페이지 정보작성자 편집국 작성일20-07-29 19:37 댓글0건
[Reminiscences]Chapter 14 2. The Sound of the Watermill
2. The Sound of the Watermill
When I entered farming villages in west Jiandao, to be found in each range of Paektu, I would see foaming, meandering streams\and hear the sound of watermills pounding grain with the stream as its power. What tingling nostalgia the sound of watermills falling on our earsrom afar at moonlit nights stirred in our minds! With our advance to Mt. Paektu, the watermills in Changbai, which had been pounding grain amid the tears of Korean immigrants, came to be used for different purposes\and acquired another meaning.
Ever since autumn 1936, the Changbai people pounded an immeasurable amount of grain with those watermills to support us. Nearly all the dozens of watermills, both big\and small, installed in Changbai, were related to the support-the-guerrillas work. The watermills are inscribed in my memory as a symbol of the all-people, support-the-guerrillas campaign. Thanks to the active support\and encouragement of the Changbai people, we could wage a protracted anti-Japanese war, with Mt. Paektu as a stronghold.
The people in Deshuigou, Shiliudaogou, were the first in the Changbai area to assist the People’s Revolutionary Army.
We first went to Xinchangdong on our advance to Changbai. The villages in the valley of Shiliudaogou, including Xinchangdong, were called, as a whole, Deshuigou.
The upper Xinchangdong was a remote village of 40-odd households situated on the confluence of two streams. There was also a watermill.
The villagers hulled buckwheat with the watermill that day\and treated the People’s Revolutionary Army to refreshing noodles.
The support-the-guerrillas campaign, started by the Deshuigou people in Shiliudaogou, later affected the whole region of west Jiandao such as Wangjiadong, Yaoshuidong\and Diyangxidong.
Large teams frequently came to our secret camps along secret routes in the forests, carrying grain\and cloth on their heads\and backs.
In a fit of consternation, the enemy reinforced its troops in Changbai area\and molested the people. It burned down villages, arrested\or killed people at random at the slightest unusual sign.
“Anyone supplying the communist bandits with provisions\and articles\and making contacts with them will be regarded as helpers of the bandits\and executed on the spot”—this threatening warning was posted in all parts of Changbai County in those days.
The people living in the border areas around Mt. Paektu were not even allowed to take with them a pair of workman’s shoes\and a box of matches. Nevertheless, supply goods sent by the people regularly came to our secret camps.
The assistance of the Changbai people to the People’s Revolutionary Army was a voluntary campaign initiated on the basis of their vital needs. Helping the revolutionary army was the only way to resurrect Korea—this was their belief. Consequently they were not afraid of death\and did not flinchrom the scorching sun in mid-summer\and the blinding snow in mid-winter, when it came to support for the army.
Whenever I recall the images of the Changbai people, who were out to assist the army, the upright\and simple image of Ri Ul Sol’s father, Ri Pyong Hon, who, as a member of our\organization, was working as a village head in Yinghuadong, appears in my mind’s eye. He\and his two brothers were standard-bearers of the campaign for supporting the army in Changbai area.
At the end of 1936, when we were staying in the secret camp in Heixiazigou, Ri Pyong Hon\and his party visited Headquarters, carrying supplies prepared by the revolutionary\organization in Yinghuadong. I still recall vividly the Korean traditional socks, they brought, padded with more cotton\and twice as long as usual pairs. I picked a pair of the socksrom the package\and tried them on; they came up to my knees.
I admired the women in Yinghuadong for their assiduous workmanship\and sincerity.
“They are excellent, indeed!”
He blushed at my praise.
“The snow is deep in Changbai, General. If you do not care for your feet in winter, the suffering is immeasurable.”
This was my first encounter with him, but I could see in an instant that he was very faithful\and modest. He never sang his own praises. Although he led the other people, carrying goods to the secret camp, he did not give the slightest air that he was their leader; he stood behind his colleagues\and only looked at me thoughtfully.
