Following the formation of the Anti-Imperialist Youth League\and the Young Communist League we widened our activities over a vast area. In\order to expand the\organization, the hardcore elements of the YCLK\and AIYL left Jilin.
Although I was a student in those days, I also used to visit various places. I even frequented places several hundreds of miles awayrom Jilin in\order to seek a new theatre of activity. I would leave Jilin by the evening train on Saturday\and return by the night train the following day after visiting places such as Jiaohe, Kalun\and Guyushu. Sometimes due to unavoidable circumstances I would miss classes. Most of the teachers with the exception of the headmaster, Li Guang-han\and teacher Shang Yue, regarded my behaviour as very strange. Some people even guessed that probably I was working to pay my school fees because I had no father\and my family was poor.
Being a student, many restrictions\and\limitations were imposed on me. I was always short of time because I had to attend classes, study after school\and supervise the work of various\organizations in every spare moment.
It was during my school holidays that I could conduct my activities freely without the restriction of time. At\ordinary times we would make preparations\and, when our holidays came, visited various places to form\organizations\and enlighten the masses.
Going among the people was a trend in the homeland, too. During their holidays many students in the homeland visited the farmers to educate them. In the summer of the year when I was attending Hwasong Uisuk School, the newspaper Joson Ilbo formed enlightenment groups of studentsrom secondary schools\and older who were returning to their home villages during their holidays\and sent them to the countryside after giving them a short course. Back in their home villages those students in the enlightenment groups conducted a campaign to abolish illiteracy by using the textbook on the Korean language prepared by the newspaper.
Those Korean students who were studying in Japan also returned to their homeland during their holidays. They formed lecture tour groups\and visited various parts of the country to conduct enlightenment work. The youth associations belonging to the Chondoism\and Christianity also visited the farmers\and promoted the work of arousing the rural communities.
But the enlightenment movement conducted by the students at home did not develop to the level of revolutionizing\and\organizing the masses; it was confined to a mere reformist movement aimed at overcoming the nation’s backwardness. This was owing to cruel suppression by the authorities of the Japanese government-general that regarded all national movements aspiring to the development of national consciousness as against their colonial rule,\and to the ideological\limitations of the leaders of such movements. Even the enlightenment movement started to decline in the middle of the 1930s.
That this movement was merely a reformist movement can be seen clearlyrom the activities the students conducted in the rural areas. The main aspect of their activities was to abolish illiteracy\and reform the living environment in the rural communities to make it more healthy. The activities conducted by the members of the Christian youth association included all kinds of cultural enlightenment aimed at guiding\and inducing the rural population to lead a modern life. Their activities embodied a campaign to improve cooking\and a movement to keep wells clean,\and then proceeded to explaining chicken-raising\and silk making\and how to understand the certificates\and applications issued by the authorities.
Taking advantage of the favourable conditions in which there was no direct suppression by the Japanese imperialists, we paid great attention to gearing our activities to enlightening the rural communities to conduct a positive political struggle; we closely combined these activities with those to\organize the masses\and make them revolutionary. Our work with the masses was conducted in such a way as to awaken them with education in patriotism, revolutionary education, anti-imperialist education\and class education as the main aspect\and to unite them in various mass\organizations.
We made every possible effort to make the masses revolutionary. We did so because we had broken with the old way of thinking that the masses were only ignorant\and uncivilized people who needed enlightenment; we held the view that the people were our teachers\and the main motive force behind the revolution,\and we made this view our absolute belief.
With this point of view we went among the people.
“Go among the people!”
From that time on this became my motto throughout my life.
I started my revolutionary activities by going among the people\and today, too, I am continuing to make the revolution by mixing with the people. I am also reviewing my life by going among the people. If I had neglected contact with the people just once\and forgotten the existence of the people even for a moment, I would not have been able to maintain the pure\and genuine love for the people which I formed in my teens\and become a true servant of the people.
Whenever I think of our society today in which the rights of the people are fully ensured\and their wisdom\and creativity are displayed without\limitation, I feel grateful to the vehicle which first took me to the people when I was in Jilin.
