Marking the 110th birth anniversary of Comrade Kim Il Sung, the founding leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), which fell on April 15 2022, the DPRK’s Foreign Languages Publishing House has released a special commemorative book, ‘Immortal History of DPRK-PRC Friendship’, depicting his contribution to building and strengthening the special relations of friendship and solidarity between the two neighbouring socialist countries. President Kim Il Sung was a true internationalist, something that found concentrated expression in his lifelong friendship and collaboration with the communists and people of China. Noting in its preamble that this dates right from the beginning of the President’s long revolutionary career in the 1920s, the book depicts Kim Il Sung’s many visits to the People’s Republic from 1953 to the 1990s and his meetings with such Chinese leaders as Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Song Qingling, Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping, Hu Yaobang, Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, Deng Yingchao and others, as well as visits to industrial, agricultural, scenic, cultural and revolutionary sites in many parts of China. In a photo from the 10th anniversary celebrations of the People’s Republic in 1959, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Kim Il Sung are also joined by the Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh. The visits to the DPRK by many Chinese leaders including Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Hua Guofeng, Deng Yingchao, Hu Yaobang, Yang Shangkun, Li Xiannian and Jiang Zemin are also depicted. In all, with many rare photographs, the book constitutes a valuable record and historical depiction of proletarian internationalism.
February 16 marked the 80th birthday of Kim Jong Il, the late leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Marking this occasion, the DPRK published a special commemorative photo album depicting his contributions to strengthening and developing the traditional friendly relations between the two socialist nations of China and Korea. The contents of this significant historical record were subsequently reproduced in video format. We are pleased to make it available here. It vividly depicts the great importance that Kim Jong Il attached to the relationship with China until the end of his life.
The DPRK has long faced external threats to its security, which is the crux of the Korean Peninsula issue. To fundamentally solve the Korean Peninsula issue, the DPRK’s legitimate security concerns should be addressed. Otherwise, it’s like solving one problem only to find another cropping up. If the US truly cares about the well-being of the Korean people, it should stop pressuring the DPRK with sanctions. Instead, it should face up to the denuclearization measures already taken by the DPRK, respond to its legitimate and reasonable concerns and take measures to ease sanctions on the DPRK.Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on February 9, 2022
The following review was written by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Keith Bennett.
The Battle at Lake Changjin, directed by Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark and Dante Lam, premiered at the Beijing International Film Festival on 21 September 2021 and was released in China on 30 September. As part of its international distribution, it has been showing at selected cinemas in Britain, Ireland, the USA and Canada since 19 November and in Australia since 2 December. With a budget of some US$200 million, it is the most expensive Chinese film ever made. However, the acclaim with which it has been received has also made it the highest grossing film of 2021, the highest grossing film in Chinese history and the highest grossing non-English language film.
At just two minutes under three hours in length, the film is a revolutionary epic, with the main action centred around the Changjin Lake area of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the bitterly cold winter of 1950, shortly after the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (CPVA) had entered the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. Confronted with the harshest natural and climatic conditions, forced to survive on starvation rations, and faced with an enemy that was better trained, better equipped, better fed, better armed and with complete mastery of the skies, the Chinese troops “fearing neither hardship nor death”, to use the well-known Chinese expression, continue to forge ahead in the most courageous and ingenious of ways. Armed with the element of surprise, and although making the ultimate sacrifice, by successfully blowing up the Shuimen Bridge, they score the most decisive victory ultimately ensuring the achievement of China’s objectives in the war.Continue reading Film review: The Battle at Lake Changjin
The following article by Xia Yuansheng – president of the Hunan Provincial CPC Historical Figures Research Association – recalls the heroic sacrifice of Mao Anying (eldest son of Mao Zedong), who died on the frontlines of resistance against US imperialism and in solidarity with the Korean people. This episode forms part of a tremendously important history of militant anti-imperialist solidarity and enduring bonds of friendship between China and the DPRK.
The article was published in Chinese in 2010. It is included in the most recent issue of Dongsheng Chinese Voices, to mark the 71st anniversary of Mao Anying’s death (25 November 1950). Chinese Voices provides a valuable weekly newsletter containing a selection of articles by key Chinese thinkers.
On 25 June 1950, the Korean War broke out. On the third day, the United States imperialists announced armed assistance to south Korea and at the same time ordered its Seventh Fleet to sail into the Taiwan Strait, blatantly interfering in China’s internal affairs, and on 15 September the United States landed at Inchon and soon crossed the “38th parallel”, blatantly burning the war to the border of China and North Korea and the Yalu River, directly threatening the security and peace-building of new China. Faced with the most severe test of foreign war, political and military struggle, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, at the request of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the will of the Chinese people, decided to send troops to resist the U.S. and aid the DPRK. on October 18, Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, issued the order “Resist the U.S. and aid the DPRK, protect the country”. On October 18, Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, issued an order “to defend the interests of the Korean people, the Chinese people and the peoples of the East by transforming the Northeast Frontier Defense Army into the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army and marching to the territory of Korea at once to fight with the Korean comrades against the invaders and to strive for a glorious victory”. On October 25, the first battle was won, opening the prelude to the war against the U.S. and Korea, so the Chinese people have always taken this day as the anniversary of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army’s departure for North Korea.Continue reading Remembering Mao Anying, son of Mao Zedong who died fighting US imperialism in Korea
We are pleased to be co-sponsoring this International Manifesto Group webinar about Korea.
Date: Sunday 21 November 2021
Time: 11am EST, 8am PST, 4pm GMT, 5pm CET
Location: Zoom and YouTube
We take a look beneath and behind western stereotypes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – as totalitarian, autarkic, economically bankrupt, led by a dynasty and a cult, and a nuclear bad-boy – to probe the realities, old and new, by addressing key questions including the ongoing Korean War; the nature and motivations of the Workers’ Party of Korea governments; the reasons for its nuclear arsenal; the need to end sanctions; the history and present of the US nuclear threat in East Asia; and the path to national reunification, to which the Korean people, whether in the north, south or diaspora, remain committed.
- Dr Kiyul Chung (Visiting Professor, Tsinghua University)
- KJ Noh (Peace activist and expert on the geopolitics of Asia)
- Xiangyu (Political commentator and Chinese hip-hop artist)
- Sara Flounders (United National Antiwar Coalition, peace activist and author)
- Derek R Ford (Assistant professor, DePauw University)
- Dr Hugh Goodacre (Teaching Fellow, University College London)
- Keith Bennett (Co-editor, Friends of Socialist China)
- Chair: Radhika Desai (Professor, University of Manitoba; Convenor of the International Manifesto Group)