi Germany and imperialist Japan. From 1948 the US had started increasing military expenditure. During the war the DPRK not only to face the war machine of the US empire and the south Korean puppet forces but troops from 15 satellite countries and also Japan participated in the war in secret , in some cases wearing south Korean uniforms. Basically the Fatherland Liberation War was akin to the biblical story of David and Goliath with the DPRK being in the role of the boy David and the US in the role of the giant Goliath.
The KPA and the people of the DPRK led by the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG based themselves on the Juche-orientated military theory that the outcome of war is simply determined by weapons but by those who hold those weapons-humans. This is an application of the core philosophical concept of Juche that people are the masters of everything and decide everything.
The great revolutionary leader Marshal KIM IL SUNG later explained that “We must solve our problems no matter who is helping us and what help we get...... Victory must be won by our strength”.
While giving on-site guidance at a munitions factory late in February 1953, KIM IL SUNG stressed the need for the workers there to have a Juche-oriented stand and the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance–that the Korean people should achieve victory in the war at any cost by their own efforts.
When the DPRK was attacked on the 25th of June 1950 although it initially called for South Korea to cease hostilities, when this was not forthcoming the KPA under the command of the great leader Marshal KIM IL SUNG went over to the counter-offensive.
To quote from the historic speech of the great revolutionary leader Marshal KIM IL SUNG titled “Go All Out for Victory in the War June 26th 1950
“If they do not want to become the slaves of foreign imperialists again, the entire Korean people must rise as one in the national-salvation struggle to overthrow and smash the traitorous Syngman Rhee "regime" and its army. We must, at all costs, win ultimate victory. I call upon the entire Korean people to unite more closely around the Government of the DPRK in order quickly to destroy the armed forces and the police system of the traitorous Syngman Rhee clique.
The history of mankind shows that a people that defies death and rises in the struggle for freedom and independence is always victorious. Ours is a just struggle. Victory for our people is certain. I am confident that our just struggle for the country and the people will triumph.
The time has come to reunify our country. Let us march forward valiantly with firm confidence in victory!
Go all out to assist our People's Army and the front!
Go all out to defeat and wipe out the enemy!
This was immensely stirring speech ,full of militant revolutionary optimism that inspired the KPA and Korean people to great victories . It should also be added that the speech called for the workers in south Korea to organise strikes and riots against the decaying Syngham Rhee regime .
The KPA under the command of Marshal KIM IL SUNG liberated Seoul on the 28th of June , the third day of the war and 2 days after the historic speech “Go All for Victory in the War “ . Rather than “ taking breakfast in Haeju , lunch in Pyongyang and Dinner in Sinuiju ( Haeju being a town near to the 38th parallel and of course Sinuiju being near the Chinese border) as they had bragged the south Korean puppets found themselves overwhelmed by the strong and decisive counter-offensive of the KPA .
The KPA smashed General Smith’s US infantry unit on the 7th of July , this was the first decisive battle between the KPA and the US army . The KPA then went on to carry out a successful encircling operation against the so called invincible US 24th infantry division commanded by General Dean . This took place at Taejon . It was an example of the true military strategic genius of the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG .Dean was captured, trying to run away , by a 16 year old KPA soldier .. I believe this was the first time that a US general was captured by the opposing side .
Original Juche-orientated tactics were applied at different stages of the war .. One such tactic was the idea of forming a second front , of course some will say what about the second world war. However there was one crucial difference in the second world the second front was meant to be formed in several countries ,however in Korea you had a second front formed within one country . Some retreating units formed combined units with KPA units that had penetrated the enemy’s rear and attacked the US forces from behind their own lines . US general Walker of the 8th army was killed by such a unit.
Self-reliance was applied . The KPA fighters created their own anti-aircraft guns by mounting machine guns on cartwheels. The DPRK has established its own self-reliant munitions industry in the 1940s which could produce rifles, sub-machine guns(tommy guns) and mortars. During the Fatherland Liberation War the factory was moved from Pyongyang to an underground base at Kunja-ri.
