Full text of a congratulatory speech delievered by Kim Jong Un at the Fourth National Conference of War Veterans.
Dear war veterans attending the Fourth National Conferenceof War Veterans,
Other veterans of the Fatherland Liberation War and people who performed meritorious wartime service across the country,
I extend warm congratulations to you as we prepare to mark July 27, V-day for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, our glorious motherland.
And I extend noble respects to the martyrs of the Korean People’s Army and the Chinese People’s Volunteers who laid down their precious lives in the sacred war for the freedom and independence of the country, and for peace.
The Fourth National Conference of War Veterans held today in grand style to mark the 62nd anniversary of victory in the great Fatherland Liberation War is a celebration demonstrating to the world the glorious tradition of victory of our country that has always emerged victorious in the anti-imperialist revolutionary wars under the command of the great leaders; it is also a significant meeting that demonstrates the revolutionary determination of all our service personnel and people to achieve a new, great victory of the great Paektusan nation by inheriting the heroic fighting spirit displayed by their forerunners.
Availing myself of this significant opportunity, I extend the noblest tribute and greatest glory to the great Comrade Kim Il Sung who led to victory two revolutionary wars, against the US and Japanese imperialist powers, and to the great General Kim Jong Il who achieved one victory after another in the unprecedented war to defend socialism.
My noblest respects and warm and militant greetings go also to the anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters who, faithfully supporting the leadership of the great leaders, safeguarded the people’s country and created the miracle of heroic Korea in achieving victory in the war, and to the war veterans attending this conference and across the country and the people of wartime merits who defeated the US-led allied imperialist forces and achieved great victory in the fierce Fatherland Liberation War.
I also offer my noble respects to the veterans of the Chinese People’s Volunteers who fought shoulder to shoulder with our People’s Army soldiers at the cost of their blood for the freedom and independence of the Korean people and for peace in the East, and thus rendered assistance to us in our righteous revolutionary war.
July 27 is our second Day of Liberation when our people defended with honour their country’s dignity and sovereignty from the brigandish aggression by the US imperialists, and also the day of proud victors that put the US imperialists, who were recklessly attempting to gain hegemony in the world and enslave it, on a downhill passage towards ruin.
Less than two years after its founding, our Republic inflicted an ignominious defeat on the United States that had been boasting of being the “strongest” in the world, thus defending its national sovereignty and global peace and security. This was a military miracle unprecedented in the history of human warfare and a great feat of historical significance never seen before in the nation’s history spanning 5 000 years.
The Fatherland Liberation War, in which the Korean people confronted the haughty US imperialists who had grown fat on aggression and pillage, was in fact a hard fight that could be likened to a bare-handed man facing brigandish robbers. The world’s people did not anticipate that the former would emerge as the winner in this war, which was in effect a confrontation between rifle and atomic bomb.
Contrary to expectations, our service personnel and people safeguarded their homeland in this three-year-long, do-or-die fight, and our country became widely known as a heroic nation, a miraculous nation, that prevented the outbreak of a new world war.
More than 60 years have passed since the day when fireworks were set off in celebration of victory over the arrogant US imperialists, with their Stars and Stripes burning and the flag of our Republic flying high.
In the long period that has witnessed changes of generations and centuries our country has been at the forefront of the anti-US struggle, with the dark clouds of aggression and war constantly hovering over this land, and the political situation in the world has changed remarkably.
Notwithstanding this, our service personnel and people are demonstrating their dignity as the guardians of independence and our country remains a bulwark of anti-imperialist independence and peace.
The United States has sustained one humiliating reverse after another since the 1950s–this has become its shameful tradition. By contrast, our heroic Korea is proud of its tradition of dealing it a telling blow whenever the overbearing power threatens to run amuck.
Our country’s glorious history and tradition of victory have resulted from the Juche-oriented military ideas, adroit strategy and tactics, and outstanding art of command of the heaven-sent legendary generals Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, as well as the heroic spirit and indomitable struggle of our service personnel and people who are boundlessly faithful to their Party and their leaders.
No force can conquer the service personnel and people who, in support of their great leader, have turned out in the struggle to defend their country with confidence in the justice of their cause and their own strength–this is a law and a truth taught by history.
There can be neither today without yesterday nor tomorrow without today.
Our war veterans are witnesses to the strength of heroic Korea and its history that is resplendent with victory; they are also the country’s priceless treasures representative of the era named after the great leaders.