It was during the winter holidays of 1927 that we first went among the people in real earnest.
The winter holidays were a bed of roses for the children of rich families. They either spent the whole winter at home reading love stories\or travelled by train to such large cities as Changchun, Harbin\and Beijing to see the sights. On lunar New Year’s Day they prepared tasty food\and made merry with fireworks. The Chinese have the custom of celebrating for a monthrom January 1 to February 2 by the lunar calendar. They call February 2 by the lunar calendar lontaitou (the day when the dragon raised its head),\and finish their holiday only when they have eaten all the pigs, even the heads, which they killed in January.
But, we could neither go sightseeing nor enjoy the holidays as they did. Instead, we thought about how we could do more for the revolution during the holiday.
When our holiday started I went to Changchun, taking with me the members of our art troupe. No sooner had I returnedrom there than I left for Fusong. Pak Cha Sok\and Kye Yong Chun also went to Fusong with me, having agreed to spend the winter at my home.
We were very busy during that winter holiday.
As soon as I reached home I was surrounded by the members of the Saenal Children’s\union. They told me about the difficulties the\union was encountering in its work.
From what the chairman of the\union told me I realized that there were many problems to be solved.
In\order to settle their difficulties we devoted a great deal of time to working with the members of the Saenal Children’s\union. We told the leading members of the\union how they should conduct the activities of the art propaganda troupe, how they should conduct social activities, how they should work with the masses\and how they should conduct the internal work of the\union. At the same time, we frequently attended political symposiums\and meetings to assess the conduct of the members.
Following an improvement in the work of the Children’s\union we formed the Paeksan Youth League with hardcore young peoplerom the area of Fusong. We gave it the name of the Paeksan Youth League in that it was an\organization of young people living around Mt. Paektu. However, that\organization was in fact a guise for the Anti-Imperialist Youth League. We called the\organization simply a youth league instead of giving it the name of the Paeksan Anti-Imperialist Youth League because we wanted to confuse the enemy\and disguise the\organization. The Paeksan Youth League conducted overt activities in the guise of an\organization under nationalist influence.
By rousing the members of the Paeksan Youth League we ensured that night schools were set up in Chongwajae\and other rural villages in the area.
I judged that, in view of the growing number\and expanding ranks of youth\organizations, a newspaper to provide ideological nourishment for young people\and broad sections of the masses was imperative. But we had to start the newspaperrom scratch. We wanted to print some 100 copies of each issue. However, we had neither a mimeograph nor paper.
True, there was a small printing house in Fusong which was run by a Chinese man. But, in view of the content of the newspaper, it was impossible to rely on that print shop.
After pondering over the matter deeply, I was determined to produce the newspaper by copying articles by hand. I mobilized the activists of the Saenal Children’s\union\and the hardcore members of the Paeksan Youth League to do this. It took us more than a week to transcribe 100 copies.
On January 15, 1928 we finally published the first issue of the newspaper Saenal (New Day—Tr.).
It is hard to believe now that in those days we had the energy to write all the articles. I frequently miss the strength\and youth we displayed in those days. At that time we felt the greatest happiness in devoting ourselves wholly to the revolution.
A youth who has no dream, no courage, no ardour, no aspiration, no fighting spirit\and no romance is not a youth. In one’s youth one must have a noble ideal\and fight stubbornly to realize it whatever the difficulties. All the fruits which young people, who possess fresh ideas\and a healthy\and strong body, have cultivated\and plucked at the cost of their sweat\and blood are valuable wealth for the country. The people never forget the heroes who have created this wealth.
A man in his latter years misses his youth because his youth is the period of his life when he can do most work. A man is happiest when he can do a lot of work.
Afterwards I had the newspaper Saenal printed with the help of a mimeograph I had obtainedrom some close acquaintances of my father.
The most conspicuous of our activities during the winter holiday of 1927 was the performances of the art propaganda troupe. The art propaganda troupe in Fusong comprised members of the Saenal Children’s\union, the Paeksan Youth League\and the Women’s Association. This art troupe performed for about a month in Fusong\and the neighbouring rural villages. During our performance tour we formed\organizations\and enlightened the masses in many places. Such dramas as Blood at an International Conference, An Jung Gun Shoots Ito Hirobumi\and A Letterrom a Daughter are literary works which we created\and put on the stage in Fusong in the winter of that year.
