The fact that we formed a new type of party\organization on July 3, 1930, the day following the Kalun Meeting, was made public many years ago\and the speech I made at the meeting has been published.
It is known to everyone that the party plays the role of the general staff in the revolution\and that victory in the revolution depends on the role of the party. If the revolution is the locomotive of history, the party can be called the locomotive of the revolution. This is the reason why revolutionaries attach importance to the party\and work heart\and soul to build up the party.
The fact that Marx founded the League of Communists\and issued The Communist Manifesto at the start of his practical struggle following his creation of a scientific theory on communism is praised even now as the greatest of his exploits. This is because the mission\and role fulfilled by the party in the struggle of the communists to transform the world are very important. It can be said that the various opportunist\and reformist tendencies that appeared in the international communist movement\and working-class movement resulted, in the final analysis,rom a wrong view\and attitude towards the party.
Among all the epoch-making changes that have been made up to the present day by communists throughout the world since the appearance of communism in the arena of the working-class movement as the new thought of the time, there is nothing that is not linked with the noble name of the party.
In\order to implement the tasks put forward at the Kalun Meeting, we first of all started to form a party\organization.
It was after hearing that the Korean Communist Party had been expelledrom the Comintern that we resolved to found a new type of party\and started to make all-out efforts to find the way.
It was in April 1925 that the Communist Party was formed in our country. In those days in various countries political parties representing the interests of the working class had appeared\and were leading the masses. The fact that, in keeping with this worldwide trend, a communist party was founded in our country, a land\where no freedom of political activity\and no rights were allowed, proves how quick\and rich was the political sensibility of the Koreans towards the new thought\and the trend of the times.
The founding of the Korean Communist Party was the inevitable result\and law-governed product of the development of the working-class movement\and the national liberation movement in Korea.
After its foundation the Korean Communist Party disseminated the socialist idea among broad sections of the masses, such as the workers\and peasants,\and led the working-class movement, thus turning a new page on which the national liberation struggle in our country was guided by communists. While the Korean Communist Party existed the Korean communists displayed the mettle of our nation by leading such a large-scale struggle as the June 10th Independence Movement.
They also contributed to the work of rallying the anti-Japanese patriotic forces by forming such a mass\organization as the Singan Association with the cooperation of the nationalists.
The fact that the Korean Communist Party was founded\and the mass movement of various social sections such as the working-class movement\and the peasant movement was conducted under its leadership was a historic event that promoted the development of the national liberation movement to some extent\and marked the beginning of the communist movement in our country.
However, the Korean Communist Party ended its existence as an\organized force in 1928 owing to the cruel suppression on the part of the Japanese imperialists\and the factional strife in its highest circles.
At its Sixth Congress held in the summer of 1928 the Comintern pronounced the withdrawal of its recognition of the Korean Communist Party. This was tantamount to the expulsion of the Korean Communist Partyrom the ranks of the Comintern.
It goes without saying that while the Korean Communist Party existed we were not satisfied with its highest circles who were engrossed in factional strife. However, we could not repress our indignation\and shame at the news that the party had even been expelledrom the ranks of the Comintern. We regretted the action of the Comintern. It was at that time that I began to think that, although we were young\and had little experience in the communist movement, we ourselves must become masters\and work hard to found a new type of party.
If we were to found a party of a new type which would be pure\and\original, we had to overcome many obstacles\and difficulties.
The greatest difficulty was that there was still factionalism in the communist ranks. Because factionalism had not been eliminated the communists of the early years could not conduct the movement to rebuild the party in a unified manner but did it divided into various factions.
After the Korean Communist Party was expelledrom the Comintern the communists of our country conducted an intensive movement at home\and abroad to rebuild the party. But no faction succeeded owing to the indiscriminate suppression\and obstructive moves of the Japanese imperialists. The Tuesday group\and the M-L group8 abandoned their efforts to rebuild the party\and declared that they would dissolve the general bureau that had been formed in Manchuria. Following this the Seoul-Shanghai group made an effort to rebuild the party at home, but even this became known\and ended in many party members being dragged off to prison.
