Meeting to celebrate 95th Birth Anniversary of Comrade Kim Il Sung

On Saturday 14 April, the Friends of Korea held a public meeting to celebrate the 95th birthday of Comrade Kim Il Sung, the great leader of the Korean people. The function started with a Korean film showing his life and work, particularly events just prior to his death in 1994. It was followed by a number of speeches concerning the revolutionary life and activities of Comrade Kim Il Sung and the leadership he provided in the struggle against Japanese colonialism and US imperialism, as well as in the struggle to build an independent and socialist Korea; his tireless efforts to reunify the Korean peninsula and to free the southern part of the country from US occupation; and his commendable efforts to regroup the forces of socialism and national liberation in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the bloc of east European socialist countries.

Michael Chant of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), John McLeod of the Socialist Labour Party, Ella Rule of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and Dermot Hudson of the Juche Study Group delivered messages of greetings and solidarity. A message from Andy Brooks of the New Communist Party (NCP) was read to the meeting as the NCP, owing to a previous engagement, were unable to be present. For reasons of space we reproduce below the main speech delivered on behalf of the Friends of Korea by Comrade Keith Bennett. Comrade Bennett’s contribution was followed by a very lively speech by Comrade Jong In Song from the Embassy of the DPRK. The meeting sent a ‘Message of Congratulations’ to Comrade Kim Jong Il, which is also reproduced below.

The speeches were followed by a cultural event, for the success of which the credit goes to the children and young persons from the DPRK Embassy. They entertained the meeting by singing popular and revolutionary songs, ending with the singing of the International.

Proceedings ended with informal conversations among the participants over food and drink provided by the DPRK Embassy and the Friends of Korea.

Speech by Keith Bennett, on behalf of Friends of Korea

Comrades and Friends, it is an honour for me to be able to speak at this grand occasion honouring the 95th birthday of the great Korean revolutionary leader, Comrade Kim Il Sung.

Our Chairman, Comrade Harpal Brar was due to give the main presentation. However, he is recovering from illness and has asked me to speak in his stead.

Comrade Kim Il Sung entitled his reminiscences, With the Century. The title is highly apposite. He was born just a few years after the ancient land of Korea was finally brought under the colonial rule of Japan. Two years after his birth, the world was engulfed in the brutality and carnage of a major imperialist war. Three years after, this conflict gave rise to the defining event of the century – the Great October Socialist Revolution.

Under the banner and guidance of that revolution, in his early teens, the young Kim Il Sung joined his father and other family members in guiding the struggle for Korean independence onto a new and correct path, one led by the working class, in strategic alliance with the poor peasantry, and guided by the science of Marxism-Leninism.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Comrade Kim Il Sung defined the general line of the Korean revolution, built party organisations, united front bodies, and organised and waged a powerful armed struggle against Japanese imperialism.

In the 1940s, this struggle merged with the anti-fascist struggle of the peoples of the world, led by the Soviet Union, and helped usher in the birth of a new democratic Korea.

However, with the onset of the Cold War, US imperialism occupied the southern part of Korea and in 1950 unleashed a ferocious war, during which the infant Democratic People’s Republic of Korea stood at the crossroads of life and death.

After the Korean people and their Chinese allies forced the US to sign an Armistice Agreement in 1953, the country lay in ruins. Yet, by the dawn of the 1960s, the northern part of Korea had emerged as a socialist industrial power, the first of its kind in Asia.

In the 1960s, Kim Il Sung’s Korea was a beacon supporting the anti-imperialist struggles of the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America; and in the 1970s and 1980s she rendered enormous support to those countries in their struggle to build new and independent societies.

As the 1990s dawned, through to his sudden and untimely death in 1994, Comrade Kim Il Sung picked up the banner of socialism, that had finally been thrown into the mud by the modern revisionists, and worked tirelessly, in spite of old age and the many pressing problems of his own country, to rebuild the international communist movement.

Indeed, Comrade Kim Il Sung stood up to all the challenges presented by the century and marched at the helm of everything that was new, progressive, creative and revolutionary.

Thanks to his example and leadership, the DPRK could continue to hold its own and to defend its independence and sovereignty, even through the most difficult days of a unipolar world order dominated by US imperialism.

This, Comrades, is the overriding political importance of why we celebrate Comrade Kim Il Sung’s birthday. We do so from respect for his contributions to the revolutionary cause and as an act of solidarity with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Workers’ Party of Korea. It is, of course, an act of friendship, but above all it is a matter of proletarian internationalism.