When the art propaganda troupe, prior to its performance tour, was performing in the city of Fusong, the warlord authorities arrested me for no reason\and took me to prison. Some feudalists had informed against me to the authorities because they did not like the content of our performance.
Zhang Wei-hua, a primary school fellow of mine, went to a lot of trouble to free me. He persuaded his father to put pressure upon the police authorities to stop themrom searching our house.
Zhang Wei-hua’s father had been an intimate friend of my father because he had formed a good understanding with my father in the course of visiting our house to receive medical treatment. Although he was very wealthy he was a conscientious man. When my father initiated the re-establishment of Paeksan School in Fusong\and was anxious to get permission for it, he had to negotiate with the people concerned about the matter.
Because such an influential man as Zhang Wei -hua’s father put pressure on the police, the warlord authorities had no choice but to release me.
The Koreans in Fusong rushed to the warlord authorities\and demanded that they release me. My mother roused the\organization to action\and urged the masses to work for my release. Even some influential Chinese figures condemned the conduct of the warlord authorities\and demanded my freedom.
A short time later the warlord authorities were compelled to set me free.
After being releasedrom the police station I left for Fusuhe village at the head of the art propaganda troupe. The art propaganda troupe put on performances in this village for three days.
Peoplerom the neighbouring villages came to see our performance. So news about it spread widely around the surrounding settlements.
Having heard of our performance, some peoplerom Tunzidong came to invite us to their village. We accepted their invitation with pleasure. The performance in Tunzidong was a great success. At the request of the villagers we had to extend our stay several times.
After the first performance, the chairman of the Saenal Children’s\union rushed backstage\and told me that the village elder had sent for me.
An elderly man with a noble presence, a pipe in his mouth, was waiting for me outside the house\where we had just given our performance. He was gazing at me attentivelyrom beneath his long, thick eyebrows. The young manrom Tunzidong who had guided us to his village approached me\and told me that the elderly man was “Cha Cholli.” (Cha is the family name\and Cholli means a thousand ri, i.e., 250 miles—Tr.)
No sooner had I heard the name Cha Cholli than I bowed my head, saying:
“Old man, I am sorry that I am greeting you only now. I have not been able to greet you earlier because I heard you had gone out to the neighbouring village.”
“I heard about your art troupe there\and have rushed back. Is it right that you are the son of Mr. Kim Hyong Jik?”
“Yes, it is right.”
“With a son like you, Mr. Kim can rest easy in his grave. It is the first time in my life that I have seen such a fine performance.”
I was somewhat perplexed, for the old man was treating me courteously\and formally.
So I told him: “Old man, don’t speak like that, please. Why do you speak like that to someone who would be your own son?”
That day the elderly man invited me to his house.
On my way to his home I asked him quietly:
“Old man, excuse me for asking you such an indiscreet question. Is it true that you cover 250 miles a day?...”
“Ha, ha! So you, too, have heard that rumour. In the prime of my life I could cover half that distance.”
Hearing him I realized that the elderly man Cha Cholli must have been a great fighter for independence as he was painted.
There was a reason that his surname was followed by a nickname Cholli instead of his real name.
Because of his nickname Cholli the elderly man was considered a mysterious figure among the Koreans in Manchuria.
During his lifetime my father had once expressed his admiration for the fast walking-speed of the elderly man. Then he told me that the nickname Cholli had been used for the elderly manrom the time when he had conducted volunteer activities in the Kanggye area.
After coming to Manchuria Cha Cholli had belonged to Chamui-bu\and been a subordinate of Sim Ryong Jun. I was told that he had most resolutely opposed Chamui-bu being placed under the rule of the Shanghai Provisional Government. Some peoplerom Jongui-bu who were against the idea of an\organization of the Independence Army falling under the jurisdiction of the Provisional Government, highly praised the stand of the elderly man. Among the people in Jongui-bu, the leadership body of which mostly consisted of ex-soldiers, the tendency prevailed of being dissatisfied with the Provisional Government which was made up of an overwhelming majority of civil officials.
