The Battle of Pochonbo was organized by Commander Kim Il Sung according to his strategic plan in 1937 during the anti-Japanese armed struggle.
In those days, the Japanese imperialists mercilessly suppressed even a slight anti-Japanese element in the Korean people by mobilizing various kinds of evil laws and their fascist ruling regime and attempted to obliterate the Korean language and stamp out the soul of the nation, claiming that “Japanese and Koreans are of the same descent” and “Korea and Japan are one”.
With a keen insight into such situation, Kim Il Sung held a meeting in Xigang (March 29 to 31, 1937) and put forward a policy of advancing into the homeland by large forces of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army to deal a blow to the Japanese aggressors and inspire the people with the hope of national liberation. To this end, he organized a battle in the Pochonbo area which was a major strategic point in the enemy’s border cordons and one of hubs for the Japanese colonial rule and plunder of Korea.
At 10:00 p.m. on June 4, Juche 26 (1937), he pulled the trigger of his pistol to signal the start of the battle. The KPRA soldiers charged into the streets of Pochonbo and destroyed the police substation, subcounty office and other repressive establishments of the Japanese imperialists, and crowned the battle with triumph.
The victorious raid was a historic event as it not only dealt a telling blow to the Japanese aggressors and convinced the Koreans that their country was not dead but still very much alive but also armed them with the faith that they were fully capable of fighting and achieving national independence and liberation.
After the battle, Kim Il Sung delivered a historic speech “Let Us Fight on Staunchly for the Liberation of the Motherland” in front of the cheering crowd, inspiring them with confidence in sure victory.
He recollected the battle in his reminiscences With the Century as follows: The Battle of Pochonbo showed that imperialist Japan could be smashed and burnt up, like rubbish. The flames over the night sky of Pochonbo in the fatherland heralded the dawn of the liberation of Korea, which had been buried in darkness.
The Japanese imperialists, who were dealt with a severe blow in the battle of Pochonbo, dispatched large forces on the heels of the KPRA. But they suffered ignominious defeats once again in the battle on Mt Kouyushui (June 5) and the battle of Jiansanfeng (June 30).
After the Battle of Pochonbo, all the Koreans turned out in the all-out showdown against the Japanese imperialists, and the anti-Japanese national liberation movement in Korea, centred on the anti-Japanese armed struggle, entered a new period of upsurge.
Still today, the flames of Pochonbo kindled by Kim Il Sung give a strong impetus to the Korean people’s cause of socialist construction with eternal viability.