The KPA used tunnel warfare . Korea was indeed as some said the war before Vietnam and later the Vietnamese liberation forces employed tunnel warfare against the US in their war. In fact the DPRK dispatched its best tunnelling engineers to Vietnam.
The KPA which was the successor to the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army had accumulated guerrilla warfare tactics and turned this to good account against the US .
The fighters of the KPA were encouraged to perform heroic feats .Numerous heroes were produced during the war .For example an 19 year squad leader of the KPA ,Ri Su Bok blocked an enemy pillbox ,sacrificing his life . He had written in his notebook that although his life was precious , the fatherland was more precious than his life.
During the Fatherland Liberation War the concept of army-people unity, which is one of the pillars of Songun, came into full force. The people supported the KPA in all sorts of ways , by increasing industrial and agricultural production and by forming guerrilla units hitting the enemy hard .
After 3 years of war the US fell to it knees and signed the Armistice Agreement on 27th July 1953 . General Mark Clark who signed the agreement for the US could only conclude “ -"I gained the unenviable distinction of being the first United States Army Commander in history to sign an armistice without a victory," . The US’s own narrow and curtailed statistics for its losses in the was showed it lost nearly the same number in 3 years in Korea than it did in 10 years in Vietnam . Overall the US imperialists lost over : 1,567,128 men including 405,498 US soldiers, 1,130,965 south Korean puppet troops, and 30,665 soldiers of their satellite states were killed, wounded or captured; 12,224 airplanes including "air fortress B-29" were downed, damaged or captured, 7,695 guns, 3,255 233 tanks and armoured cars were lost; and 564 warships and vessels including the heavy cruiser Baltimore and the flagship of the Seventh Fleet Missouri were sunk or damaged. The loss suffered by the US imperialists was nearly 2.3 times greater than what they had suffered in the four years of the Pacific War during World War II. It was an appalling loss and a serious military defeat unprecedented in the US history of war.
It was the first defeat for US imperialism . The scheme to attack China and destroy the socialist camp was shattered .US imperialism was stopped its tracks . The defeat of the US in the Fatherland Liberation War showed that small countries not just big countries can win against US imperialism The US defeat in Korea was followed by the successful Cuban revolution and the Bay of Pigs fiasco , and then the defeat in the Vietnam war.
Even right wing conservative British historian Max Hastings wrote" Many American career officers were dismayed by the precedent Korea established: the United States had failed to fight a war to a victorious conclusion." US war historian Bevin Alexander (who had actually been a US army officer in the Korean War ) said “Great efforts to conquer North Korea ended in failure. “The infamous anti-communist senator J R McCarthy admitted that “ we suffered a serious defeat in Korea “
Field Marshal Costa Gomes who had been president of Portugal after the 1974 carnation revolution but more significantly had been a NATO commander and head of Portuguese armed forces in Macao during the 1950s said that the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG thwarted all the plans that had been worked out by the US general and military policy makers. The OSPAAL(Tricontinental ) said “ under the superb leadership of Marshal KIM IL SUNG and the People’s Army and the people of Korea who inherited the traditions of glorious anti-Japanese armed struggle fought heroically and defeated US imperialism in defence of the liberty of the fatherland and the gains of the revolution ,thereby making a great contribution to anti-imperialist national liberation struggle of the peoples throughout the world and the struggle for peace in Asia and the world”
Thus in the Fatherland Liberation War commanded by the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG reactionary bourgeois military theory was smashed by the Juche orientated revolutionary military strategy and theory.The Fatherland Liberation War ended in victory due to the Juche orientated military tactics and Songun revolutionary leadership of the great leader supreme commander Marshal KIM IL SUNG and the heroism and self-sacrifice of the Korean people . Eternal victory will always belong to the Korean people !
LONG LIVE THE 65TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VICTORY IN THE GREAT FATHERLAND LIBERATION WAR !
LONG LIVE JUCHE !
LONG LIVE SONGUN !
GLORY TO THE MEMORY OF THE GREAT LEADER COMRADE KIM IL SUNG !