So we came to the conclusion that it would be impossible to found a revolutionary party by rebuilding the party that had been dissolved\or by relying on the existing generation that was infected with the vicious habit of factional strife.
Another difficulty in founding the party was that it was impossible for the Korean communists to found their own party in Manchuria because of the principle of one party for one country laid down by the Comintern.
In the general provisions of its Rules adopted at its Sixth Congress the Comintern laid down this principle, to the effect that each party belonging to the Comintern should carry the name of the communist party of the country concerned (the branch of the Comintern)\and that in each country only one communist party could exist within the Comintern.
The eastern propaganda department of the Comintern convened the Conference of the Korean\and Chinese Communist Parties in Khabarovsk in May 1930\and informed the delegates of the decision of the Comintern on the\organizational question regarding the Korean Communist Party. In that decision the Comintern set the Korean communists in Manchuria the task of joining the Chinese party\and working as members of that party.
Such being the case, those communists who had been working hard to rebuild the party changed their attitude\and issued a statement on dissolving the party. Then they started to convert to the Chinese party\and, with this, the flames of the May 30 Uprising swept east Manchuria.
The matter of the Korean party members having to work in the Chinese party could not but seriously excite the young Korean communists who had a stronger national pride than others. Our comrades had a heated argument on the matter. Some young people denounced the\order of the Comintern as irresponsible\and as an incomprehensible decision, some regarded the measure as fair\and yet others gave vent to their pent-up anger\and indignation, saying that the demand of the Comintern that the Korean communists should join the Chinese party meant rejecting for ever the possibility of rebuilding the party.
My comrades brought this matter up as a topic of conversation\and asked me my view.
I told them clearly that the demand of the Comintern that the Korean communists should join the Chinese party in accordance with the principle of one party for one country should not be censured\and that the demand did not imply depriving the Korean communists of the possibility of rebuilding their party.
“In the present circumstances the demand of the Comintern is somewhat inevitable. If the Korean communists had their own party, why would it demand that they live in a rented room? Therefore, we must respect the decision of the Comintern. That is an internationalist standpoint. If one becomes a member of the Chinese party, it will be all right if one does not forget Korea\and fights for the Korean revolution. However, on the plea of following the instructions of the Comintern, one cannot abandon the building of one’s own party\and live in rented room for ever. Koreans must have a party for Koreans.”
This was my view\and standpoint with regard to the problem of converting to another party.
However, I could not be sure that this view accorded with the principle of the Comintern of one party for one country.
In\order to deepen my understanding of the principle of one party for one country\and decide upon a policy for party building as soon as possible, I met Kim Kwang Ryol (Kim Ryol), a liaison officer of the Comintern, in Jiajiatun in the latter part of June 1930. Kim Kwang Ryol was an intellectual who had graduatedrom Waseda University in Japan\and had been in the Soviet\union before going to Jiajiatun. He stayed for a long time in Guyushu, Wujiazi\and Kalun, which were the areas of our activity. In his capacity of a liaison officer, he strove to link us with the Comintern. Jang So Bong\and Ri Jong Rak were unsparing in their praise of him, saying that he had been greatly influenced by socialism in the Soviet\union. So I met him with hope. I found him to be a well-read man, as was his reputation. He had a good command of Russian\and Japanese, danced Russian dances just as well as Russians\and was a good public speaker. Kim Kwang Ryol advised me to go to the Comintern instead of listening only to his opinion. He said that he would introduce me to the Harbin liaison office of the Comintern\and asked me to go there\and argue about the principle of one party for one country.
After meeting Kim Kwang Ryol I repeated the argument about the principle of one party for one country with my comrades.
We construed the principle of one party for one country as meaning that two\or more communist parties in a country could not join the Comintern, that only one communist party could become a member of it,\and that no more than one centre of the communist party could exist in one country.
The essence of this principle was that there should not be more than one party centre with the same interests\and aim in a country.
