Speech at the Sixth National Conference of War Veterans
July 27, Juche 109 (2020)
Esteemed comrades war veterans,
This is July 27.
The victorious July 27 is the day when all the people born on this land celebrate with surging emotions the great victory in the war that is etched in the past history, repeating the word victory.
Greeting the holiday of victory today, I am seeing you, esteemed war veterans, again, who created the great history, at this conference. I am so happy that I cannot find words to express my feelings.
It is an honour for us to have you, valuable teachers, at this conference.
Greeting the 67th anniversary of victory in the great Fatherland Liberation War, I, on behalf of our Workers’ Party of Korea and government, extend warm congratulations to you participating in this conference and other veterans of the war and people who performed wartime merits.
I also extend noble respects to the revolutionary martyrs, both sung and unsung, who sacrificed their precious lives in the sacred war for achieving the reunification and independence of their country and the freedom and happiness of their fellow people.
Availing myself of this opportunity, I offer my noble respects to the martyrs and veterans of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, who set a genuine example of militant friendship by helping our people in their revolutionary war at the cost of blood.
Esteemed comrades war veterans,
We cannot think of our country today without remembering the sweats and blood shed by the generation of the victors in the war, the great spirit they demonstrated and the ennobling sacrifice of the warriors.
We will remember them for ever.
It is our Party’s mind always to see you, who performed immortal feats etched in the history of our country, and give prominence to and feel proud of your heroic lives with dignity. This conference will prove an important opportunity for demonstrating at home and abroad the unanimous aspiration and will of our Party and all our people to hand down more vividly the exploits of the war veterans to posterity and carry forward the fighting spirit of the 1950s so as to translate the forerunners’ ennobling desires to reality without fail.
The distinguished feats performed by the victorious wartime generation of the 1950s under the leadership of the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung and the spiritual wealth and assets they bequeathed to the coming generations are becoming more precious things that cannot be bartered with anything else as the days go by. The major and profound meaning of our victorious July 27 in modern history is never confined to the fact that a country and nation defended their dignity and sovereignty in a fight against the aggressors and created a military miracle that would shine in the annals of the human history of war.
The great Fatherland Liberation War was a grim war for defending our Republic in its cradle and the destiny and future of tens of millions of our people and, at the same time, the first all-out war between the forces aspiring after independence and the dominationist forces, between socialism and capitalism, that was fought with the start of the Cold War after the Second World War. As such, no precedent could be found in the fierceness and the seriousness of the confrontation. We could not be compared to the enemy in all aspects including the military hardware and economic strength as well as population and territory, but in this war our new-born Republic checked the military offensive by the US imperialists, who had been boasting of being the “strongest” in the world, and their vassal forces and defended its territory and sovereignty at the cost of blood. This was a greatest event that wrote an unprecedented heroic and legendary tale in the histories of our nation and the world revolution. The July 27 constituted a turning point in making our country and people that had been reduced to a weak state and nation take pride of place in history as a heroic country and people admired by the world and in bringing about violent storms of revolutions for anti-imperialist independence, socialism and national liberation on the globe.
But for the great July 27, there would not have been today of socialist Korea demonstrating its glories as the most dignified and independent powerful country, a people’s country, in the present-day world and the imperialists’ high-handed attempts to put Asia and the rest of the world in the sphere under their domination would not have been checked. It defined the orientation of the new great history of the postwar socialist revolution and construction, created the proud traditions and wealth with which our country and people could achieve victory for ever, transformed the global political landscape and forcefully propelled the trend of the times towards independence and socialism–this is another great meaningfulness of the July 27.
The victory in the Fatherland Liberation War was the victory of the ennobling patriotism and mass heroism of our service personnel of the Korean People’s Army and people, the victory of justice and progress over injustice and reaction and the victory of socialism, the future of mankind, over capitalism, the refuse of history.
