Thursday, June 07, 2018

Historic Battle of Pochonbo
President Kim Il Sung wrote as follows in his memoirs With the Century:

“Whenever I was asked on my return to the liberated homeland to recount some of the battles we had fought in our armed struggle against the Japanese, I used to describe the Battle of Pochonbo.”

The history of the anti-Japanese armed struggle, during which the guerillas had to engage the enemy several or even dozens of times a day, recorded many sung and unsung battles. Among them was the Battle of Pochonbo the President recollected with deep emotion. The battle served as a momentum for all the Koreans to turn out in the anti-Japanese armed struggle and created conditions and environment favourable for rapidly pushing ahead with the build¬ing of party organizations and the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland (ARF) at home and abroad.

Entering the latter half of the 1930s, the Japanese imperialist aggressors resorted to unprecedented fascist suppression of the Korean people in a bid to round off their preparations for continental invasion, and intensified economic plunder and exploitation more than ever before while stepping up the work of militarizing the economy. Korea turned into a living hell literally and the Korean nation was faced with a life-and-death crisis.

Based on a scientific analysis of the prevailing situation, Kim Il Sung convened a meeting of military and political cadres of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army in Xigang, Fusong County in Northeast China in March Juche 26 (1937) and put forward the policy of advancing into the homeland by large forces. As part of the operation to this end, he led the main-force unit of the KPRA into the homeland and commanded the historic Battle of Pochonbo.

Considering that the Pochonbo area was a vantage point of military and geographical importance for the activities of KPRA units as a dense forest linked to the Paektusan Base, the Japanese imperialists set up over 20 police institutions around the region and built fortifications in every 2-km-long section and laid out border roads.

At 10 p.m. on June 4, Kim Il Sung pulled the trigger of his pistol to signal the start of the battle. The police substation, subcounty office, forest conservation office, post office, fire hall, agricultural experiment station and other enemy’s administrative organs were engulfed in flames in a moment, with the enemies completely destroyed.

Dumbfounded by the KPRA’s advance into the homeland, the Japanese imperialists mobilized huge forces, including the police force, special border-guard force, border guards and military police to chase the KPRA. However, they suffered ignominious defeat again in the battles of Mt Kouyushui in Changbai County and Jiansanfeng respectively on June 5 and 30, 1937.

The significance of the Battle of Pochonbo was that it not only convinced the Korean people that their country was not dead but still very much alive but also armed them with the faith that they were fully capable of fighting and achieving national indepen¬dence and liberation.

The gun report of the battle caused a great sensation.

Workers, peasants and other people of all social standings, who witnessed the might of the KPRA and convinced that Korea would surely be liberated as they had the genuine revolutionary army led by Kim Il Sung, the Sun of the Korean nation, turned out in the revolutionary struggle at the risk of their lives. Large numbers of secret bases were built in several places at home and abroad as regional command bases, and the networks of party organizations and the ARF were expanded to the greatest extent in the homeland right after the two battles of Pochonbo and Jiansanfeng.

Investigation of the Hyesan Incident, a secret document of the Japanese police, wrote that the population in the border area believed in Kim Il Sung, acting in the bases around Changbai County of Manchukuo, as the world-class great man and the savior of the Korean nation, and the then chief of the Hyesan police station made a report on the fact that women living in a mountainous village praised Kim Il Sung as the outstanding great man of the times during their conversation about the prevailing situation.

A nationalist Kim Ku, president of the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai, was so inflamed at the news of the Battle of Pochonbo that he opened the windows and shouted over and over again that the Paedal nation was alive. Saying that his Provisional Government must support General Kim Il Sung from now on, he sent a messenger to the General. Patriotic democrat Ryo Un Hyong caught a taxi from Seoul to Pochonbo and toured the battle site. Back to Seoul, he featured the news in his paper and hosted a congratulatory banquet.

After Korea’s liberation in August 1945, poet Jo Ki Chon wrote the full-length epic Mt Peaktu dedicated to the history of the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle led by Kim Il Sung with the battle as the main theme.

The battle of Pochonbo illuminated the road ahead of the Korean people to follow in their life and aroused the Korean people to a do-or-die resistance.

It will remain etched forever in the minds of the Korean people as the undying torchlight of the revolution.

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