While I looked carefully at the socks in my hands, someone unpacking a knapsack of grain exclaimed, “Look here, General! Even the Japanese Emperor may never have seen such barley.”
At that moment I could not believe my eyes. Fine barley as white as snow! Is this barley, not rice? They must have pounded it with great sincerity to make it so clean\and tempting!
“You have taken so much trouble, sir. I see such barley for the first time. How did you hull it to make it as white as this?”
“We hulled it four times.”
“Why? Barley can be boiled for eating after hulling only twice. Your sincerity is really beyond imagination.”
“The women in our village are so persistent.”
This time, too, Ri ascribed the meritorious deed to the village women. He said, “It was not men, but women who took the trouble to hull this barley. Grain can be hulled ten times, not four times, if one invests all one’s efforts. It is never a trouble, as it is all for the benefit of the revolutionary army.
Unfortunately secret agents make rounds of the village to detect which houses hull grain for what purpose\and\where they are taking the hulled rice to. The Women’s Association members rack their brains to dodge surveillance. They go to the market in Hyesan\and buy cloth for the revolutionary army; then they tie it round their waist\or fold it\and put it on their babies, just like diapers. For this reason, they carry babies on their backs intentionally when going to markets. The elderly, who are unaware of this fact, rebuke them for going to all this trouble; however, the women always carry their babies, because only then do they have somewhere to hide cloth.”
Ri did not mention a word about the trouble the men took; he only referred to the pains the women took.
His words moved me. I took a handful of barleyrom the knapsack\and smelled it. Then I said to those around me, “Even though the Japanese Emperor is exalted, he is just like a tree without a root, while we are a sproutrom a firm root, even though we are not visible. So, how can he ever see such fine grain as we have received?”
We came to know every detail of the support-the-guerrillas campaign, conducted by the people in Yinghuadong through Ri Ul Sol next year, who joined our unit that year. He was not inclined to sing the praise of himself, just like his father. Moreover, he hardly uttered a single word about the pains his father\and mother took. However, he told an anecdote, apparently by a slip of the tongue, in which his mother picked wild berries to obtain money for the cloth used to make knapsacks.
In Yinghuadong many households sufferedrom a dearth of food grain; one of them was Ri Ul Sol’s. Although they had scanty meals of grass gruel, his family tried not to lag behind the others in supporting the revolutionary army. So they picked wild berries in summer\and wild grapes\and rocambole in autumn to sell them at the market in Hyesan. Whenever the mother returned with wild fruits\and assorted them, his younger brothers would sit round her with watery mouths. Even though she read their minds well, she did not readily give them even a single wild berry, for she considered this to mean less sincerity to the revolutionary army.
On returningrom the secret camp, Ri Pyong Hon boasted to his children that he had seen me. Ri Ul Sol replied that he would go to the guerrillas right away\and fight under my wings, but his father stopped him.
Ri Pyong Hon rejected his suggestion there\and then, saying, “The soldiers under the wings of the General are all stalwart\and good at shooting. How can you venture to become a soldier of the revolutionary army, when you only know the hoe in the field\and hemp trousers? Train yourself a little more before you go.”
He made his son join a branch of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland for training. Next summer he sent his son\and nephew to the guerrilla army. Sending beloved children to the army constituted the highest expression of the spirit of support for the army.
Ri Pyong Hon invariably supported the revolutionary army, even after sending his son to the guerrilla army.
I met him again at Tianshangshui in late spring 1937. The dyestuffs brought at that time greatly helped in the dyeing of flowers\and flags to festoon the joint celebration of the guerrillas\and people to commemorate the victory in the battle of Pochonbo.
The support goods sent by the Changbai people were always permeated with moving sincerity.