The fact that the Comintern advanced the principle of one party for one country\and demanded its strict observance was mainly aimed at eliminating the different forms of opportunism, including factionalism, in the international communist movement\and ensuring the unity\and cohesion of its ranks. The historic lesson of the international communist movement made the Comintern put forward the principle of one party for one country\and strictly guard against the infiltration of alien elements into the communist movement.
That the Comintern laid down the principle of one party for one country was connected with the fact that the enemy was making vicious attempts to split\and break up the communist ranksrom within.
However, the Rules of the Comintern merely laid down the principle of one party for one country. They did not clarify how those conducting the communist movement in a foreign country should be converted to the party of the country of their residence\and how revolutionary tasks should be set for them after their conversion. It was precisely because of this that the matter of the Korean communists active in Manchuria converting to the Chinese party gave rise to extremely complex arguments. So some people even regarded the formation of their own party\organization by the Korean communists in China as contradictory to the principle of one party for one country.
At a time when, owing to the various interpretations of the Comintern’s principle of one party for one country, terrible confusion\and vacillation were created in the activities of the Korean communists for the liberation of their country,\and even the right of the Korean revolutionaries to fight for their country was regarded as doubtful, I was seeking tirelessly the way to found a party.
Was there no way which would conform with the instructions of the Comintern\and also powerfully promote the Korean revolution?
The way out which I discovered at the end of my search was steadily to lay the\organizational\and ideological foundation for the formation of a party\and, on the basis of this, found a party that was capable of playing both nominally\and in fact the role of the general staff of our revolution, proceedingrom the lesson of the preceding communist movement, instead of hastily proclaiming a party centre. It was impossible to found a party proceeding onlyrom one’s subjective desire without training an\organizational backbone of people who were awakened to class consciousness\and qualified, without the unity of the ranks in ideology\and purpose\and without laying down a mass foundation on which the party could rely.
I considered that forming the party by setting up basic party\organizations first, with communists of the new generation, who had nothing to do with factions, as the backbone\and then steadily expanding them, was the most suitable\and realistic method for us of founding a party. I was convinced that the Comintern would welcome it if we founded a party in this way.
I believed that if we formed party\organizations first with the communists of the younger generation whom we had been training\and steadily increased their role, at the same time as expanding\and strengthening the basic party\organizations everywhere our steps reached, we would be quite able to lead the communist movement\and the national liberation struggle\and also fulfil our internationalist duties satisfactorily.
If we refrainedrom forming a separate party centre in China lest it should coexist with the Chinese party, we would not be contradicting the Comintern’s principle of one party for one country.
By establishing this idea we advanced the policy of founding a party at the Kalun Meeting\and formed the first party\organization.
Forming a revolutionary party\organization was also an inevitable requirement of the development of our revolution.
Because there was no party in Korea, the leaders of the Tanchon Peasant Uprising visited the Comintern to get its opinion on the tactical problems of the uprising. If there had been a revolutionary party in Korea representing the interests of the workers\and peasants, as well as a seasoned leadership force, they would not have had to spend money on going to the Comintern.
The national liberation movement in our country at the beginning of the 1930s developed much further, to an extent which was incomparable with the anti-Japanese struggle of the past in its width\and depth.
Our struggle also became much more advanced compared to its first stage. The sphere of our activities passed beyond the bounds of Jilin\and spread to far-off east Manchuria\and areas of northern Korea. Our revolutionary struggle, which had been confined to a youth\and student movement, stretched to the broad sections of the workers\and peasants\and became underground activities. When we had accumulated experience\and the military\and political preparations had been made, we would have to form a standing revolutionary army\and wage a full-scale guerrilla war with large units. The Young Communist League, however, was not equal to leading all this. The leadership given by the Young Communist League to various mass\organizations in the past was a transitional phenomenon, not a perpetual one.
Now it was necessary to form a party which would have to control\and guide the Young Communist League\and various other mass\organizations, give leadership to the national liberation movement as a whole, establish relations with the Chinese party\and work with the Comintern. In the name of the Young Communist League it would be impossible for us to deal satisfactorily with the Comintern.
