Brilliant Life


The anti-Japanese war heroine Kim Jong Suk was an indomitable revolutionary, commander of Paektu and versatile socio-political activist who won fame for her bravery and intelligence at every battlefield of the war. She was a perfect paragon of the feminine qualities and character, virtue and obligation, emotion and sentiment. The great heroine is still enshrined in the heart of the Korean people, who eulogize her exploits generation after generation.

“You’re a Heroine!"

Kim Jong Suk joined the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army(KPRA) on September 18, 1935. Receiving a rifle she expressed her determination:

“With this rifle bearing the blood of the revolutionary fore-runners and the people’s desire for national liberation, I will be faithful to General Kim Il Sung to the last moment of my life. I take this one rifle as one hundred rifles and will shoot one bullet as one hundred bullets to take revenge on the enemy. I will hold this rifle in my hand until the day our revolution emerges victorious.”

Kim Jong Suk engaged herself enthusiastically in the drills of shooting and guerrilla tactical performance, political studies and other action programs. An energetic and persistent character, she was soon recognized for her admirable qualities for a fighter of the revolutionary army. Her special concern was directed to the shooting drill.

At the end of 1935 the Japanese imperialists, alarmed at the positive military and political activities of the KPRA at Naitoushan which is quite close to Korea, started “punitive” operations there. The enemy forces consisted of 800 Japanese and puppet Manchukuo soldiers and policemen including the most vicious “new army” and a mortar battery of the Japanese aggression forces.

At that time, the KPRA side had only the people attached to the sewing team, weapons repair shop, hospital and other service organs, Children’s Corps members and some 40 KPRA fighters at Naitoushan.

Kim Jong Suk fought in the battle, and sometimes, together with women guerrillas and village women, carried ammunition chests, prepared and brought hot water and food to the combatants on hills from the village.

Learning that the KPRA strength was not so large, the enemy launched waves of attacks. As the enemy soldiers were all covered in pieces of white cloth except their eyes, it was almost impossible for the KPRA fighters to take aim. The situation was very unfavorable for the guerrillas as they were short of ammunitions.

Kim Jong Suk was fighting at the salient of the height that bore the brunt of the battle. After a while of a scrutiny of the enemy movement she suggested firing at the enemy when they raised their head to make a charge.

The KPRA fighters contained the enemy through a ferocious firing, and then, seated comfortably in their positions, began to shoot down the enemy whenever they raised their head. The enemy did not dare to rise up. Now afraid they would all go frozen to death if they stayed that way, an enemy officer sprang to his feet and shouted something pulling out his sword.

At that moment an old man from the village, who had been proud that he had fired nearly two sacks of ammunition in his days with the Independence Army, shot the enemy officer down with a short rifle.

Then, another enemy officer stood up in the farthest rear-it was over 400 meters away. All of a sudden a piercing gun report rang, and the officer slumped and rolled down the hill to the pleasure of all the KPRA fighters. It was Kim Jong Suk that had shot him down at a try. The old man, who had been watching her marksmanship, admiringly said that he had never seen such a crack shot as she was. “You’re a heroine!” he exclaimed.

Despite their desperate attempts the enemy could not but retreat, leaving more than 300 corpses behind, faced with the heroic struggle of the guerrillas and other people of the KPRA side.

After the successful battle to defend Naitoushan, the KPRA unit left the place for Maanshan in February 1936. Later, thanks to the people of Naitoushan, the story that the KPRA had a great marksman spread widely from mouth to mouth.

Story about 600 Uniforms

In 1939 Kim Il Sung Commander of the KPRA, gave Kim Jong Suk a new task of marking 600 winter uniforms. He had elaborated a plan of launching large-unit circling operations in the wide areas northeast of Mt Paektu to cope with the large-scale “punitive” drives of the enemy. Success in the operations to be staged in the severe cold depended in large measure on whether or not the task of making winter uniforms could be accomplished in time. It seemed almost impossible for the few members of the sewing team with a small number of sewing machines to make such a large number of uniforms within one month.

They worked day in and day out. When the task reached the last stage of completion, however, the eye of the needle of the sewing machine, the only needle, wore out. Some members of the sewing unit proposed finishing the making of the remaining few suits by hand.

Kim Jong Suk, however, disagreed, saying that their handiwork, however skillful it might be, would not match the products made with the sewing machine. She continued running the machine, adjusting the needle with her hand to prevent the thread from slipping out of the eye. As the work proceeded, the other members of the team would doze off while working, overwhelmed with fatigue as they had little rest or sleep. At that time Kim Jong Suk would sing songs, giving them courage and energy.

At long last, the whole work was completed, and all the members of the team, including Kim Jong Suk, hugged one another and shed tears of joy.

When they returned to the KPRA main unit after finishing their task ten days ahead of schedule, Kim Il Sung gave a warm welcome to Kim Jong Suk and her comrades and spoke highly of their service, saying that as they had completed the manufacture of the uniforms ahead of schedule the unit was now able to launch new operations with confidence without any trouble.

In Support of the Line Advanced by Kim Il Sung

Immediately after its liberation the situation prevailing in Korea was very complicated. The US imperialists, occupying south Korea, made desperate attempts to frustrate the struggle of the Korean people to build a new country. At the same time, the class enemies, at the instigation of the US imperialists, attempted to lead the people along the reactionary road. To make matters worse, the factionalists and opportunists, leftist and rightist, under the cloak of being “revolutionaries,” claimed that a bourgeois republic should be established or a socialist revolution should be launched at once. This plunged the people into confusion.

Kim Jong Suk told the anti-Japanese revolutionary veterans who were working in the provinces:

“We went through the sea of flames for the revolution during the anti-Japanese war under the slogan ‘Let us defend the revolutionary idea of Commander Kim Il Sung even at the cost of our lives!’ This slogan is the banner of struggle that we Korean revolutionaries should hold aloft for ever as we did in the past. You should carry through the line of General Kim Il Sung on founding the Party, the state and the army, frustrating the maneuverings of the betrayers of the revolution and factionalists, as you did while fighting in the mountains.”

Wherever she went, Kim Jong Suk helped the Party organizations to carry out the line of founding the Party precisely, and encouraged young people to lead the struggle to implement the line and policies of the Workers’ Party of Korea. When some young people including students were deceived by the enemy’s propaganda, she saw to it that a public lecture was organized without delay for young people and students. Then, she took the floor, saying:

“If you do not want to become slaves of the imperialists again, and if you heartily wish our country to be a truly independent state, you must follow General Kim Il Sung.”

“You, students, must study, study and study for the building of a new democratic Korea.”

“There is only one road you must follow: the road of democracy indicated by General Kim Il Sung.”

Kim Jong Suk often met the anti-Japanese revolutionary veterans and other people who had fought for national liberation in the homeland―they would be the backbone of the government of the republic soon to be established―to discuss how to implement Kim Il Sung’s policy of the building of the republic. While the national flag and emblem were to be designed, she gave detailed instructions so that the leader’s far-reaching idea and policy of building a new country were properly incorporated in the designs.

On September 9, 1948 the founding of the glorious Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was declared to the whole world. That evening, on returning home, Kim Il Sung called Kim Jong Suk to the dining table and offered her a glass of wine, saying, “The three tasks of building the Party, the state and the army have been completed today. All these years you have taken so much trouble to look after me. But so far I have done nothing for you, I have only given you trouble. Today I wish to offer you a glass of wine.”

Kim Jong Suk said, “What do you mean by saying that you have done nothing for me? You gave me wonderful presents by founding the Party, the armed forces and the Republic. You have made my long-harbored wishes come true. I have nothing more to wish for.”


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