With the Century is a fascinating portrait of the life of a great man. More importantly, it is an encyclopaedia of revolution and I really encourage everyone here to read and study as much of it as you can.

In today’s meeting, I want to just reflect on a few points, with reference to the writings of Comrade Kim Il Sung, as well as those of Lenin, so that we use this occasion to educate and re-educate ourselves in the proletarian internationalism that inspires this meeting and which should guide us in all our work.

As Comrade Kim Il Sung said in Volume 8 of With the Century:

“Since the emergence of modern revisionism in the international communist movement, not many people talk about internationalism. Even those who used to preach internationalism whenever they opened their mouths are now busy feathering their own nests.

“The times were good when revolutionaries, though not well fed and well clothed, helped one another, regardless of nationality, offering food and other necessities to one another. Communists must not betray their internationalist duties and obligations anytime, anywhere” (p.99).

We extend support to Korea precisely because it remains one of the countries still sticking to the socialist road and because it has faced, and continues to face, the most extreme pressure from imperialism. It is not a matter of any intrinsic superiority of the Korean nation, or of seeking to imitate Korean practices, but a concrete manifestation of today’s political realities. Lenin explained the political significance of this well, in the section of his Left Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder entitled ‘In What Sense we can Speak of the International Significance of the Russian Revolution’, and I will quote it here at some length:

“In the first months after the proletariat in Russia had won political power, it might have seemed that the enormous difference between backward Russia and the advanced countries of Western Europe would lead to the proletarian revolution in the latter countries bearing very little resemblance to ours. We now possess quite considerable international experience, which shows very definitely that certain fundamental features of our revolution have a significance that is not local, or peculiarly national, or Russian alone, but international. I am not speaking here of international significance in the broad sense of the term – not merely several but all the primary features of our revolution, and many of its secondary features, are of international significance in the meaning of its effect – on all countries. I am speaking of it in the narrowest sense of the word, taking international significance to mean the international validity or the historical inevitability of a repetition, on an international scale, of what has taken place in our country. It must be admitted that certain fundamental features of our revolution do possess that significance.

“It would, of course, be grossly erroneous to exaggerate this truth and to extend it beyond certain fundamental features of our revolution. It would also be erroneous to lose sight of the fact that, soon after the victory of the proletarian revolution in at least one of the advanced countries, a sharp change will probably come about: Russia will cease to be the model and will once again become a backward country (in the “Soviet” and the socialist sense).

“At the present moment in history, however, it is the Russian model that reveals to all countries something – and something highly significant – of their near and inevitable future. Advanced workers in all lands have long realised this; more often than not, they have grasped it with their revolutionary class instinct rather than realised it. Herein lies the international ‘significance’ (in the narrow sense of the word) of Soviet power, and of the fundamentals of Bolshevik theory and tactics.”

Today, we can say that it is the Korean model that, in Lenin’s words, “reveals to all countries something – and something highly significant – of their near and inevitable future”.

Just as we apply that principle to Korea today, so Comrade Kim Il Sung applied it to the Soviet Union in his lifetime. Speaking of the 1930s, and even before, in Volume 7 of With the Century, he wrote:

“We fought in support of the Soviet people at the cost of our blood and in spite of our own arduous revolution under the slogan of ‘Let us defend the Soviet Union with arms!’ simply because the situation at the time required it. In those days the Soviet Union was in complete isolation, encircled as it was by the imperialists on all sides.

“For all communists to defend the Soviet Union was under the circumstances essential to the interests of the revolution, as well as a moral necessity. From the outset of our armed struggle against the Japanese, therefore, we strongly supported and defended the Soviet Union under the banner of proletarian internationalism” (p.346).

And he generalised this experience as follows:

“To do one’s utmost to maintain and defend a revolution that has emerged victorious and to preserve and consolidate revolutionary achievements is the internationalist duty of communists as well as their moral obligation. Only when active assistance is rendered to the advanced revolution can the backward revolution advance successfully in tandem with the former. For this reason, the international cooperation of the communists must be aimed at helping, supporting and complementing each other” (ibid. p.362).

Comrades, today, the Korean revolution is being continued under the leadership of Comrade Kim Jong Il. Comrade Kim Il Sung’s last great contribution in his life of 82 years was to address the question of ensuring that the revolutionary cause was handed on to a worthy successor, so that all the gains achieved at the cost of so many lives, at the cost of so much blood and sacrifice, were not squandered in a moment. In addressing this question, he based himself on some hard lessons of the international communist movement.