The communists of the early years visited the Comintern to obtain its recognition, each group posing as the “legitimate party.” Therefore, the Comintern was quite at a loss. The Comintern began gradually to realize that it would be impossible for a genuine vanguard of the working class to appear in Korea unless factions were eliminated\and that, in\order to eliminate the factions\and found a new party, there should appear a new generation who had nothing to do with the factional strife\and had no ambition for power. So they became interested in our struggle\and tried various ways to join hands with us.
Over many years of revolutionary activity we laid down the foundation for forming a new type of revolutionary party\organization.
The formation of the DIU was the starting point for the founding of a new type of revolutionary party which differedrom the previous party in the Korean communist movement. Everything startedrom the DIU. The DIU developed into the Anti-Imperialist Youth League\and then the Young Communist League.
The hardcore detachment of our revolution trained by the Young Communist League\and the mass foundation of our revolution laid by the Anti-Imperialist Youth League immediately became the basis for founding the party. In those days when the Young Communist League had been formed\and was leading the revolutionary movement as a powerful vanguard\organization, the communistsrom among the new generation overcame the mistakes made by the communists of the preceding generation\and pioneered a new way of winning over the masses\and employing the art of leadership. The heroic fighting spirit\and the revolutionary fighting traits displayed by the communists of the new generation became the motive force enabling us to defeat the Japanese imperialist aggressors. Later they became the spirit\and moral strength of our Party.
A peak in the activities of the communists of the new generation was that the guiding idea of the Korean revolution was established with the Kalun Meeting as the impetus. The decision of the Kalun Meeting clarified the strategic points which the communists had to observe as their principles in the struggle to effect the programme of the DIU\and the Young Communist League. They constituted the ideological basis for the foundation of a new type of party\and a guide in the activities of the communists who had long been groping blindly in the dark, suffering failures\and setbacks, to find the way ahead.
The guiding idea, leadership core\and mass foundation—these can be said to be the essential elements for the formation of a party\organization. We had all these elements.
On July 3, 1930 we formed the first party\organization in a classroom at Jinmyong School in Kalun with Comrades Cha Kwang Su, Kim Hyok, Choe Chang Gol, Kye Yong Chun, Kim Won U\and Choe Hyo Il. Although they were not present at the meeting, Comrades Kim Ri Gap, Kim Hyong Gwon, Pak Kun Won\and Ri Je U also became members of the first party\organization as did Pak Cha Sok\and Ri Jong Rak whom I was intending to appoint as the commander of the Korean Revolutionary Army.
Jinmyong School stood in the fields in front of Jiajiatun, some 500 metres awayrom the village. Pussy willow fields covering some five\or six hectares stretched to the east\and south of the school,\and in the middle of the willow fields a wide river, the River Wukai, flowed around the southeast side of the school. There were ponds\and marshesrom the east side of the school to the village. There was a path to Jinmyong School onlyrom the west. If the corner was properly guarded there was no knowing if anything was happening at the school. Even if there was some danger one could easily escape into the willow fields.
That night we held a meeting by posting double\and treble sentries on the west gateway\where spies might appear. I still remember how the frogs croaked noisily in the rice fields. This noise stirred up mysterious feelings in me.
My most unforgettable impression of when the first party\organization was formed is how Kim Won U took such trouble to put up a red flag beside the speaker’s table when preparing the meeting place. The red colour of that flag clearly reflected our determination to fight for the revolution till the last\drop of our blood.
Even now I think of Jinmyong School whenever the first party\organization is mentioned,\and when I think of Jinmyong School I picture in my mind the unforgettable flag that stood slantwise by the speaker’s table.
That day I did not make a long speech. We had talked a great deal about forming the first party\organization during the Kalun Meeting. Therefore, there was no need to explain our aim in forming it at length.
I simply set the tasks for the members of the party\organization of expanding the basic party\organizations\and establishing a system of unified guidance over them, of achieving firm\organizational\and ideological unity within the ranks\and comradely solidarity,\and of laying a solid mass foundation for the revolution. As the means for realizing this I emphasized the need for the party\organization to hold fast to the independent stand in all its activities\and closely combine the work of building up the party\organization with the anti-Japanese struggle.
