New Leader of Juche Era
The 8th of October, 1997 witnessed a historic turnabout in the Korean revolution as a glorious national festival day for the Korean people.
The inauguration of Marshal Kim Jong Il as General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea significantly testifies that the DPRK regime remains as firm as a rock and will continue to prosper, contrary to the wishful speculation of south Korean authorities and some Western rightists.
On the occasion we look back on the guidance of General Secretary Kim Jong Il, displayed in the past 30-odd years of his party activities.
For National Dignity
The General Secretary is giving full scope to his activities in protecting the country's socialist achievements, defending its dignity and revolutionary gains by wiping out the anti-socialist forces with his iron will and high leading abilities.
In the year of 1993 when the anti-DPRK campaigns by the United States and its allies were intensified over the unfair inspection of two north Korean nuclear facilities, a possibility of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula loomed.
The General Secretary responded to this threat of war by ordering the whole country, all the people and the entire army to be put on semi-wartime footing (from Mar. 9 to 24) and by announcing the country's intention to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) in order to defend the country's sovereignty and socialism (Mar. 12).
At that time, Robert Gallucci, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs, said, "It's really a disgrace to the U.S. that it couldn't expect at all that the north would strongly turn a traitor. It's difficult to estimate what kind of blow the north will deal to the U.S. because the north is a peculiar country in its unity or military forces.
"A careful treatment of the north will be necessary, considering its strong will and powerful military capability,” he said.
This situation followed the start of government high-level talks between the two countries as a natural consequence. On Oct. 21, 1994, the two sides reached a historic agreement in Geneva, which advocates rapprochement and reconciliation between the two hostile countries. It was the first time that the U.S. was made to promise in the agreement not to use nuclear weapons and to stop nuclear threats to a non-nuclear country, and to respect north Korea's sovereignty and discontinue interventions in its internal affairs. As a result of the settlement of the nuclear standoff, the DPRK reaped a $-billion bonanza of heavy oil and two light-water reactors from an international consortium.
Meanwhile, a most prestigious British news agency, Reuter reported that Marshal Kim Jong Il's successful "survival against daunting odds has set off a major reassessment in the West of his leadership and the support he enjoys” in the DPRK.
Putting behind the past bashing of the north Korean leader, the authoritative Western news service on June 8 this year came up with a positive picture, describing him as a leader "in his own rights.”
Reuter's commentator Brian Williams wrote that he "has proved harshest critics wrong in managing to keep his country afloat.
For Upgrade of Living Standard
General Kim Jong Il displays a unique political guiding method. He indicates political lines, policies and slogans according to the levels of development. It is his iron rule that any problem should be solved in accordance with people's own will. Thus, military and civilian tours took him to cover a total of as much as 10,000 km last year, reaching every nook and corner of the country.
The purpose of his on-the-spot guidance is three-fold, that is, 1)learning, 2)verification and 3)better communication.
"Learn from the people” is his motto which he has practiced in the past-30-odd year party activities.
When he visited a construction site for an amusement park in Mt. Chilbo last November, he spent most of the time in discussions with a local official, throwing various questions. It is not a report from his aides but judgements of local farmers, workers and soldiers which play a pivotal role in his decision-making.
On-the-spot inspection gives him a first-handed opportunity to verify if the revolutionary tasks have been performed in accordance with the party line and the people's demands.
He also enjoys finding out unknown deeds and creative activities that deserve commendation. Quite a few civilians and soldiers have received his private letters of gratitude and gifts for their dedication to socialist construction days or weeks after his visit.
When he looked around newly-built apartments for 130 factory worker households last December, he learned that the project was mainly done with self-made equipment and self-supply materials by local workers in four months. Highly praising their creative deeds, he appealed to the nation for public emulation of their working style.
With his practical and pragmatic catchballs with citizens and soldiers, he has been reputed as a leader who cares for people.
For Solution of Food Issue
It is true that the north Koreans are suffering an acute food shortage due to the four consecutive years of abnormal weather. However, the people inspired with optimism have been vigorously engaged in reconstruction activities to create a new phase day and night, never yielding to the natural disaster. That's because they are firmly confident that the General Secretary's leadership will bring about a breakthrough.
The north Koreans' die-hard spirit was described in a signed article of the Los Angels Times on June 8.
"In most countries, if they were confronted with as serious a food shortage as north Korea is facing at this moment, I think we would have seen megadeath already. But people there gave very developed coping mechanism.”
While encouraging the people to continue with vigorous reconstruction activities, the General Secretary indicates new measures one after another to solve the issue of acute food shortage.
According to a new policy implemented since last year, farmers can freely dispose of the surplus if they hit the target planned by the state.
As a part of a new stockbreeding project, goat breeding has been encouraged on a large scale because goats are very easy to breed. Measures to growing nutrious grass in mountainous areas are being undertaken in many regions.
In effect, a variety of new projects are now being carried out vigorously throughout north Korea: they include rearranging farm fields which were buried or washed away by the recent heavy rains, planting trees along the rebuilt roads and streets, and constructing embankments at the riversides to prevent flood damage.
For Development of Juche Philosophy
He is credited with the development and enrichment of the Juche idea.
He authored many theses including "The Characteristics of Modern Imperialism and Its Aggressive Nature” during his school days. About 110 writings of his produced during a period from January 1964 to 1986 impressed the people not only his talent as a prolific writer but also with his depth and range as a philosopher.
He had spent three years from 1966 to 1969 for the study of works written by Marx, Engels and Lenin to reevaluate the revolutionary ideological history of Marxism-Leninism. While summarizing his research, he said he was convinced that nothing but the Juche idea could correctly lead the revolution and construction of his country.
In February 1974, he reached the conclusion that Kimilsungism constitutes the quintessence of the Juche idea, while systematizing this ideology as an integrated whole of ideas, theories and methods.
In March 1983, he made public "On the Juche Idea” as his comprehensive summing-up of his past studies in which he systematized its philosophical, social, historical and guiding principles.
"It was Secretary Kim Jong Il who bred woods of heavy-leafed trees to fruition named the Juche idea which I had sown on the soil named the masses of the people,” President Kim Il Sung pointed out in his 1992.
His theories have been attracting worldwide attention in particular since the collapse of the East European socialist countries. In his work "The Historical Lesson in Building Socialism and the General Line of Our Party” published on Jan. 3, 1992, he cited the reasons for the breakup of socialism in some West European countries as 1) They did not place main emphasis on strengthening the motive force of building socialism and on enhancing its role; they failed to understand the essence of socialism, that it should be based on the popular masses, the maker of history, 2) They failed to recognize the qualitative differences between socialism ad capitalism and did not adhere consistently to the fundamental principles of socialism, and 3) They did not strengthened international solidarity based on independence in their relations among parties.
Copyright © 1997 The People's Korea. All rights reserved.