Yesterday, a great holiday took place in North Korea: 90 years ago, Kim Ir Sen (in Korean – “Rising Sun”) was born. All over the country, great celebrations are being carried out, and thousands of Koreans hurry to lay flowers on numerous monuments to the father of the nation and on Kymsusan mausoleum, where the body of the leader lies. This person's name is cloaked in mysteries and legends, which have been carefully supported for dozens of years by the propaganda machine of Korean People’s Democratic Republic. There are at least four official biographies of Kim Ir Sen, while all facts which cannot be included in the official frames are carefully concealed. Almost nothing is known about his youth. According to an official version, Kim Ir Sen was born April 12, 1912, in the Namni settlement (now, Mangenede) to the family of a village teacher who was an active participant of anti-Japanese struggle (at that time, Korea was occupied by Japan). However, according to unofficial information, Kim Ir Sen’s father, Kim Khen Chzhik, belonged to the marginal Korean intellectuals, who now taught, earned money in some other way, such as woking in an office.
The leader’s father, in addition to teaching, practiced herbal medicine using recipes of Far-Eastern medicine. The family was Christian. Protestantism penetrated Korea in the late 19th century and was broadly spread in the north of the country. Christianity was taken in Korea mostly as and ideologoy of modernization ideology partly as a modern ideology of nationalism. Kim Ir Sen’s father finished a school established by missionaries and kept in touch with Christian missions. Now, the fact that Kim Ir Sen’s father (as well as his mother) were Christian activists is being suppressed, while his contacts with religious organizations are being explained with his wish to find legal shelter for his revolutionary activities. Kim Ir Sen’s mother, Kan Ban Sok, was the daughter of a local Protestant priest. Kim Ir Sen (his true name is Kim Son Chzhu) had two brothers.
In 1920, or a year earlier, the Kims resettled to China, Manchzhuria. However, they did not find prosperity there. In 1926, at the age of 32, Kim Son Chzhu’s father died. In 1929, the future leader entered an illegal Marxist circle created by a local Young Communist League. However, the circle was soon annihilated, and Kim Son Chzhu had to spend several months in prison.
After some time, the young man was released, though, after that time, his life abruptly changed: having not even finished school, he joined one of the numerous guerrilla units that operated at that time in Manchzhuria to fight against the Japanese occupants and their local supporters for a better world, more just than the one that he could see around him. In those years, this was the way many young people of China and Korea followed who did not want to attach themselves to the occupants' rise in the world and serve and speculate.
The early 1930s was a time when a mass anti-Japan guerrilla movement was developing in Manchzhuria. Both Chinese and Koreans and representatives of all political forces, from Communists to extreme nationalists, were involved in this movement. Young Kim Son Chzhu, who even in his school years was connected with Young Communist League underground organization, naturally joined a guerrilla unit. Nothing is known about the early period of his work. According to official North-Korean historiography, Kim Son Chzhu, from the very outset, led the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army that he created, which was independent; however, it cooperated with Chinese Communist units. However, this "fact" has no connection with reality. There was no Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, while the myth about it is a part of the Kim Ir Sen myth created in the late 1940s and once and for all established ten years later. Korean propaganda always did its best to present Kim Ir Sen first of all as a national Korean leader, so it tried to hide his connection with China and the Soviet Union. This was why the North-Korean press did not mention either Kim Ir Sen’s membership in the Chinese Communist Party or his service in the Soviet Army. In reality, Kim Son Chzhu entered one of the guerrilla units of Chinese Communist Party, whose member he became soon after 1932. Approximately at that time, he adopted the pseudonym under which he later became known to the history: Kim Ir Sen. To be continued....
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Tranalsted by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/04/15/39772.html