Again, in With the Century, he wrote:

“The appearance of traitors in the course of the revolution is a universal phenomenon that can be seen at any time. The history of the international communist movement not only celebrates men like Stalin, Zhou En-lai, Thalmann and Che Guevara, it is also stained by traitors to their leaders and their cause.

“Bernstein and Kautsky worshipped Marx and Engels, but they are recorded in history as traitors. They betrayed Marxism as well as Marx and Engels, their mentors and seniors in the revolution. Trotsky, who once held an important post in the Bolshevik Party, became an enemy of the Soviet state. Zhang Guo-tao defected from Mao ze-dong and the CPC to Jiang Shi-shi [Chang Kai-shek]. All these traitors ended their days in misery. But did those revolutions get frustrated or retreat because of their betrayals? Each time the turncoats were removed, the revolution developed and surged up with fresh vitality. After the removal of Trotsky, how remarkably socialist construction was promoted in the Soviet Union! Trotsky thought that without him, everything Stalin did would fail, and the Soviet state would go to ruin. But the Soviet people built their country up to be the leading socialist power in the world, as well as a global power (Vol 8, p.206).

Comrade Kim Il Sung went on to write about the veteran revolutionary Comrade Rim Chun Chu, who played an important part in developing the leadership role of Comrade Kim Jong Il, and observed as follows:

“Choosing the right man as successor is a fundamental question that decides the future of the revolution and construction, the country and people. We can take many examples of revolutions and countries going to ruin because of having chosen wrong successors.

“The basic factor that enabled the Soviet people to build their country into a world power in a short span of time after the October Revolution was that Lenin had chosen a good successor. Stalin, faithful comrade and disciple of Lenin, was loyal to the cause of his leader throughout his life. After Lenin’s death, Stalin made a six-point pledge in front of his coffin. In the course of leading the revolution and construction subsequently he carried out all his pledges. When the German invaders were at the gates of Moscow, he had the other Politburo Members and cadres evacuated, but he himself remained in the Kremlin, commanding the fronts.

“When Stalin was alive, everything went well in the Soviet Union. But things began to go astray after Khrushchev came to power. Modern revisionism appeared in the Soviet Party, and the Soviet people began to suffer from ideological maladies. He forgot the care with which his leader had brought him up: he vilified Stalin on the excuse of personality cult, expelled from the Political Bureau of the Party all the veteran revolutionaries loyal to Stalin and deprived them of their Party membership.

“Once, while visiting the Lenin Mausoleum, Rim Chun Chu encountered Molotov on Red Square in Moscow, after he had been removed form office. Molotov advised him to carry forward the ideology and achievements of his leader faithfully without falling prey to revisionism, taking the precedent of the Soviet Party into consideration.

“At that time, Rim Chun Chu keenly realized that if the issue of successor was not settled properly, both the revolution and the Party would perish, he said later” (ibid. pp.290-291).

Comrades, much of what Comrade Kim Il Sung had to say about international events remains relevant and full of freshness and vitality. In this context, I want to quote from an article I have referred to before in these meetings. ‘The great anti-imperialist cause of the Asian, African and Latin American Peoples is invincible’ was published in 1968, marking the first anniversary of the martyrdom of Che Guevara. In this article, Comrade Kim Il Sung wrote:

“The barriers of imperialism which surround a socialist country should be torn down so that the dictatorship of the proletariat can become a worldwide system; and one country’s isolation as the socialist fortress within the encirclement should be ended with the formation of strong ties of militant solidarity of the international working class and the oppressed peoples of the world. Only then can it be said that all imperialists’ armed intervention will be prevented and their attempt to restore capitalism frustrated and that the ultimate victory of socialism has been secured” (Vol 23, p.17).

The point is, of course, of general validity, but Comrade Kim Il Sung was writing specifically with regard to Cuba, which then stood alone in the western hemisphere, in contrast to the existing situations in both Asia and Europe, so he continued:

“In the same way that the defence of the gains of the October Revolution in Russia – which made the first breach in the world capitalist system – was an important question decisive of the fate of world revolutionary development, so, too, the defence of the gains of the Cuban revolution – which made the first breach in the colonial system of US imperialism in Latin American – is crucial to the fate of the Latin-American revolution.