Our Party respects them not only as death-defying defenders of the country but also as laudable revolutionary elders and educators who instil the spirit of death-defying defence of the country in the ranks of their successors as they march forward towards final victory, and it pays high tribute to them.
They are laudable heroes of our nation and genuine patriots, in that they dedicated their youth and even their lives to defending the Party, the revolution, the country and the people.
The images of the generation who won victory in the war are etched on the minds of our people, including the young generation, as sung and unsung heroes; among them Ri Su Bok, Kang Ho Yong, An Yong Ae and many others sacrificed their lives for their one and only motherland.
But for the generation of our heroic grandfathers and fathers who blocked enemy pillboxes with their chests and became human bombs to combat the enemy aircraft and tanks in defence of every inch of the country, this dignified and powerful socialist country, where people are enjoying happiness under the leadership of the Workers’ Party for generation after generation, would not have existed.
Time has passed and rivers and mountains have changed, but the legendary tales of the feats of arms performed by the People’s Army warriors who defeated the aggressors with the unyielding mettle and emerged victors and the bloody footprints they left can never be forgotten or erased, but will shine more brilliantly in the prospering country.
The heroic fighters of the 1950s demonstrated through practice that a people who are strong in spirit are fully capable of defeating an imperialist aggressor army armed even with A-bombs.
What our service personnel and people trusted absolutely and relied on in the confrontation with the allied imperialist forces that were numerically and technically superior was the supreme Headquarters where the legendary hero Comrade Kim Il Sung was, and the source of their world-startling, unparalleled bravery was their ardent love for their motherland, burning hatred for the enemy and the revolutionary spirit of Paektu of fighting the enemy to the death.
The US imperialists, who had been boasting of the myth of their “strength,” launched a series of desperate attacks by hurling in colossal amounts of military hardware and even the troops of their vassal countries, but they could never dishearten our service personnel and people who were filled with trust in and affection for what was theirs; the aggressive barbarians could not avoid staggering political and military, spiritual and moral defeats in the whole period of the war.
The spirit of defending the country created in the flames of the war–this is the most powerful strength that defies comparison with any physical strength and the most precious asset our new generation should inherit from the war veterans who are strong in ideology and faith.
The great leaders valued and held up the war veterans, who were trained and tested in the crucible of war, as the core of the Party and of the revolutionary ranks.
After the war, the war veterans and people who had performed meritorious service in wartime continuously brought the flowers of the revolution into bloom, devoting their blood and sweat unsparingly for the sake of the prosperity and development of the country, enjoying the great trust of the Party and the leaders.
The epics of heroic feats in the Chollima era when Koreans demonstrated their true mettle once again in the flames of great upsurge and the proud annals recording their endeavours to build a socialist power that is independent, self-sufficient and self-reliant in national defence, tell of the valuable devotion of the generation of victors who faithfully supported the Party’s cause, tightening their belts in order to carry out the shares of their fallen comrades-in-arms as well as their own.
War veterans braved the severe ordeals of the Arduous March and forced march, consistently throwing in their lot with the Party both in the days of trials and in the days of glory, and they have imparted to the rising generations the strong faith that they must invariably travel the long road of the Songun revolution, following the Party. Their ennobling spiritual world is an exemplary revolutionary trait which everyone should learn from.
It is our great pride and a source of strength that we have as our revolutionary elders the war veterans who performed undying exploits in the great war to defend the country and in the gigantic socialist construction and who are handing such a superb ideological and spiritual wealth down to the coming generations.
As it has such excellent people as you who, like the anti-Japanese war veterans, have gone through fire and water in support of the Party and the leader and encouraged the ranks of the people on the general onward march throughout their life with the attitude as befitting steadfast revolutionary soldiers, our Party always feels assured.
The war veterans have devoted their entire life to the independent reunification and prosperity of their country in single-hearted support of the great leaders and the Party since the days when they braved the flames of war. Their ennobling fighting spirit and splendid patriotic feats will shine brilliantly in permanent golden letters in the history of the heroic struggle of our people.
To glorify for generation after generation the immortal exploits of the great leaders in achieving victory in the war and leading the Songun revolution and stoutly to carry forward the heroic fighting spirit, the spirit of defending the country, displayed by our revolutionary forerunners including the war veterans is a major strategic policy maintained by our Party in its effort to put an end to the anti-imperialist, anti-US showdown and hasten the final victory of the Korean revolution.
