Not only the Korean people, but revolutionary and progressive people throughout the world, were plunged into sorrow when, on 19 December 2011, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced that Comrade Kim Jong Il, the supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the successor to its revolutionary founder Comrade Kim Il Sung, had passed away suddenly, two days previously, from a massive heart attack.
The KCNA statement said:
“He dedicated all his life to the inheritance and accomplishment of the revolutionary cause of Juche [Marxism-Leninism applied to the concrete conditions of Korea] and energetically worked day and night for the prosperity of the socialist homeland, happiness of the people, reunification of the country and global independence. He passed away too suddenly to our profound regret.
“His sudden demise at a historic time when an epochal phase is being opened for accomplishing the cause of building a powerful and prosperous socialist state and the Korean revolution is making steady victorious progress despite manifold difficulties and trials is the greatest loss to the WPK [Workers’ Party of Korea] and the Korean revolution and the bitterest grief to all the Koreans at home and abroad…
“Kim Jong Il, great master of politics and illustrious commander, honourably defended the socialist gains and noble heritage bequeathed by the President [Kim Il Sung], by dint of Songun [military first] politics despite the collapse of the world socialist system, the demise of the President which was the greatest loss to the nation, the vicious offensive of the imperialist allied forces to stifle the DPRK and severe natural disasters. He turned the DPRK into an invincible political and ideological power in which single-minded unity has been achieved and made it emerge as a nuclear weapons state and an invincible military power, which no enemy can ever provoke.
“True to President Kim Il Sung’s behest, Kim Jong Il set a gigantic goal to build a prosperous and powerful country and led an all-people general advance for attaining it, thus making the drive for a great revolutionary surge rage throughout the country and bringing about great innovations and leaps forward on all fronts of socialist construction…
“As a great guardian of socialism and justice, he conducted energetic external activities for the victory of the socialist cause, global peace and stability and friendship and solidarity among peoples under the uplifted banner of independence against imperialism, thus remarkably raising the international position and prestige of the DPRK and making immortal contributions to the human cause of independence.
“In the whole period of his protracted revolutionary guidance, he valued and loved the people very much and always shared weal and woe with them. He continued to make a difficult forced march for field guidance, making unremitting efforts and working heart and soul to build a thriving country and improve the standard of people’s living. He died from repeated mental and physical fatigue on a train in that course.
“The whole life of Kim Jong Il was the most brilliant life of a great revolutionary who covered an untrodden thorny path with his iron will and superhuman energy, holding aloft the red flag of revolution. It was the life of the peerless patriot who dedicated his all to the country and its people.
“He passed away to our regret before seeing the victory of the cause of building a thriving nation, the national reunification and the accomplishment of the revolutionary cause of Juche so ardently desired by him, but he laid a strong political and military base for ensuring the steady advance of the Korean revolution through generations and provided a solid foundation for the eternal prosperity of the country and the nation.”
Upon hearing the news, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (CPGB-ML) issued a statement the same day, noting that Comrade Kim Jong Il was, “a great friend and teacher of the international communist movement, of the international working class, and of the national-liberation movements and the oppressed nations and peoples, and…a close and dear comrade-in-arms of our party.
“Comrade Kim Jong Il devoted his entire life to the freedom and happiness of the Korean people, to the building of a thriving and powerful socialist nation, and to the anti-imperialist, socialist and communist cause of mankind…
“A great patriot and a great internationalist, Comrade Kim Jong Il advanced the cause of national reunification under the banner of ‘By our nation itself’. He made energetic efforts to promote the friendship and unity of the fraternal socialist countries, to revive and strengthen the international communist movement, and to support in every possible way all anti-imperialist struggles throughout the world and the efforts of oppressed peoples to build new societies.”
Also on 19 December, Red Youth issued a statement, noting:
“We are confident that the party and people of the DPRK remain strong and that their chosen leader, Comrade Kim Jong Un, will continue to defend the interests of the Korean workers and the international proletariat against the megalomaniacal schemes of US imperialism…
“We send our deepest condolences to our friends and comrades in the Workers’ Party of Korea and to the people of the DPRK on the tragic loss of this much loved and lamented leader of their party and their nation. As the upholder of the Korean revolution, he was not only a great Korean but also a great leader of the world proletariat and peasantry in our common struggle against imperialism and for socialism.”
On the evening of 23 December 2011, the CPGB-ML organised a memorial meeting in Southall, west London, to pay tribute to Comrade Kim Jong Il.
The proceedings were chaired by Comrade Harpal Brar, Chairman of the CPGBML and editor of Lalkar, with the other main speakers being Central Committee members Comrades Keith Bennett and Ranjeet Brar.
They noted that, contrary to the arrogant and chauvinist claims made by imperialist politicians and their media, Comrade Kim Jong Il was held in high respect and regard by the whole of progressive humanity, detailing some of the numerous tributes that had already been paid to him, including by the leaders of China, Cuba, Vietnam, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nepal, Palestine, Namibia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Russia and Cambodia.
A message of condolence was given by a representative of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and some other messages were read out, including one from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
Also, on December 20, a CPGB-ML Central Committee delegation, led by Comrade Harpal Brar, visited the DPRK embassy in London. The delegation presented a wreath, signed the book of condolences and handed over a message addressed to Comrade Kim Jong Un.
The leaders of the People’s Republic of China wrote to their Korean counterparts as follows:
“Upon hearing the shocking news that Kim Jong Il, General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, passed away to our sorrow, we express with bitterest grief most profound condolences and sincerest sympathy to all the Korean people.
“Kim Jong Il was the great leader of the WPK and the DPRK. He devoted energy all his life to the great cause of the Korean people for building a Korean-style thriving socialist nation and performed immortal historic feats.
“Kim Jong Il was a close friend of the Chinese people. It was with great enthusiasm that he carried forward and developed the traditional Sino-DPRK friendship provided and cultivated by the revolutionaries of the elder generation of the two countries, forged close relations with the Chinese leaders and dynamically promoted the steady development of the relations of good neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation between China and the DPRK.
“The Chinese party, government and people profoundly grieve over the demise of Kim Jong Il and the Chinese people will always miss him.
“Though he passed away all of a sudden, he will live in the hearts of the Korean people forever.
“We are convinced that the Korean people will overcome sorrow and display strength under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, united close around the WPK, true to the behests of Kim Jong Il, and make uninterrupted advances to build a thriving socialist nation and achieve lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.
“China and the DPRK are linked with each other with a mountain and rivers and are sharing weal and woe. It is the consistent policy of the Chinese party and government to steadily consolidate and develop the traditional Sino-DPRK friendly and cooperative relations.
“We are convinced that the friendship between the two parties, countries and peoples of China and the DPRK will surely continue to grow stronger thanks to the concerted efforts of both sides.
“The Chinese people will as always stand by the side of the Korean people.
“Kim Jong Il is immortal.”
Socialist Cuba declared three days of national mourning for Comrade Kim Jong Il, 20-22 December.
The President of Namibia wrote that Kim Jong Il, “endeared himself to the people of Africa and all emerging nations with his steadfast commitment to their liberation and indeed to the struggle for freedom and independence of the oppressed people of Namibia”.
Eternal Glory to Comrade Kim Jong Il !