“It is of great importance to the defence of the Cuban revolution that the revolutionary movement in neighbouring Latin-American countries should advance. If the flames of revolution flare up fiercely in many countries of Latin America where US imperialism sets foot, its force will be dispersed, its energy sapped, and the attempts of the US imperialists and their lackeys to strangle Cuba by concentrated force will inevitably fail. Furthermore, if the revolution triumphs in other Latin-American countries, Cuba will be saved from the imperialism which hems her in on all sides, a favourable phase in the Cuban and Latin-American revolutions will be opened, and the world revolution will be even further advanced (ibid. p.18).

Here, does not Comrade Kim Il Sung, with the boldness and vision of a great proletarian revolutionary, anticipate precisely the great turn that has taken place in Latin America in recent years? At the time of writing, with the sole exception of Mexico, every country in the Americas, south of the Rio Grande, at the instigation of the evil empire to the north, had severed diplomatic relations with Cuba. But today, Socialist Cuba has been joined by Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua as countries aspiring to socialism, whilst other countries in the region, including such significant powers as Brazil and Argentina, and many small countries in the Caribbean, are taking steps, to a greater or lesser extent, to defend their independence and strengthen collaboration with Cuba and other socialist and progressive countries. As Comrade Kim Il Sung explained, all this not only makes a favourable turn in the Cuban and Latin American revolutions, but actually contributes to further advancing the world revolution. We see this very clearly in the growing attraction and appeal of the Venezuelan revolution, and in its actual material contribution to the beginnings of a shift in the global balance of forces, be it in London, Zimbabwe, Iran or Jamaica. As even our bourgeois media has to admit, it is President Hugo Chavez who is welcomed as a hero and liberator wherever he travels in Latin America and throughout the world, whilst it is George W Bush who has to run and hide and scurry, not like the most powerful man in the world, but like a cornered rat.

What a difference this is to the situation in 1968, that Comrade Kim Il Sung accurately described as follows:

“The overwhelming majority of Latin-American countries have come under the complete domination and bondage of US imperialism. Pro-US dictatorships have been established in many Latin-American countries and their economy has been completely turned into an appendage to US monopolies. The US imperialists’ policy of aggression and plunder in Latin America is the major impediment to social progress in this area and has plunged the people into unbearable hardship and distress. The US imperialists and the pro-US dictatorships in Latin America set up extensive repressive agencies, including the army and police, and suppress all forms of revolutionary advance by the people in the most brutal way (ibid. p.20).

To reverse this situation, Comrade Kim Il Sung was a tireless advocate of the anti-imperialist united front. In this same article, he explained:

“In Asia, Africa and Latin America there are socialist and neutral, large and small countries. All these countries except the imperialists’ puppet regimes and satellite states constitute anti-imperialist, anti-US forces. Despite the differences of socio-political systems, political views and religious beliefs, the peoples of these countries, because they are oppressed and exploited by the imperialists and colonialists, oppose imperialism and old and new colonialism and jointly aspire towards national independence and national prosperity. The differences in socio-political systems, political views or religious beliefs cannot be an obstacle to joint action against US imperialism. All countries should form an anti-imperialist united front and take anti-US joint action to crush the common enemy and attain the common goal.

“It is true that there may be different categories of people amongst those who oppose imperialism. Some may actively oppose imperialism, others may hesitate in the anti-imperialist struggle, and still others may join the struggle reluctantly under pressure from their own people and the peoples of the world. But whatever their motives, it is necessary to enlist all these forces except the henchmen of imperialism in the combined anti-US struggle. If more forces – however inconsistent and unsteady – are drawn into the anti-US joint struggle to isolate US imperialism to the greatest possible extent and unite in attacking it, that will be a positive achievement. Those who avoid the anti-imperialist struggle should be induced to join it and those who are passive should be encouraged to become active. To split the anti-US united front or reject anti-US joint action will only lead to the serious consequence of weakening the anti-imperialist, anti-US struggle” (ibid. p.24-5).

Comrade Kim Il Sung was no friend of idle words, empty boasts or revolutionary phrasemongering. In a talk he held with the first President of Mozambique, Comrade Samora Machel, just three months before Mozambican independence, in summarising Korea’s post-liberation experience for the reference of his guest, he said:

“We did not put forward too radical slogans soon after liberation. We did not openly use the word socialism, either. Socialism does not become a reality simply through shouting about it. Putting up ‘leftist’ slogans at the stage of democratic revolution creates possibilities of being reinvaded by foreign imperialists and producing a larger number of domestic reactionaries” (Vol 30, p 121).