That day elderly Cha Cholli told me a lot which would later serve as a lesson for me. He lamented bitterly over the fact that we had been deprived of our country owing to the corrupt\and incompetent feudal rulers, although the Korean nation had previously been quite able to repulse the Japanese imperialist aggressors\and develop as the dignified people of an independent state. He told me that one must not merely talk if one wants to conduct the independence movement\and that one must take up arms\and kill more Japanese. In addition, he said that we must sharpen our vigilance against the Japanese imperialists because they were extremely crafty; then he told me the following story:
“Have you ever heard how the Kyongsong Match Factory was ruined? The matches produced at this factory had the trademark ‘Monkey’\and were very famous. Although the matches themselves were good, the trademark caught the eye of people because it was so strange. The trademark showed a monkey with a peach branch on its shoulder. It is said that the Japanese built a match factory in Korea, but they did not make much moneyrom it because of its matches. So, after contriving various artifices they bought tens of thousands of boxes of ‘Monkey’ matches, went to a desert island\and there soaked all the matchsticks in water. Then they dried them\and sold them at the market. Everyone who bought these matches found that they were not fit for use because they did not light, so they bought only the Japanese matches. The Kyongsong Match Factory went bankrupt. That is what the Japanese are like.” Although it was impossible to confirm the truth of the story, it was very valuable in understanding Japanese imperialism.
The old man told that when the Japanese fired five shots with a five-chambered rifle he, in the prime of his life, could fire three shots with a matchlock. He added that now that he was confined to his home\and was unable to fight any more because of his old age, he had become anxious\and found it unbearable.
The old man said that the singing\and dancing Unity Pole which we had put on the stage that day was very good. He deplored the fact that all the volunteer activities had come to nothing because they had failed to be combined\and that the Independence Army had become impotent\and was being chased by the Japanese because the soldiers did not combine their efforts\and acted separately.
“Koreans should fight the Japanese in unity even if they are only three.”
This was what old man Cha Cholli said in a harsh tone. He was quite right. Only those who had experienced that unity meant victory\and disunity meant ruin could say such a thing.
The old man took my hand\and asked us, the younger generation, to fight well, saying that he would not be able to fight for Korea’s independence because of his old age. Hearing him I felt my noble mission to be to make the revolution well as a son of Korea, never failing to live up to the expectations of the people.
What old man Cha Cholli told me that night made a great impression on me. His words that Koreans should fight the Japanese in unity even if they were only three, later served as a great lesson to us in our struggle.
Thus when we took the art propaganda troupe\and mixed with the people we not only awakened the masses but also learnedrom them. As it is so now, so in those days, too, our teacher was the people.
Therefore, whenever I meet officials I tell them earnestly to go among the people. I always emphasize that going among the people is like taking a tonic\and that failing to do so is like taking poison. One can find such people as old man Cha Cholli only when one mixes with the people. One finds philosophy, literature\and political economy among the people.
Old man Cha Cholli was assassinated by his superior officer Sim Ryong Jun while he was working as head guard of Chamui-bu.
When I heard this sad news I was in a fury of indignation. I recollected the words of old man Cha Cholli that Koreans should unite to fight the Japanese even if they were only three. Such grievous misfortune would not have happened if the leaders of Chamui-bu had combined their strength as the old man had said.
We greeted lunar New Year’s Day that year in Tunzidong. After New Year’s Day I sent the members of the art troupe
back to Fusong\and headed for Antu with Kye Yong Chun\and Pak Cha Sok. In Antu County was Naidaoshan village inhabited solely by Koreans. This village, situated at the foot of Mt. Paektu\and known as the first village under the sky, was a remote mountain village in a dense forest. The word Naidaoshan meant the mountain like an island in a forest. The Chinese call this mountain Naitoushan, meaning like a teat.
Fighters for the independence of Korea had been visiting this mountainous village for a long time. Hong Pom Do\and Choe Myong Rok, veterans of the Independence Army had been to this village at one time.
