Friendship and Solidarity Among Socialist Countries
This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation
Friendship and Solidarity Among Socialist Countries, November 1957
[Source: Kim Il Sung Works, Vol. 11, January-December 1957 (Pyongyang, Korea: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1982), 310-322.]
FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY AMONG
Article Published in the November
1957 Issue of the Soviet Magazine
Forty years have elapsed since the triumph of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia. In this not-too-long period, fundamental changes have taken place in the history of mankind.
We are now living in a new historical era. A major characteristic of this era is that socialism has become a powerful worldwide system.
There was only a single socialist state in the world when the Soviet people started building socialism after the victorious October Revolution. The present situation, however, is radically different. The idea of the October Revolution which gripped masses of people has become a great material force capable of transforming human society; socialism now finds itself beyond the bounds of one country, the Soviet Union. Today, not only the might of the Soviet Union has grown beyond compare, but nearly as many as 1,000 million people, or more than one-third of humanity, have definitely embarked on the road paved by the October Revolution and have been closely knit into the socialist camp. This camp as a united entity is very powerful.
In socialist countries all efforts are now being mobilized for the peaceful work of building socialism, and their industry and agriculture are developing at high rates unparalleled by those of capitalist countries. As a result of its steady growth, industrial production in socialist countries now accounts for one-third of the world's industrial output. This is a tangible material proof of the historical process in which the capitalist sphere of exploitation is dwindling and the position of socialism is expanding and strengthening worldwide.
The socialist countries advocate peaceful coexistence and friendly cooperation in their foreign relations with all countries and are consistently pursuing a peace policy. They are earning daily growing prestige among peoples throughout the world, and their influence on the international relations is increasing still further. Much stronger than the forces of the imperialist camp are the united peace forces of the peoples of the socialist countries, newly independent nations of former colonies and semi-colonies and other peace-loving countries.
Now that more than 1,300 million people or half of the world population have cast of the yoke of colonial subjugation, the total breakdown of the imperialist colonial system is now a clear fact. The final liquidation of the shameful colonial system is already on the order of the day as one of the most urgent questions.
The new era of world history, as foretold by the great Lenin, has come; the Eastern people are taking an active part in deciding the destiny of the whole world and constitute a powerful new force in the development of international relations.
The existence of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries is a very favourable condition for the struggle of all oppressed nations against colonialism and for the defence of national independence. The peoples of former colonies and semi-colonies who have taken up the road of independent development can stoutly defend their political and economic independence from imperialist aggression, drawing on the powerful support of the socialist camp.
The united socialist camp is now a powerful bulwark of lasting world peace and a decisive motive force for the development of modern history. The forces of peace lovers can find in the socialist camp both the spiritual and material means to safeguard world peace.
The imperialist aggressive circles, headed by the United States, manoeuvred and are still manoeuvring in a reckless attempt to weaken the growing and strengthening camp of peace and socialism and to prop up their crumbling footholds. The imperialists, for instance, have kindled wars of aggression and manipulated counter-revolutionary revolts more than once since the end of the Second World War. This is illustrated precisely by the Korean war which we have experienced, the war in Vietnam, the counter-revolutionary rebellion in Hungary and the aggression against Egypt last year. The imperialist aggressive circles aggravated the international tension by these adventures, but they failed to attain their objectives. There is no doubt that if the forces of peace lovers headed by the socialist countries become united more closely, all aggressive plots hatched by the imperialists will also inevitably fail in the future.
The new era of human history, ushered in by the October Revolution, and the magnificent world historic advance now being made by the peoples are immensely inspiring our people in their struggle for peace, national independence and socialism. The victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution and the might of the socialist camp united under its banner have given a great impact to us Korean people in the cause of hewing out our historical destiny.
In the dark years, when our country, which has a long history, was a colony of Japanese imperialism, even deprived of its name, our people who were starved and poorly dressed craved for the sunrise of freedom for a long time.
At that time Korea's incompetent feudal rulers and bourgeois nationalists tried to win independence by relying on Western capitalist countries. But they were simply foolish when they dreamed of attaining Korea's independence with the help of foreign imperialists, and thus all their attempts proved futile. Imperialist powers put Korea at the mercy of Japanese imperialism as part of their bargain for the seizure of colonies, and raved that that was for the "enlightenment of Korea". Only the Soviet Union, the socialist state established by the great Lenin, championed the interests of the Korean people and asserted the liberation of the oppressed peoples in the East.