We did not adopt a new Programme\and Rules for the party. The Programme\and Rules of the DIU clarified the ultimate goal\and immediate fighting tasks for us communists,\and the revolutionary line\and strategic policies adopted at the Kalun Meeting provided details on the path we should follow\and the rules for our conduct.
We gave the first party\organization the simple name of the Society for Rallying Comrades. That name embodied the high aims\and will of us who were taking the first step in the revolution by winning over comrades,\and who were determined to develop the revolution in depth\and achieve its final victory by continually discovering\and rallying those comrades who would share their fate with us.
All the comrades who joined the Society for Rallying Comrades stood up\and made fiery speeches full of strong emotions. Kim Hyok recited an impromptu poem the content of which was: “Now we are sailing. Our ship has left the port. We’re rowing towards the ocean on a heavy sea.”
Following Kim Hyok’s recitation Choe Hyo Il stood up\and delivered a speech. On finishing his speech he said:
“Song Ju, if we were not in a classroom but on a mountain, I would like to fire a salute in memory of this occasion!”
I told him he should fire a gun to his heart’s content on the day we confronted the Japanese,\and that the day was not far off. We felt the urge to fire big guns, not just pistols, in commemoration of the formation of the first party\organization. Indescribable indeed were our joy\and pride as we solemnly pledged to the times\and history that, being party members of Korea with their own party\organization, we would devote our lives to the revolution.
When, 15 years later, I was lying on a straw mat in the floor-heated room of my home which smelled of my childhood, following the founding of the Party in the liberated country, I set aside all my cares\and recollected with deep emotion how we had formed the first party\organization in Kalun.
The first party\organization—the Society for Rallying Comrades—was the embryo\and seed of our Party; it was an\organization with the importance of a parent body in forming\and expanding the basic\organizations of the party. Since acquiring its first party\organization our revolution has been winning victory after victory under the leadership of the communistsrom the new generation who have not been influenced by factions\and are as pure\and fresh as driven snow.rom that time the struggle of the Korean communists to build an independent party made dynamic headway on the strong current of the great anti-Japanese war.
Afterwards we sent the members of the Society for Rallying Comrades to various areas\and formed party\organizations in the northernmost part of Korea along the River Tuman\and in many regions of Manchuria.
I took charge of the work of forming party\organizations in the homeland. In the autumn of 1930 I went to Onsong County, North Hamgyong Province,\where we had a reasonably great influence,\and there formed a party\organization in the homeland.
Sharing life\and death, good times\and bad with the popular masses, our young party\organizations marched through the anti-Japanese war, always in the vanguard. In the course of this they became tempered as an iron-strong vanguard detachment\and grew into an indestructible force which enjoyed the absolute love\and trust of the masses.
We had our own\organization, but in conducting our work we maintained close relations with the Chinese party. Although we were Korean communists we consistently supported the Chinese revolution\and fought in the interests of the Chinese party\and people, proceedingrom the time-honoured neighbourly relationship between the Korean\and Chinese peoples, the similarity of the circumstances in which the two countries found themselves\and the commonness of the mission which the revolutionaries of the two countries assumed before the times. Whenever the Chinese party\and people won a victory in their struggle to liberate their nation, we rejoiced over it as over our own,\and when they experienced a temporary setback\or went through twists\and turns, we shared their sorrow.
Since the Korean communists were conducting their activities in China, they could not receive helprom the Chinese people nor could they firmly maintain the anti-imperialist united front unless they had contact with the Chinese party.
We attached importance to our relations with the Chinese party also because there were many Koreans in the party\organizations under the Manchurian provincial party committee. There were also many Koreans in the east Manchuria special district party committee; the leadership bodies of the county party committees\and district party committees in east Manchuria were made up mainly of Koreans,\and more than 90 per cent of party members in east Manchuria were Koreans. They played a central, leading role in the party\organizations in east Manchuria.