We had already sent Ri Je U, a member of the DIU, to Naidaoshan with instructions to rally the young people of the area in an\organization. We had done so because we intended to make the area around Mt. Paektu a major revolutionary base in the future.
Ri Je U (Ri U) hailedrom Hwanghae Province. His father, while engaged in the independence movement, had been in contact with my father in the days when he was in Changbai. For that reason Ri Je U naturally joined me.
After our departurerom Huadian I met Ri Je U again when I was\organizing the Paeksan Youth League in Fusong. At that time I discussed with him the matter of forming a branch of the Paeksan Youth League in Naidaoshan village. He told me, half jokingly, not only to give him tasks but also to come to him once\and help him.
It was nearly 80 milesrom Fusong to Naidaoshan. If one views Naidaoshanrom China it is the last village in Manchuria.
However, if one sees itrom Korea it is the first village on the other side of Mt. Paektu. Nobody lived within 25 miles of Naidaoshan.
We arrived at the village towards evening\and, led by Ri Je U, stopped at the house of Mr. Choe who worked as a doctor of Korean medicine.
Choe told us that Jang Chol Ho had stayed twice in the room\where we were staying\and that Ri Kwan Rin had also been there. I could not help feeling solemn at the thought that we were continuing the revolution in a place which had been visited by my father\and cultivated by his friends.
After a few days in Naidaoshan village I could understand why Ri Je U had insisted that I visit the place. Naidaoshan village was very difficult for outsiders to establish a foothold.
Most of the inhabitants of the village had the surnames Choe, Kim\and Jo. They shunned the outside world\and married among themselves. The daughter of a Choe married the son of a Kim, the daughter of a Kim was married to the son of a Jo\and the daughter of a Jo became the daughter -in -law of a Choe. Because marriages were conducted in this way in a small village in a valley, all the people in the village were related\and addressed one another as “Sister,” “Brother,” “Uncle”\and “In-laws.”
Most of the people in this village believed in the religion of Chonbulgyo. There was a legend that 99 fairies had descendedrom the sky\and bathed in Lake Chon on Mt. Paektu before going back up to the sky, so, they had built a 99 -room temple called the Tongdok Palace which they visited twice a year to offer up prayers. They had also built a temple called “Chonbulsa” in their village\and went there every week\or 10 days to pray.
The day after our arrival in Naidaoshan was the day when the believers in Chonbulgyo were to pray at the temple. Guided by Ri Je U, our party went up near to the temple\and saw something splendid. The believers had gathered in one place, all of them, irrespective of sex, doing up their hair like the people of Koguryo\and wearing colourful dresses. They were beating gongs, small cymbals\and drums\and ringing wooden bells with a clapper; the sounds of these instruments “Tongdokgung, tongdokgung” were very solemn. They said that this was the reason why the temple was called Tongdok Palace.
Ri Je U said that the Chonbulgyo religion was a source of trouble in the Naidaoshan area. He disliked Chonbulgyo because of his simple conception that religion was opium. When I heard about this religionrom Ri Je U in Fusong, I thought the same about it. However, having seen how serious were the believers in Chonbulgyo who were performing the ceremonies\and how magnificent was the Tongdok Palace, I was obliged to think about it more deeply.
Guided by Choe\and accompanied by Ri Je U, I went that day to see Jang Tu Bom, the founder of the religion of Chonbulgyo.
Jang Tu Bom had once fought in the Independence Army. However, with this army becoming impotent, he threw away his rifle\and went to Naidaoshan. There he prayed to the mystical wonders of Nature on Mt. Paektu to deal out divine punishment to the Japanese\and bless the Korean nation; thus he created the Chonbulgyo faith.
While I was talking to the founder of the religion, I could not take my eyes off the ears of millet hangingrom the ceiling of his house. This was because the ears of millet were hanging in the same way as in Choe’s house. I asked Ri Je U if they were keeping these ears of millet for use as seeds. But he said that the millet was used in offering prayers.
