In the middle of the 1920s, the imperialists’ colonial enslavement policy toward other countries and nations was at its height.
Almost all the countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America were reduced to their colonies.
The Korean people were suffering under the colonial yoke as their country was occupied militarily by Japan (1905-1945).
The Japanese imperialists, while rearranging their colonial ruling machinery in order to stamp out the anti-Japanese struggle of the Korean people, enacted and enforced various evil laws such as the Maintenance of Public Order Act.
Meanwhile, the Korean communist movement and national liberation struggle were experiencing complicated difficulties.
At this time, Kim Il Sung (1912-1994) embarked on the road of revolutionary struggle to save his country and fellow people.
It was 1926.
The innocent psychology of young Kim Il Sung, who had just been awakened to social consciousness, encountered agony and anguish.
In those days the nationalist movement was existing, and a socialist movement was on the rise.
After making an analysis of these two social movements, he came to a conclusion that national liberation could never be achieved by fighting without any correct political slogans and without relying on the strength of the masses.
He believed that in order for the Korean revolution to be developed in a fresh way, it should be carried out independently through the efforts of all the people of the country.
Noteworthy is that Kim Il Sung had struck others with wonder by dint of his extraordinary personality and intelligent insight into social phenomena from his early age.
A man who was teaching at Fusong Primary School No. 1 recollected,
“As the days went by, we felt Kim Song Ju (Kim Il Sung’s childhood name) was not an ordinary person though he was young.
“At that time, he was not only a pupil with intelligence and integrity but also a political activist with a high ambition and political view.
“To be frank, he was better than us teachers in understanding and analysing things.”
In order to realize his long-conceived plan for forming a militant and
revolutionary organization, he convened a preparatory meeting at Hwasong Uisuk School in Huadian, northeast China.
Young revolutionaries sharing the same will as his attended the meeting.
At the meeting he clarified the necessity of the revolutionary organization and its mission, name and character, fighting programme and the regulations of its activity.
All the participants unanimously supported his proposal.
On October 17, 1926, a week later, he founded the Down-with-Imperialism Union (DIU).
As its name implies, it was an organization for overthrowing imperialism in general.
The immediate task of the DIU was to defeat Japanese imperialism and achieve the liberation and independence of Korea, and its final objective was to build socialism and communism in Korea and, further, destroy all imperialism and build communism throughout the world.
A Short History of Korean Revolutionary Movement Overseas, a book published in Seoul after Korea’s liberation, reads:
“Expectations of Kim Il Sung were high and the activities of these
organizations were brisk.
“The support of the public for Kim Il Sung, a man of passion and justice, was great.
“It was more than support… Kim Il Sung, a boy revolutionary, enjoyed the undivided love from the people as their beloved son or younger brother, and he made a pledge to serve them in good faith.
“He always breathed the same air with the people and his comrades, too, found themselves among the people.
“Firmly based on the masses, he struggled to remove various existing social maladies so as to awaken them and enhance their awareness and took measures to gradually reform various fields of society.
“He focused on the elimination of remnants of persistent feudalism, resolution of dispute between native landlords and Korean tenants, development of peasants’ knowledge and movements of youth and women and recorded a remarkable success in this effort.”
The Korean revolution which dawned with the formation of the DIU started to develop in full steam under the leadership of Kim Il Sung.
Kim Il Sung liberated Korea and built a people’s country through a 20-year-long anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle and consolidated the country into a people-centred socialist state by leading his people to win one victory afteranother in its decades-long confrontation with imperialist allied forces including the Korean war (1950-1953).
The history of the Korean revolution can be said to be the one in which the fighting programme of the DIU was realized. The significance of the DIU in the Korean revolution is profound, indeed.
This year is a meaningful year which marks the 95th anniversary of the formation of the DIU