The large number of Korean party members in Manchuria was attributable to the fact that Koreans comprised the greater part of those pioneers who launched the communist movement in Jiandao.
It was after the Japanese imperialists occupied Manchuria that I began to have relations with the Chinese Communist Party. When I was forming the DIU at Hwasong Uisuk School\and when I was working in Jilin\and Wujiazi I had no contact with the Chinese Communist Party. A revolution is naturally an undertaking that is launched independently in accordance with one’s own conviction\and aim, not at the dictation of somebody else. Therefore, we ourselves evolved the guiding ideology for our revolution\and formed the DIU, the genesis of our Party, independently.
Imperialist Japan’s occupation of Manchuria after the September 18 incident created a new situation in which Japanese imperialism became the common enemy of the Korean\and Chinese peoples. This new situation required that we establish relations with the Chinese Communist Party.
Around the time of the meeting at Mingyuegou in the winter of 1931 I, while staying at Cao Ya-fan’s house, began to have relations with the Chinese Communist Party for the first time. When he was studying in Jilin, Cao Ya-fan did Young Communist League work with me,\and later at Hailong he taught at a school,\and was in contact with the Chinese Communist Party. Later, when I was conducting activities in Wangqing\and other areas after forming the guerrilla army, I established contact with Wang Run-cheng who, in a high position on the Ningan county party committee, was also in charge of east Manchuria. When Dong Chang- rong was transferredrom Dalian to the east Manchuria special district party committee, I established contact with him.
I established relations with the Chinese Communist Party in this manner,\and in the course of this I became a cadre of an\organization of the Chinese party. After the death of Dong Chang-rong I came into contact with Wei Zheng-min, as well as with Comrade Pan, an inspectorrom the Comintern.
I maintained my relations with the Chinese Communist Party throughout the whole period of the anti-Japanese armed struggle,\and these relations contributed to extending the common front against the Japanese imperialists\and to developing the joint struggle.
We developed the joint struggle by maintaining close relations with the Chinese Communist Party. This was a flexible measure we adopted to cope with the complex situation in those days when the Korean communists had to wage the revolutionary struggle in a foreign land. The measure also accorded with the Comintern’s line of recognizing one party for one country. While developing the joint struggle with the Chinese Communist Party in every possible way, we always held high the banner of Korean liberation, the independent line of the Korean revolution which we carried out honourably. Our Chinese comrades -in-arms spoke highly of our principled stand\and sincere efforts, calling them a shining example of properly combining national revolutionary duty with international duty.
Upholding the banner of proletarian internationalism, tens of thousands of the fine sons\and daughters of the Korean people took part, together with the Chinese communists, in the protracted anti-Japanese struggle, experiencing trials\and hardships.
When Comrade Choe Yong Gon visited China in 1963, Premier Zhou En-lai arranged a banquet in Shenyang in honour of his birthday at which he made a congratulatory speech. In his speech he said: “The Koreans played a leading role in paving the way for the revolution in northeast China. Therefore, the friendship between China\and Korea is unbreakable\and lasting. The Anti -Japanese Allied Army was a united armed force of the best sons\and daughters of the Chinese\and Korean peoples.”
Comrades Yang Jing-yu, Zhou Bao- zhong\and Wei Zheng-min also said on numerous occasions that the Koreans had performed great exploits in clearing the way for the revolution in northeast China.
Because we had freely given our aid in the Chinese revolution, the Chinese helped us in our cause, even at the risk of their lives.
After the reorganization of the Anti-Japanese People’s Guerrilla Army into the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, we formed the party committee of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army within the guerrilla units. That was a fruit of the expansion\and development of the first party\organization formed in Kalun. Later our independent party\organization spread its roots to the Korean National Liberation League, an\organization at home of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland, as well as to the peasants’ associations\and trade\unions.
We were able to found a party within a month of our triumphal return home. This was because we had gained success\and experience in the course of the struggle to realize the cause of party building during the protracted anti-Japanese revolution.