In the darkest years of Japanese imperialist rule, the true patriots of Korea realized that the road indicated by the Great October Revolution was the only correct way to the liberation of the Korean nation and that on this road alone they would be able to win the freedom of their country and national liberation. Inspired by the example shown by the heroic Russian working class and the Soviet people, they struggled for a long time to win the freedom and independence of their country against imperialist colonial rule.
Through a long-drawn-out arduous struggle, the Korean people achieved the freedom and independence of their country, which they had wished for so ardently.
Korea's liberation from Japanese imperialist colonial rule marked a radical change in her history. Our country, a semi-feudal colonial society which had only been subjected to exploitation, oppression and mistreatment, became an independent state where the people are masters. Since then, the Korean people devoted all their energies and talents to the free, democratic development and prosperity of their country and set out on the road of hewing out their destiny for themselves.
But the occupation of south Korea by the US imperialist reactionary forces after liberation, complicated the situation in our country. By repressing democratic forces, raking up reactionary forces in south Korea and by interfering with the Korean people in their building of a unified independent state, the US imperialists pursued a colonial policy. As a result, the Korean revolution became complex, difficult and long-drawnout.
In this situation our most important task was to build a powerful revolutionary democratic base in north Korea that would serve as the foundation for national reunification. Overcoming all difficulties, we rallied the broad patriotic revolutionary forces with the working class at the core and in this way we scored the historic victory in establishing the people's democratic system and the democratic revolutionary base in north Korea. The socialist society, which our people have been aspiring to for a long time, is now being built in our country.
The people's democratic system in north Korea is a firm guarantee for the peaceful reunification of our country and contributes greatly to expanding and strengthening the socialist forces of the world and maintaining and consolidating peace in Asia and the rest of the world. The fact that Korea, freed from the imperialist colonial system, became part of the powerful world socialist system was a heavy blow to the imperialist scheme to turn our country into a bridgehead for continental invasion in the East. Today, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea together with its neighbours-the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China-is an indestructible force which can deter imperialist states from provoking aggression in Asia.
Indeed, great changes have taken place in the life of our people since liberation, and these changes would have been unthinkable without the support given us by the international revolutionary forces.
Throughout their modern history, which is replete with difficulties and trials, and especially in their struggle for national liberation and their country's democratic development, the Korean people have fully experienced the significance and unbreakable might of internationalist solidarity with the countries of the socialist camp.
The Soviet Union not only helped the liberation of Korea, but also aided the Korean people to make the fruit of liberation truly their own possessions. Support and aid from the Soviet people was one of the major contributions to the success in carrying out the tasks of the democratic revolution in north Korea and as such enabled to accelerate the revolutionary process of the democratic reforms and facilitate these reforms.
The great strength of internationalist solidarity was clearly proved in the Korean war.
The US imperialists sent the strongest bulk of their armed forces to the Korean front in their bid to occupy the northern half of the Republic, to make the whole Korea their colony and then to invade other parts of Asia. But they were defeated ignominiously and miserably by the joint struggle of the Korean and Chinese peoples. Our people repelled aggression by the United States which in command of large satellite forces bragged about, and honourably defended the freedom and independence of the country and our system of people's democracy.
Through their miserable defeat in the Korean war, the aggressive circles of the United States could not but experience profoundly the might of the socialist camp and the world's peace forces, which had grown since the Second World War, and feel that they, confronted with the united forces deterrent to aggression, would not be able to invade other countries with impunity as they had done before.
The Korean war showed that the people who stand up and fight imperialist aggression for their national freedom, independence and peace will always win powerful support from the socialist camp and peace forces and inevitably emerge victorious.
Socialist countries consider it their solemn duty to defend jointly the gains of revolution from imperialist aggression, cooperate and help one another. The great Chinese people sent their volunteers to help the embattled Korean people and that was a new example of cooperation, close friendship and solidarity among the countries of the socialist camp.
The effectiveness of this cooperation and solidarity, the like of which had never been witnessed in international relations, was clearly demonstrated again at the time of the counter-revolutionary rebellion in Hungary last year. When the counter-revoluti6nary revolt was instigated to overthrow the socialist system in Hungary, create a hotbed of war in the heart of Europe and destroy the socialist countries one by one, the Soviet Union aided the Hungarian people and thus faithfully discharged their internationalist duty to the Hungarian and other peoples of socialist countries. Needless to say, this was a just action in the interests of socialism and world peace.