The Fatherland Liberation War, which made one clearly aware of the aggressive and brutal natures of the US imperialism and never forget them, deprived all the people on this land of their parents, brothers and sisters and their precious comrades-in-arms and friends, and brought them disastrous misfortunes and pains. However, thanks to the legendary feats of the victorious wartime generation, who overcame all those pains and trials, the great spirit of defending the country and revolution was created and unparalleled heroism, self-sacrifice and fortitude became solid as traits unique to our people.
Our victorious wartime generation is a proud generation that created a new history of carrying forward the Korean revolution by dedicating their blood and lives and developed the revolutionary spirit of Paektu into an all-people ideological spirit. Thanks to the service personnel, who defended every inch of their motherland at the cost of blood with the steely faith that they would surely emerge victorious as long as they were led by Comrade Kim Il Sung, and to the people on the home front, who dedicated their all to the victory in the war, the spirit of unity around the leader, the indefatigable spirit of fighting the enemy to the death and the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance of making weapons with bare hands could be displayed highly as a mettle of heroic Korea. That is why our Party holds in high esteem and give prominence to the victorious wartime generation, who brought about the victory at the cost of blood amid the flames of the war, as a proud generation who laid a cornerstone for carrying forward our revolutionary traditions.
They are also heroes who, true to the Party’s call, established a socialist system and laid the foundations of an independent, powerful country in the spirit of Chollima, and great teachers who implanted an ennobling spirit and soul in the hearts of the rising generations. In the days when they played the key roles in all sectors, our socialist construction witnessed the fastest eye-opening advance and upsurge, and the tales of their feats have served as sustenance and an excellent textbook of revolutionary life and outlook on life for the peacetime generations who have not undergone the experience of a war.
They, indeed, are excellent revolutionaries and patriots and invaluable treasures of our revolution who, though they themselves experienced trials, have devoted their all to the rising generations by invariably and faithfully supporting the Party and the leader in the whole course, beginning with the grim war days to the days of postwar reconstruction and socialist construction. Our Party regards it as a source of great pride and honour to have such revolutionary forerunners as you, who have cherished an ennobling view on the rising generation and on the revolution, and gives prominence to the victorious wartime generation as models whom everyone should learn from for all ages.
Esteemed comrades war veterans,
The history of nearly 70 years after the war cannot be called peacetime as a fierce confrontation with the enemy has continued, and the threat and pressure by the imperialists to invade and plunder our state have increased moment by moment.
With the spirit and will of victory brought about by the immortal July 27, we chose on our own accord the arduous road of strengthening the national power, looking towards a bright future of our state, and have never changed our choice, tightening our belts, when others were vying with one another for the pursuit of immediate “prosperity.”
As we must have an absolute strength with which to prevent and deter the war itself so as not to experience once again the pains and sufferings of the war in the 1950s, we have advanced along the road of self-development toward a nuclear state by braving all pressures and challenges and overcoming unprecedented adversity which would have brought others to their knees one hundred times. And now we have become able to reliably defend ourselves against any form of high-intensity pressure and military threat by imperialist reactionaries and other hostile forces.
War is an armed clash which can be unleashed only against a weak one.
None can now make little of us.
We will not allow others to look down upon us and, if they do so, make them pay dearly.
Thanks to our reliable and effective self-defence nuclear deterrence, the word war would no longer exist on this land, and the security and future of our state will be guaranteed for ever.
We celebrate July 27 every year from one generation to the next, but the day of this year, when our state has secured the strategic position the world cannot ignore but recognize, brings us a special emotion, and the significance of the victory in the war and the exploits of performed by the war veterans have become more valuable and prideful.
A long time has passed and many things have changed since the gunshots of the war ended, but the ennobling spirit the war martyrs and veterans displayed is still here, encouraging our people to a renewed struggle.