In those days a slash-and-burn peasant family, with four able-bodied persons, could harvest 20\or 30 tan (a tan equals 40 pecks—Tr.) of potato at most in a year. They had to grind a dozen mal of potato to get one mal of starch. One mal of starch cost 60 fen\or so at that time. A mal of starch was not enough to buy a pair of workman’s shoes. So they made toffee\or wine\and sold them for money. In those days it was difficult to buy goods even if you had money. Therefore the people had to rack their brains\and make tireless efforts to purchase every supply sent to the guerrillas.
Even under such adverse conditions the people in Changbai County obtained various kinds of goods\and sent them to the mountains.
Every Korean living in Changbai County helped the guerrillas. Even the elderly, who could only walk with the help of canes, climbed mountains\and barked basswood trees; they burned the midnight candle to make us shoes with the bark. The women ran the watermills, standing guard in turn, refrainingrom lighting fires in cold winter nights, in\order to avoid the lackeys’ surveillance.
In most cases the village heads\organized the transport of support goods. As most of the village heads in Changbai County chaired branches\and chapters of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland, it was convenient for them to take charge of that task. The supply workers in our revolutionary army would in those days send the village heads threatening notices on purpose, demanding delivery of goods, to enable the latter to offer excuses to the enemy for\organizing aid to the revolutionary army. On receiving a notice, they secretly\organized the work, allegedly under pressure.
The people vied with one another to take the goods on days, when the conveying teams left the villages.
Our soldiers\dropped in at the houses in Changbai County, as if they were their own homes.
We frequented most often in those days Ryom Po Bae’s house.
Ryom In Hwan told me that Kang Jin Gon was the first to develop Deshuigou. Kang could not live any longer in his native village, crossed the Amnok with some of his family\and relatives\and built a village in a valley in Shiliudaogou. Ryom Po Bae is the wife of Kang’s cousin. Ryom In Hwan said that Mrs. Ryom\and her husband were intensely anti-Japanese\and upright, as they had come under the great influence of Kang.
Therefore I went to see them both, when we were staying in Dadeshui. I still vividly recall the face of Mrs. Ryom, who was so shy at that time, as she treated me with boiled oats\and barley mixed with potato. She would always dip oats\and barley in water in a large vessel, so that she could boil them in an instant, even if we\dropped in at her house at midnight. The barley mixed with oats she boiled was well-cooked\and aromatic, stimulating our appetite.
Her husband Kang In Hong set the chimney low\and covered it with wheat straw to make the smoke issue downward, lest the smoke ascending through the chimney at night should arouse the suspicion of the lackeys. Both of them were tenderhearted.
The people in Deshuigou were literally as poor as church mice, but regarded it as a great honour to serve the revolutionary army.
It was not surprising that the enemy turned the village of Dadeshui into a sea of flames in a day. This atrocity reminded people of the “sea of blood” in north Jiandao. When the villagers swept away ashes on the floors\and set up straw-thatched cottages, the enemy would attack them again\and set the cottages on fire.
Ryom Po Bae’s family had to move to Zhangmozi, Xinchangdong.
When we went there to see her on hearing the news, we could again hear the sound of a watermill there. I felt it was a good omen, for\where a watermill made a sound, I could feel the spirit of Korea, which did not burn in fire\or drown in a storm\and a struggle; the people took the greatest pleasure to support the army. The sound of the watermill resembled the giant strides of the people, who continued their resistance to the Japanese imperialists, by aiding the army.
I first went with my\orderly to the watermill\and met Mrs. Ryom there.
On seeing me, she bent her knees\and cried bitterly. Her tears contained so great sorrow after leaving Dadeshui.
I consoled her with great difficulty, saying, “Please calm yourself, mother. What can be done? You have to endure it....”
I later learned that her family had set up the mill after moving there. Her house, a small log-cabin, was situated near the mill.
That day she got a henrom a neighbouring village\and served us starch noodles in meat stock, with chicken garnish. However, she was sorry that it was such a poor meal.
The starch noodles I ate frequently in the villages in Changbai County were so unforgettable that even when I give a banquet to distinguished guests, I still serve them frozen-potato noodles\or starch noodles as a rare dish.