The people in this area,\where rice could not grow, used millet instead of rice when preparing sacrificial food. So in every household ears of millet hung eitherrom the pillars\or the ceiling. Even when they missed meals because of a shortage of food, they never touched this millet. They used it only when going to the temple on Mt. Paektu to offer up prayers. They pounded it on a quern with great sincerity, winnowed it\and, with a wooden spoon, picked out the broken bits of millet, the grass seeds, the unhulled\or half-hulled millet\and odd ends of straw\or blades of dry grass. Then they collected only grains of the same size one by one\and wrapped them in Korean paper before putting the millet in clear spring water.
“Because of the damnable religion of Chonbulgyo the people of Naidaoshan have all gone crazy. It seems that the words of Marx, who defined religion as opium, are extremely wise. I wonder whether it is necessary\and possible to remould these religious believers....”
Ri Je U grumbled thus\and confessed that he sometimes felt the urge to set fire to the Tongdok Palace which he felt was taking the soul out of the people of Naidaoshan.
I criticized Ri Je U for his narrow point of view.
This is what I told him:
“Needless to say, I don’t deny the proposition of Marx that religion is opium. However, you are mistaken if you think that this proposition can be applied in all cases. Do you think it right to brand as opium Chonbulgyo, a religion which prays for dealing out divine punishment to Japan\and blessing the Korean nation? I regard Chonbulgyo as a patriotic religion\and all the believers in this religion as patriots. Our only task is to rally these patriots into a single force.”
Ri Je U\and I exchanged opinions seriously. In the course of this we reached the conclusion that we should not destroy the religion of Chonbulgyo but actively support the anti- Japanese feelings of the believers in it. So I stayed there for about ten days\and worked among the villagers. The believers in Chonbulgyo readily agreed with me when I said that one could not liberate the country merely by believing in a religion.
Indeed, that winter the people of Naidaoshan were utterly sincere in their treatment of us. The principal food of the people of Naidaoshan was potatoes. Potatoes mixed with kidney-beans were peculiarly tasty. Kye Yong Chun even joked, saying that the flat pieces of stone covering the floor of the room would crack because of people passing wind.
If we had judged the situation merely on the strength of Ri Je U’s report in Jilin without going to Naidaoshan,\or of rumours, we would not have gained a favourable impression of the religion of Chonbulgyo. We were able to appreciate the religion of Chonbulgyo\and its believers fairly because we went to Naidaoshan\and saw the Tongdok Palace\and the sincerity of the believers as they offered up prayers, as well as the ears of millet hangingrom the main beam of every roof.
It is never possible to possess a popular personality\and a popular way of thinking that conform to the interests of the people if one only sits at one’s desk. Nor can one possess them by indulging in empty talk. They can be attained only through direct contact with the people to enable one to see\and apprehend personally, with one’s own eyes\and ears, the feelings of the people, their glances, their countenance, their manner of speaking, their gestures\and their behaviour, not to mention their voice.
We gave precedence to political work to educate the villagers. Then we formed a village branch of the Paeksan Youth League\and Children’s Expeditionary Corps.
After I returned to Jilin my uncle Hyong Gwon took charge of the work of the Paeksan Youth League. Together with Ri Je U he formed branches of this youth league in many villages in the area of Changbai such as Toksu, Tokgol, Cholgol, Yaksudong, Imsugol and Diyangzi as well as in the different areas of the homeland such as Sinpha, Pochon, Hyesan, Kapsan\and Samsu.
The Paeksan Youth League entrusted the task of taking charge of its Changbai area\organization to Ri Je U. He discharged this heavy responsibility with credit. My uncle Hyong Gwon\and Ri Je U underwent many trials in working to make the area around Mt. Paektu revolutionary. Thanks to this we got a lot of supportrom the masses when we were conducting our revolutionary struggle later in this area.
One’s holidays are periods when one stops studying\and takes a rest for a while. However, during the winter holiday of that year I learned a lot which I would not have been able to learnrom books.
After returning to Jilinrom our winter holiday we reviewed the work conducted by the Young Communist League\and the Anti-Imperialist Youth League over the previous six months\and set the task of forming more mass\organizations for various social strata involving young people\and other peoplerom all walks of life.
