The anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army (February 8) I celebrated for the first time as a KPA soldier was in Juche 42 (1953) when the Fatherland Liberation War was at its height. I still have vivid memories of the day I spent in the tunnel quarters together with my comrades-in-arms.
The KPA soldiers significantly celebrated the founding anniversary of the KPA even in the days of the hard-fought war.
In celebration of the anniversary, the locals in the area where we were stationed sent us relief materials they had prepared with sincerity, and we were provided with hearty foods, including bean sprouts we had grown in the tunnel. We were also deeply moved by stories told here and there. They said they would become scientists after the war, conduct farming as hard as they could in their hometowns or defend their country wearing military uniforms throughout their life.
That day, we heard that 20 fireworks would be set off by 240 guns in Pyongyang, Nampho, Wonsan and Hamhung respectively, on the order of the KPA Supreme Commander. We hugged each other for joy, sang and danced merrily and exclaimed we would surely win the war as we were led by the iron-willed brilliant Commander Kim Il Sung.
That day, I recited my own poem which reflected my pride in the fact that I, a son of a poor slash-and-burn farmer as a member of a ruined nation, had grown up into a KPA soldier and a sniper and my pledge to sacrifice my own life for the supreme commander and the country.
At last, the war ended in our victory. I studied at a university as I wished, and worked as an official at a central organ all my life.
The KPA founded by President Kim Il Sung and strengthened and developed by Chairman Kim Jong Il is displaying its might as an elite force, an invincible revolutionary army, which puts any provocative threats by the enemies under definite control and ensures peaceful environment for socialist construction under the leadership of the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un.
Whenever the founding anniversary of the KPA comes round, I keep it in mind again the truth that the country will always be firmly defended and ever-victorious under the leadership of the brilliant commander Kim Jong Un.
Kim Pong Gwan, a war veteran resident
in Kaeson-dong, Moranbong District, Pyongyang