That night she was very concerned that the sound of the watermill might disturb my sleep. However, this was unnecessary, as that sound only induced sound sleep\and deep meditation.
Her family did not set up a new watermill after moving to Zhangmozi for their convenience. It was aimed at supporting the guerrillas.
That remote village was not, however, a place,\where one could live in peace. The enemy also stretched out his tentacles to this heart of the mountain. The policemenrom Erdaogang pounced upon the village without notice, destroyed the watermill\and took all the villagers to the police station. Her family members underwent atrocious tortures for three days\and were released as good as dead. They returned on an oxcart. Old man Kang, who had been beaten most, was in a critical state.
On hearing this, I sent them some bear galls, which are effective for welts. Apparently they got out of bed after taking the galls. Even Mr. Kang, who had been most seriously injured, roserom the bed\and again devoted himself to supporting the guerrillas. He was good at carpentry; he felled a birch on the mountain\and repaired the mill’s long board, which had been broken. His children tried to dissuade him, saying that he should start working after achieving a full recovery. But their words fell on deaf ears. He only said, “What are you talking about? Even the elderly in their 80s are busy making straw sandals\and socks to help those on the mountain. I am too strong to have a nap.”
The watermill at Zhangmozi once again started to hull grain for the guerrillas.
On Mr. Kang’s request, we admitted his son Kang Jong Gun to the revolutionary army. We always took good care of him, taking him with us.
However, he was killed in action later to our regret.
Kim Se Un, who lived in Pinggangde, Shiqidaogou, also camerom a praiseworthy family, which helped the revolutionary army with all its sincerity.
Kim Se Un persuaded his two younger brother\and sister\and four children\and relatives to engage in the revolutionary struggle\and rendered active support to their work; he was a faithful revolutionary. Kim Se Ok, the fiance of Ma Kuk Hwa, is his younger brother\and Kim Ik Hyon, an anti-Japanese revolutionary veteran, is his youngest son. His eldest son, too, joined the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army\and fought bravely. Soon after joining the army, he took part in the battle at Jiansanfeng\and later conducted political work in the homeland, before his arrest by the enemy. I learned that he had been sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment\and served his term in the Sodaemun prison with Kwon Yong Byok\and Ri Je Sun,\and that he was executed in spring 1945.
The small units\and political operativesrom the guerrilla army frequented his house, situated in hinterlands in the mountains, not farrom a secret camp of the revolutionary army. Usually, revolutionaries calling on the secret camprom the homeland, would put up at his house for a night. His house was an “inn”,\where the soldiers of the KPRA\and political operatives took up lodgings free of charge. He cultivated the land, leasedrom a Chinese landlord,\and devoted all his harvest to supporting the revolutionaries.
Kwon Yong Byok provided guidance in party work in Changbai County, while staying in this house.
My comrades nicknamed Kim Se Un “Dashifu”, a Chinese word meaning a cook. True to his nickname, he entertained a great number of guests. The cooking pot in his house was five times as big as\ordinary pots. They boiled grain in that pot\and scooped it with a big scoop to serve the guests. When there were many guests, Kim Se Un would personally go to the kitchen with folded sleeves\and helped the women in their work, sweating profusely. He was disabled; he could not walk properly, as the heels wore down, owing to severe frostbite, but carried straw sacks full of grain to the watermill several times a day.
He often joked with his guests in this way, “If it weren’t for my heels, I would have become a quartermaster in the guerrilla army, despite my age.”
As a tenant farmer, he supported the political workers by boiling a potful of grain for them every day, how much grain would be left in that house! He no doubt skipped meals on many occasions.
The sincerity displayed by the Changbai people in their support for the revolution was indeed unique. They enthusiastically aided the revolutionary army, even selling their properties\and laying down their lives when circumstances demanded.
