The spirit of Kim Il Sung lives on
By Deirdre Griswold
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is preparing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, an amazing revolutionary who for more than 60 years led the Korean people’s struggle against imperialist domination.
His life began in April 1912, shortly after Japan had formally annexed Korea as its colony. His political development included years of anti-colonial struggle and the building of an anti-imperialist armed guerrilla force that finally achieved liberation of the north in 1945.
Kim Il Sung had to reorient the struggle after the defeat of Japan, when the United States sent troops to occupy the southern half of Korea and tried to roll back the socialist revolution in the north. The Korean people knew from direct and bitter experience what Japanese colonial rule had meant. But they were to discover that U.S. imperialism was just as brutal and just as intent on controlling and exploiting Korea, albeit under the name of “democracy.”
We cannot do justice in one small article to all that Kim Il Sung accomplished for the Korean struggle and the world movement for socialism. In this piece, we will focus on why Kim became a communist, as explained in his autobiographical series of books entitled “Reminiscences with the Century.” (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Pyongyang)
Kim Il Sung as a young revolutionary