And this brings me to some reflections on the current situation. In recent months, I have spoken twice about the current six party talks process, the background to the Korean nuclear issue and its prospects, in meetings organised by our Friends of Korea as well as by the CPGB(ML). Both talks have been published in Lalkar, which I hope everybody here reads, so I don’t intend to repeat any of that now.

But let us be clear. The goal of US imperialism has been and remains the destruction and reconquest of the DPRK. As an independent, anti-imperialist and socialist country, Korea is a thorn in its flesh, which it seeks to remove, just as it has not given up its designs on Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Belarus, Iran, China, and other countries.

So, US imperialism goes into the six party talks to undermine and destroy the DPRK, whereas the DPRK goes into the same talks to defend its independence and sovereignty, to enhance its security and to secure the lifting of the crippling economic blockade.

Viewed in this light, the agreement secured at the six party talks in February represents a great victory for the DPRK, just as the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact were great victories for the Soviet Union.

On April 4th, the Korean Central News Agency carried an important commentary entitled ‘Socialism guarantees world peace’. In the following words, it makes it clear that it is the socialist system itself that is the main factor in the defence of the country, rather than the possession or non-possession of nuclear weapons, per se:

“An imperialist country fond of aggression and war as if they are amusements, possessed of the largest amount of mass destruction weapons in the world, has never been able to pull down a socialist country by means of war. It is because socialism itself represents the strength of unity mightier than nukes.”

As I said, at the CPGB(ML) meeting in February, we are still far from a final settlement of this matter and there will be many more twists and turns along the way. However, we cannot deny that, as of now, socialist Korea has said that as soon as the matter of the deposits held in the Banco Delta Asia in Macao is finally resolved, it will be prepared to freeze its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, readmit inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, allow them to install surveillance cameras, and so on.

The details and practicalities of all this are for another day and another meeting. What I want to do today is to touch on how the revolutionary working class movement approaches such issues from the vantage point of its most advanced theory.

As my mention of Brest-Litovsk just now illustrates, such dilemmas are not new in the line of march of the proletarian movement. Lenin had to tackle these issues head on, just as our comrades and we have to do today.

In his article, ‘On Compromises’ to be found in Volume 30 of his Collected Works, Lenin speaks of his talk with the British Labourite George Lansbury and explains:

“Of course, an advocate of proletarian revolution may conclude compromises or agreements with capitalists. It all depends on what kind of agreement is concluded and under what circumstances. Here and here alone can and must one look for the difference between an agreement that is legitimate from the angle of the proletarian revolution and one that is treasonable, treacherous (from the same angle)” (Lenin emphasis).

Lenin continues:

“It is not for nothing that Marx and Engels are considered the founders of scientific socialism. They were ruthless enemies of all phrase-mongering. They taught that problems of socialism (including problems of socialist tactics) must be presented scientifically. In the seventies of last century, when Engels analysed the revolutionary manifesto of the French Blanquists, Commune fugitives, he told them in plain terms that their boastful declaration of ‘no compromise’ was an empty phrase. The idea of compromises must not be renounced. The point is through all the compromises which are sometimes necessarily imposed by force of circumstance upon even the most revolutionary party of even the most revolutionary class, to be able to preserve, strengthen, steel and develop the revolutionary tactics and organisation, the revolutionary consciousness, determination and preparedness of the working class and its organised vanguard, the Communist Party.”

In the article from which I have already quoted: Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder, Lenin raises the question “No Compromises?” and explains:

“Every proletarian has been through strikes and has experienced “compromises” with the hated oppressors and exploiters, when the workers have had to return to work either without having achieved anything or else agreeing to only a partial satisfaction of their demands. Every proletarian – as a result of the conditions of the mass struggle and the acute intensification of class antagonisms he lives among – sees the difference between a compromise enforced by objective conditions (such as lack of strike funds, no outside support, starvation and exhaustion) – a compromise which in no way minimises the revolutionary devotion and readiness to carry on the struggle on the part of the workers who have agreed to such a compromise – and, on the other hand, a compromise by traitors who try to ascribe to objective causes their self-interest (strike-breakers also enter into ‘compromises’!), their cowardice, desire to toady to the capitalists, and readiness to yield to intimidation, sometimes to persuasion, sometimes to sops, and sometimes to flattery from the capitalists. (The history of the British labour movement provides a very large number of instances of such treacherous compromises by British trade union leaders, but, in one form or another, almost all workers in all countries have witnessed the same sort of thing.)”