In May 1937 a surprising incident happened; the dead bodies of a baby\and a woman were discovered on the road to Erdaogang. She was a common rural woman, who had secretly nursed a wounded guerrilla in her house, before her arrest. A military police officer of the Japanese army pounced upon her\and the wounded man under medical treatment\and escorted them to his headquarters. She was a tough woman; she stealthily hid a dagger in her bosom, when leaving the house\and on the road cut the officer’s face with the dagger, then took out the pistolrom his waist. Thanks to her efforts, the guerrilla escaped. She kept the watch of the officer with the pistol in her hand for nearly half an hour, until the guerrilla had run out of sight. Regaining his consciousness, the officer pounced upon the woman, snatched the pistolrom her\and stabbed her\and her baby mercilessly to death.
Some time later this incident became known to the public. One night their dead bodies vanished. The military police made a great fuss, as if an awful accident had happened. God only knew it, as their secret agents had kept watch on them round the clock. Apparently a revolutionary\organization in Erdaogang\or in its vicinity had dealt with them like a flash, when the opportunity had appeared.
In Changbai County there is a village called Zhujiadong; it produced many renowned revolutionaries. Kim Ryong Sok, known as “dagger oldster”, also fought in this village. Like the aforementioned unknown woman, he cut with a dagger the rope binding him\and stabbed the Japanese army officer escorting him. When he was working as a quartermaster, after joining the guerrilla army, his comrades-in-arms nicknamed him “dagger oldster”. Since then the nickname had become synonymous with him. Even the children living in the apartment house in Pyongyang,\where he was spending his last years, called him “dagger oldster”.
To our deep regret, the “dagger woman” did not leave her name behind. Apparently the wounded man, who escaped with her help, failed to return to his unit.
One day I left two of my men under the care of old man Ji Pong Phal, a member of the underground\organization in Zhujiadong; one was Kim Ryong Yon, who was sufferingrom an intestinal disorder, while the other wounded individual was a recruit, whose name escapes my memory. The old man took tender care of them for two months\and was then killed during an enemy’s “punitive” operation.
When the enemy attacked his village, he made sure that the soldiers of the revolutionary army took shelter on the mountain; he then stayed on his own in his house aware that if he also escaped leaving his house empty, the enemy would comb the mountain in search of the soldiers of the revolutionary army.
The enemy tortured him to expose the\whereabouts of the revolutionary soldiers, but he curtly replied that he did not know. The enemy beat his face ruthlessly with a leather belt. Blood gushedrom his face instantly. However, the more they beat him\and swore, the firmer his closed mouth became.
They stood him in a grave, saying that they would bury him alive. They threatened at gunpoint that they would give him a cash reward, if he told them\where the wounded had taken shelter\or else they would bury him.
However he remained silent.
In despair they shot him standing in the grave. Before breathing his last, the old man left this simple request with his fellow village people, “Please help our army wholeheartedly. Only then will a new society emerge.”
His last moment was subsequently called the “Zhujiadong incident”. On hearing a reportrom Kim Ryong Yon in later days, I came to know of his death.
How could a gentle peasant, who led all his life in a simple\and untainted way tilling land, be so calm just before his death in the grave,\where he would be buried,\and add lustre to his last moment standing firmly like titan?
His last words to the effect that sincere help to our army would expedite the advent of a new world remind all of us forcibly of how important faith is for a man\and the great power, a man with faith can generate.
Although the people in Changbai County aided our revolutionary army at great risk, even sacrificing their lives, they never expected rewards for their efforts. After the liberation of the country, no one made his\or her existence known.
Following the country’s liberation, Mrs. Ryom Po Bae moved to Hyesan with her children. But she did not inform us for more than ten years\where she was living.
It was only in 1958, when I was providing field guidance to Ryanggang Province, that I came to know that she was living in Hyesan.
I met her at the railway station. Her hair had turned grey.
“Mother, your son Jong Gun\and husband have already passed away... To see you today when your hair has turned grey....”