In the faces of you, war veterans, we are now visualizing the images of all the comrades-in-arms who failed to come back from the front in those grim years and the unforgettable martyrs who devoted themselves for socialist construction, and are girding ourselves to make redoubled efforts so as to be proud of ourselves before them. Just as you wrote a new chapter in the history of building a prosperous country by brilliantly carrying forward the traditions of the anti-Japanese struggle, the new generations of today will achieve the final victory of socialism of our own style without fail by inheriting your spirit.
The history of the victorious war teaches us the iron truth that a people armed with a great spirit can work a great miracle.
By etching the spirit in the 1950s in the minds of all the service personnel and people in golden letters, our Party will ensure that every one of them becomes a fighter who remains unchanged in any adversities and leads the life of artists of fresh miracles and victories so that they have no feeling of shame in front of the martyrs and war veterans.
We have never forgotten your rancour that you had to turn back in bitter tears after burying your fallen comrades-in-arms on the shore of the Raktong near the South Sea of Korea owing to a shortage of arms. Always remembering the truth that only when we have our sovereignty and right to existence guaranteed, can we achieve and promote happiness and in order to defend the destiny of our state and people, we must have strong power of our own, we will not halt even a moment on the road of building up the most powerful defence capabilities which no one would dare to challenge.
What the fighters of the war pictured in their minds so dearly in the so many days and nights of the do-or-die battles must have been a beautiful people’s paradise which would be built in the 3 000-ri land. Our Party will strive with redoubled courage to realize the forerunners’ dream and ideal of a powerful country without fail and make our people the happiest in the world.
All the people should glorify their lives as victors on the road of making their country prosperous, viewing themselves in the light of the lives of the victorious wartime generation. The present conditions and situation are difficult, but they are nothing when compared to those during the war days.
Our Party will make sure that all officials, Party members and other working people achieve proud victories on all fronts of socialist construction by holding up the slogan “Let us live and struggle in the spirit of the great defenders of the country!”
It will also prepare all the service personnel to be versatile, a-match-for-a-hundred combatants who have acquired the indomitable revolutionary spirit, valiant militant mettle and lofty patriotism cherished by the war veterans as part of their mental qualities and are well-versed in our style of warfare.
The history of victorious war hands down to posterity the feats of numerous heroes including Ri Su Bok, Jo Kun Sil and Kang Ho Yong in connection with the word youth. The Party will bring up all young people to be hot-blooded loyal persons and staunch revolutionaries who take the Party and country into account first and are ready to dedicate themselves for the sake of society and the collective like those heroes who unhesitatingly dedicated their only lives for the one and only country in the face of death.
In this way, it can ensure that our great traditions of our ideology and system you defended at the cost of your blood and our victory is carried forward from one generation to the next.
It will ensure that the climate of respecting, holding up and according preferential treatment to war veterans and other forerunners in the revolution is created across society and becomes an unshakable national trait.
Our Party will look after you, war veterans, with all sincerity and hold full responsibility for your health and life so that you can become more vigorous even though you are getting older and continue to add brilliance to your glorious life.
It will make sure that Party organizations, government bodies, working people’s organizations at all levels and all the people regard it as part of their noble obligation and duty to take good care of war veterans as they would do their own parents, and do all they can do for them.
Although time passes and one generation is replaced by another, the heroic fighting spirit and undying feats of the victorious wartime generation will boil the red blood of our descendants harder for all eternity and the great spirit and feats will live for ever with the victorious advance of our revolution.
Esteemed comrades veterans,
You, staunch war veterans, defeated the US imperialists that had boasted of being the “strongest” in the world and the armies of their followers and weathered those severe years and all sorts of hardships; but as the saying goes that time and tide wait for no man, many of the veterans have passed away and the hair of you, present here, has turned gray. Seeing this, I feel sorry and regretful that time flies.
Comrades war veterans, I wish and wish you good health.
I sincerely request the respected war veterans across the country to lead a long life in good health, serving as the eternal source of our strength and spiritual mainstay.
Long live the great July 27 victory!