The spirit of defending the country displayed by the fighters in the 1950s is a great spirit of the times that inherited the revolutionary spirit of Paektu, and the spirit of Songun Korea which imbues all the service personnel and people with ardent patriotism and inspires them to achieve heroic feats.
That we annually celebrate V-day on a large scale is aimed at congratulating the war veterans, our revolutionary forerunners, while adding glory to their heroic life, and at firmly arming all the officers and men of the People’s Army and the people, including the younger generation, with the spirit displayed by the defenders of the country in the 1950s so as to encourage them in the grand struggle to create a new speed of Korea.
We should hold fast to the spirit of defending the country displayed in the 1950s as a fine textbook for the anti-imperialist class struggle and an ideological and spiritual weapon for adding lustre to the history and traditions of heroic Korea, and we should fully demonstrate its might in the anti-imperialist, anti-US confrontation and in the final battle for victory in building a thriving country.
War veterans, just as they did in the days when they sang revolutionary songs in the burning trenches, picturing in their minds the Supreme Headquarters, should support the Party and the country with unabated ardour and vigour, and hand down to the coming generations the pure, single-hearted loyalty, the revolutionary faith to be kept to their dying breath and the indomitable spirit of defending the country as their life and soul.
The spirit of defending the country and the revolution displayed by the heroic soldiers in the days of the war should become a pillar of faith for all the officers and men of the People’s Army; a revolutionary climate in which the People’s Army obeys without question the orders of the Supreme Commander should be firmly established as its first and foremost discipline; and ardent love for the country with which to defend every inch of the land to the death and the fighting spirit with which to annihilate the enemy without mercy should pervade the battle fields and drilling grounds where the campaign for winning the title of Guards Unit is underway.
When the spirit of those who ensured wartime production by turning machine belts by hand and the mettle of those who dedicated themselves to increasing grain production, wartime transport and assistance to the front despite the enemy bombings prevail across the country, successive world-startling, miraculous innovations can be created on all fronts where an economic giant is being built, and the eye-opening reality of the whole country turning into “gold fields,” “gold seas” and “gold mountains” can be unfolded.
Our Party attaches special importance to arming the rising generation, the young people, with the spirit of defending the country.
The problem of young people is precisely the problem of inheriting the revolution, and what is most important in carrying forward the revolutionary cause is to hand down the lineage of ideology and faith.
By cherishing the spirit of defending the country created by their forerunners at the cost of their blood, our young people should respond heartily to their country’s call, just as the heroic soldiers did in the 1950s; they should volunteer, with burning patriotism, beautiful hopes and great ambitions, to stand at the frontline posts of the Songun revolution and work at grand construction sites, and display to the full the valour and spirit of the masters of the world’s proud youth power and the young vanguard of the Songun revolution.
Respecting the war veterans along with the anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters as our precious revolutionary forerunners is a trait and tradition unique to the Korean revolutionaries.
We should ensure that the social climate of giving preferential treatment to the war veterans and looking after them with devotion prevails across the country so that they feel no discomfort in life.
In this way we can ensure that they, who defended our happy life of today, take pride in having participated in the Fatherland Liberation War, become more vigorous even though they are getting older and look back on their career with pride.
The United States and its vassal forces are making a last-ditch attempt to stifle our Republic, seemingly oblivious to their ignominious defeat in the war in the 1950s and the lessons from their complete failure in the decades-long policy of hostility towards our country.
If the enemy, forgetting the tradition governed by the laws of history, commit another reckless act of provocation against our Republic, our revolutionary armed forces will bury them in the grave of final ruin.
Our strength now is not what it was in the 1950s, when we had to fight with rifles in our hands against the US imperialists who were armed to the teeth.
We now possess the strength with which to fight any form of warfare that may be chosen by the United States.
We have the power to deter the United States from unleashing a nuclear war.
Gone forever is the era when the United States blackmailed us with nuclear weapons; now the United States is no longer a source of threats and fear for us and we are the very source of the greatest threat and fear for it. This is the current reality.
Independence is justice, and it is an inevitable historical outcome that justice emerges victorious.
Our cause is just, and no force in the world can check the advance of our service personnel and people who are marching in high spirits, rallied single-heartedly behind the Party, cherishing as their invincible weapon the revolutionary spirit of Paektu and the spirit of defending the country displayed in the 1950s.
Let us all fight vigorously for final victory.
Other veterans of the Fatherland Liberation War and people who performed meritorious wartime service all over the country, I wish you a long life in good health, and happiness for your families.