I was too choked to go on. Beaten at a police station for helping the revolutionary army, her husband Kang In Hong had coughed out blood\and died.
She embraced me, tears streaming down her face.
Feeling her rough hands I said with disappointment:
“I frequented your house in the bygone days, mother, as if it were my own. But it is too much. More than ten years have passed since liberation; why didn’t you call on me? Couldn’t you write to me even once?”
“How could you believe that I was not eager to go to Pyongyang to see you, General? But I might not be the only person wishing to see you. If we all call on you, when you are always busy, how can you run the government properly?”
The passionate people of Changbai, who rushed out of the village entrance in the past without noticing how their shoes fell off as they saw us, returned to the liberated country\and led a quiet life without making themselves known to the world.
Soon afterwards I brought Mrs. Ryom to Pyongyang\and chose a house on the scenic River Taedong for her.
The Changbai people, who helped us at the cost of their blood in the days of the anti-Japanese revolution, were all people of such calibre.
Kim Se Un, as I mentioned briefly above, went to the homeland in autumn 1937\and, roaming about Unhung, Pochon, Musan\and Songjin (Kimchaek City), formed underground\organizations\and ensured support for the guerrillas.
He later went over to Tumen\and engaged in underground work under the disguise of an oxcart driver, until the day of liberation. Surprisingly, although his feet were disabled, he conducted underground activities travelling about the wide area as freely as able-bodied men. He did not talk about his performance. His activities in the homeland became known to us many years later\and drew the attention of historians.
How could Kim Se Un be the only one to be so unassuming!
Most west Jiandao people were in those days members of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland; in today’s terms, they would be called unassuming heroes\and meritorious individuals.
The enemy built concentration villages to cut the ties between the People’s Revolutionary Army\and the people\and attempted to remove the links of support for the guerrillas by forts, earthen walls\and barbed wire; however, it failed to shut the minds of the west Jiandao people, inclined as they were to Mt. Paektu. As most of the heads of the self-defence corps, village heads\and gatekeepers of the concentration villages fell under our influence, the enemy’s fuss about the concentration villages was merely a derisive farce.
The Paektusan Base was located farther awayrom the populated areas than the base in eastern Manchuria. However, it can be said that the ties between the army\and people were stronger\and that the feelings between them were warmer in the former than the latter. The expectations we held for the people, when we transformed Mt. Paektu into a new strategic base of the Korean revolution with confidence in them, were confirmed. The people in Paektusan Base, endowed with unstained patriotic fidelity\and a pure mind for the revolutionary army, threw the enemy into a panic through a support-the-guerrillas campaign, exceeding our expectations\and imagination.
They were heroic people, who set an example for the revolutionary traditions of supporting the army\and enriched these traditions. The campaign developed into a pan-national campaign, involving the people of all strata, young\and old, men\and women, every village\and household. Supported by their campaign, we always emerged victorious in hard battles against the enemy.
The campaign to support the army, sweeping the vast area of west Jiandao, convinced me once again of the great power produced by the\organized people. Even a village on a plateau\or in a valley with only three peasant households, had an\organization. If we sent a messenger there with a short notice, the villagers would get out of bed\and busied themselves cooking food, saying that the revolutionary army four kilometres awayrom there would have a meal in their village\and that they should make haste to serve them warm food.
We were able to enlist\organizations via a short message to call west Jiandao people to climb Mt. Paektu all at once\and shout for the independence of Korea on the top of the mountain. They acted on our\orders, because these people became\organizedrom autumn 1936 in such a way.
According to a Korean proverb, beads become a treasure only when threaded in a string. All men\and women in west Jiandao were as precious as beads. The\organizations of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland turned west Jiandao into our world of influence\and made these beads a treasure.
What would have happened to them, if we had not rallied them behind our\organizations? Those individual beads would have been broken one by one at the hands of the enemy\or eclipsed in the mud. However ardent a man’s patriotism may be, what could he perform on his own?