In\order to implement this task, hardcore members of the Young Communist League such as Kim Hyok, Cha Kwang Su, Choe Chang Gol, Kye Yong Chun\and Kim Won U left for Xingjing, Liuhe, Changchun, Yitong\and Huaide Counties\and for Korea. There they rapidly increased the numbers of various kinds of mass\organizations such as the Young Communist League\and the Anti-Imperialist Youth League.
I stayed in Jilin\and conducted the work of\organizing the Peasants\union in Xinantun. Uniting the peasants in an\organization is the work of preparing them as the motive force of the revolution. In particular, under the circumstances in our country\where the peasants made up the vast majority of the population, winning them over was a matter of key importance on which depended the victory of the revolution.
We went to Jiangdong village\and\organized there the Peasants\union, a branch of the Anti-Imperialist Youth League\and the Women’s Association. Following this we formed branches of the Anti-Imperialist Youth League in Kalun\and Dahuanggou.
In the area of Jiaohe, too, we formed a branch of the Anti-Imperialist Youth League. It was after I met Kang Myong Gun, head of the\organizational department of the Ryosin Youth Association, that I established relations with the young people in Jiaohe. This man seemed to have heard a great deal about merom Jang Chol Ho. Jiaohe was like an intermediary stop for Jang Chol Ho. Whenever he travelled between Jilin\and Fusong he\dropped in at Kang Myong Gun’s house in Jiaohe\and informed him of the movement of the young people\and students in Jilin. Then, when he returned to Jilin, he told me the newsrom Jiaohe. This is how Kang Myong Gun came to know me\and I became interested in the youth movement in the Jiaohe area. It was at this time that Kang Myong Gun came to Jilin to see me.
In those days I was staying at Jang Chol Ho’s house in Dongdatan to attend school.
Kang Myong Gun was more than 10 years older than me. However, he addressed me as “Sir” all the time\and confided to me all the sufferings he was undergoing in his work\and impatiently appealed to me for help. I could not help feeling sympathetic towards him,\and could not but admire his revolutionary ardour, for he had come to visit me who was no more than an\ordinary secondary school pupil,rom Jiaohe which was 45 milesrom Jilin.
In Jiaohe County in those days the Ryosin Youth Association was operating in the northwest\and the Lafa Youth Association was active in the southeast with the Lafa Mountains as the boundary. The young Korean people in the Jiaohe area were mainly involved in these two youth\organizations.
Initially the young people joined an\organization with a noble aim. However, they gradually became disillusioned at the conduct of the leaders of the nationalist movement who only struggled for power\and collected funds.
At the same time they were stunned by the empty talk of the pseudo-Marxists who clamoured only for the “proletarian revolution”\and “hegemony.”
This was more than enough for me to understand the feelings of Kang Myong Gun when he said that they were in confusion\and unable to find a path to follow.
I told Kang Myong Gun about the state of the movement of the young people\and students in the Jilin area\and about the experience we had gained in our work.
I also told him to make good preparations, when he was back in Jiaohe, for forming a branch of the Anti-Imperialist Youth League.\and, when he was leaving, I gave him many Marxist-Leninist publications.
Although I had tried hard to awaken him in all sincerity, I could not feel easy about the work in Jiaohe after Kang Myong Gun had returned there.
After being determined for some time to visit Jiaohe, I went there at last through Laoilling. It must have been the spring of 1928. Kang Myong Gun was delighted to see me, saying that he had been thinking of visiting Jilin again. He said that, although nothing had seemed to be a problem when he was in Jilin, he had found many problems upon his return.
The rural youth in Jiaohe disagreed firstly on the matter of how to form the\organization. Some claimed that, because the Ryosin Youth Association was an\organization of nationalists, they should break with it immediately\and form the Anti-Imperialist Youth League comprising those who shared the same idea. Others insisted that they should break up the Ryosin Youth Association.
On the problem of whom they should admit into the\organization, too, they did not have a correct view. They excluded acceptable young peoplerom those wishing to be admitted into the\organization claiming, for instance, that it was difficult for