Lenin goes on to explain that where it concerns the policies of a state, things are much more complex than the relatively simple matter of a strike, and I will quote three distinct paragraphs in this regard:

“Of course, in politics, where it is sometimes a matter of extremely complex relations – national and international – between classes and parties, very many cases will arise that will be much more difficult than the question of a legitimate ‘compromise’ in a strike or a treacherous ‘compromise’ by a strike-breaker, treacherous leader, etc. It would be absurd to formulate a recipe or general rule (‘No compromises!’) to suit all cases. One must use one’s own brains and be able to find one’s bearings in each particular instance. It is, in fact, one of the functions of a party organisation and of party leaders worthy of the name, to acquire, through the prolonged, persistent, variegated and comprehensive efforts of all thinking representatives of a given class, the knowledge, experience and – in addition to knowledge and experience – the political flair necessary for the speedy and correct solution of complex political problems….

“To carry on a war for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie, a war which is a hundred times more difficult, protracted and complex than the most stubborn of ordinary wars between states, and to renounce in advance any change of tack, or any utilisation of a conflict of interests (even if temporary) among one’s enemies, or any conciliation or compromise with possible allies (even if they are temporary, unstable, vacillating or conditional allies) – is that not ridiculous in the extreme? Is it not like making a difficult ascent of an unexplored and hitherto inaccessible mountain and refusing in advance ever to move in zigzags, ever to retrace one’s steps, or ever to abandon a course once selected, and to try others?…..

“The imperialists of France, Britain, etc., are trying to provoke and ensnare the German Communists: ‘Say that you will not sign the Treaty of Versailles!’ they urge. Like babes, the Left Communists fall into the trap laid for them, instead of skilfully manoeuvring against the crafty and, at present, stronger enemy, and instead of telling him, ‘We shall sign the Treaty of Versailles now’. It is folly, not revolutionism, to deprive ourselves in advance of any freedom of action, openly to inform an enemy who is at present better armed than we are whether we shall fight him, and when. To accept battle at a time when it is obviously advantageous to the enemy, but not to us, is criminal; political leaders of the revolutionary class are absolutely useless if they are incapable of “changing tack, or offering conciliation and compromise” in order to take evasive action in a patently disadvantageous battle.”

The principled but flexible tactics adopted in the six party talks show that Kim Il Sung’s party has mastered Marxism-Leninism. That is why we look up to them – not out of servility or in the hope of any reward, but as steeled, tempered and experienced comrades in our common cause. That is why we take tomorrow’s 95th birthday of Comrade Kim Il Sung, the Day of the Sun, as our common jubilee.

Thank you very much.

Message of Congratulations

Dear Comrade Kim Jong Il

On the auspicious occasion of Sun’s Day, marking the birthday of the great leader President Kim Il Sung, we would like to convey to you personally and through you to the Korean people, heartfelt greetings and congratulations.

President Kim Il Sung was not only the great leader of the Korean people. He was respected throughout the world wherever the people are in struggle to defend their sovereignty and independence, are striving to build a new society, or are resisting exploitation, oppression and imperialist war. The lofty cause to which he devoted his entire life and energies, and for which he is cherished and loved by working people everywhere, was no less than the complete emancipation of humanity.

Today, in circumstances no less complicated and dangerous than those faced by President Kim Il Sung, your own leadership is building on the legacy bequeathed by him. Under your leadership, the Korean people are achieving unprecedented victories in strengthening the social system of their choice, defending its independence against all the hostile threats of the imperialist powers. In so doing, the Korean people are inspired by your will and desire to serve humanity by building a strong and powerful nation, which is an indispensable and decisive force in the context of the people’s struggles worldwide to bring an end to war and aggression and to liberate humanity.

This meeting reaffirms its firm support of your leadership, and takes this opportunity to express its conviction that the unanimous wish of the Korean people to peacefully reunify their homeland will come to fruition in the not-too-distant future.

May we wish you on this occasion good health and long life, and assure you that we stand shoulder to shoulder with you in our common cause of building a new and different world.

Adopted at Friends of Korea Celebration, 14 April 2007 (Juche 96) Saklatvala Hall, Southall UK

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