Consequently I always say that the greatest asset for a revolutionary is\organization. The significance of an\organization can be said to be imperishable for the revolutionaries\and people in all countries, who aspire for independence. The role of an\organization does not dwindle with a change of times, nor should the rallying of the popular masses around the\organization be neglected, following the victorious advance of the revolution. It is imperative to hold the masses together in an\organization, when winning power,\and also when building a state after gaining power,\and continuing the revolution, after the establishment of a communist society, by drawing on successes gained in building this society. As revolution knows no bounds, the unification of the masses behind an\organization has no end. This is the physiology of social development\and a law, which all people aspiring to build a developed society should attach great importance to.
We are now exerting ourselves to rally the masses behind the\organization,\and will continue to do so, even after building a communist society. Furthermore, we will build an eternally prosperous\and independent society on this land\and make our motherland\and system an impregnable fortress, by drawing on the efforts of the\organized popular masses.
When the Japanese imperialists, deceiving the world through the so-called “policy of good-neighbourliness between Japan\and the Soviet\union” of the early 1940s, clamoured that the Korean communists were “fighting alone” to subdue our struggle,\and when Hitlerite Germany talked about the “tragic termination” of communists, as they swept away everything on their way toward Moscow, I gained strength\and confidencerom the memory of the watermills in Wangqing\and Changbai.
In the grim days of the war against the US imperialists, who boasted that they were the “strongest” in the world,\and the armies of their satellite states, I kept faith in the victorious tomorrow, while recalling the watermills in Changbai. Some people might think it strange that I felt certain of victory, as I remembered the sound of watermills, but this was indeed the case.
When frequenting the villages in Changbai, I could clearly detect through the watermills the unqualified love of the people for us, their impregnable support for us\and unchanging faith, even in the face of death.
During a temporary retreat, I once walked with Mr. Ri Kuk Ro along Tongno River (Jangja River)\and told him about the watermills in Changbai. I stressed several times that, during the fighting on Mt. Paektu, we had fought without going hungry, as the Changbai people had hulled grain by watermills\and sent it to us, that the sound of watermills had not died out, dispite the fact that the enemy had burned down the villages\and destroyed the watermills,\and that we could repulse any strong enemy, when we relied on the people\and enlisted their efforts. I continued that it was too wasteful to let this wide river flow unharnessed,\whereas the Koreans in Changbai in those days had even installed watermills on small streams\and made effective use of them\and that we should build a big hydropower station by damming the river after the war was over.
The traditions of support for the army\and the unity of the army\and the people established during the anti-Japanese armed struggle became more indestructible\and was consolidated even more in the great Fatherland Liberation War. The victory of our young Republic in the fight against the “strongest power” on the globe should be attributed to the fact that we enlisted the entire people\and relied on the unity of the army\and the people,\whereas the enemy imposed mostly pure military force.
These grand traditions are being advanced honourably today under the guidance of our Party.
Today, the campaign of “our village—our post”\and “our post—our village”,\whereby the people help the soldiers\and vice versa, is conducted briskly at every corner of our country. This campaign has been popularized at a rapid rate in factories, enterprises, agricultural farms, residential quarters\and schools across the country, in particular ever since Comrade Kim Jong Il was acclaimed the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army.
Such a relationship between the army\and the people is a source of great pride for Korea, which cannot be found in the history of the building of the armed forces of any country. Buttressed by such power, based on the integrity of the army\and the people, we do not flinch before blackmail\and threat of an enemy.
I regard single-hearted unity\and unity between the army\and the people as the greatest success achieved in the Korean revolution.
My ears still ring with the sound of the watermills I heard during the great anti-Japanese war. With that sound, the faces of a great number of Changbai people appear in my mind’s eye. How many of them died on the gallows\and behind bars! How many of them froze to death\or laid down their lives on the snow-capped Mt. Paektu, on their way to aid the guerrillas!
I take off my hat to them\and my heart swells with gratitude when I remember their boon\and virtue.
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