Unity and solidarity among the countries of the socialist camp not only constitute a weapon of joint struggle against imperialist aggression, but also are indispensable to joint economic and cultural development of socialist countries.
The countries of the socialist camp are helping one another, fully maintaining political and economic Chajusong and self-reliance. Close economic cooperation among these countries enables each of them to combine its own interests properly with those of the socialist camp as a whole, and to develop its economy in keeping with its natural economic conditions by making the most of its production facilities and sources of raw material.
Aggressive circles of imperialist countries viciously tried to block the triumphant advance of the countries of the socialist camp and stifle them economically. Their attempt, however, was thwarted by economic cooperation among socialist countries. Trade relations, mutual aid in all spheres and sharing of technical experience among the socialist countries on the principles of equality and mutual benefit provide the guarantee for a continuous upswing and prosperity of the world's socialist economy.
Economic cooperation among socialist countries is of tremendous significance, particularly for the economically backward countries.
Our country was in a state of colonial and semi-feudal society for half a century and, accordingly, its economic foundations were very weak. After liberation we set about eliminating the colonial lopsidedness of the economy and technical backwardness and building modern industries. But this effort was interrupted by the war. The three years of war devastated the productive forces of our country and extremely impoverished our people.
The basic tasks facing us in the postwar years were to quickly raise the people's standard of living, rapidly rehabilitate the productive bases of destroyed industry and agriculture, and lay the independent foundations for future development of the national economy. These were very difficult and complicated tasks in view of the fact that our towns-and farm villages were reduced to debris and that all sectors of the national economy were devastated. Nevertheless, we carried out these colossal tasks splendidly in a short time.
As a result of successful implementation of the postwar Three-Year Plan, over 280 large and medium-size enterprises have been reconstructed on the basis of new technology and more than 80 modernly equipped new enterprises of the same size have been built.
Today our industrial output has more than doubled the prewar figures, and this year it will be more than the total amount produced in the four-year prewar period from 1946 to 1949.
In the northern half of the Republic, colonial economic backwardness inherited from Japanese imperialism has been largely eliminated, and qualitative changes have taken place in the economic structure and technical foundations. In agriculture, too, the grain output has not only recovered the prewar level, but is expected this year to surpass the prewar figure by several hundred thousand tons, resulting in the basic solution of the food problem.
In the northern half of the Republic, socialist transformation is now successfully going on in town and countryside, and socialist cooperativization is already at the stage of completion in the rural areas where private farming has been predominant for a long time.
With the rehabilitation and development of industry, agriculture and all the other sectors of the national economy, the people's standard of living has improved considerably.
All these successes would have been unthinkable had it not been for internationalist aid from the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China and other socialist countries. Through their economic and technical assistance in the most difficult years of postwar reconstruction, these countries helped us rebuild damaged factories and other enterprises, and build new ones.
By making the best use of valuable aid from the socialist countries, we are successfully implementing the policy of developing heavy industry by priority and advancing light industry and agriculture simultaneously. We have already healed most of the war wounds and laid the foundations for independent economic development. In four to five years we shall be able to turn our country into a socialist, industrial and agricultural state with solid foundations of an independent economy and basically solve the food, clothing and housing problems.
History knows no instance of such voluntary assistance given by economically and technically developed countries to other countries for economic rehabilitation or to backward countries for the building of the foundations of an independent economy. Such an instance can only be seen within the friendly socialist camp which is struggling for a common purpose and common prosperity.
Imperialists regard underdeveloped countries as sources of maximum profits, subjugate and impoverish them under the cloak of "aid".
Relationship among the countries of the socialist camp is based on complete equality, mutual benefit, respect for the Chajusong of the state and reciprocal fraternal aid, regardless of the size of the countries. As Korean experience shows, mutual assistance and cooperation among the countries of the socialist camp are a guarantee for the rapid development of each country, the defence of national independence from imperialist encroachment and the independent and self-reliant political and economic progress of the country. The strengthening and development of each of these countries benefit all members of the socialist camp. Our country is now advancing stoutly along the road of socialism and increasing its strength every day under the support of the countries of the socialist camp. This is in complete accord with the interests of the consolidation of the socialist camp and world peace.
Unlike the relationship among the countries of the socialist camp, the capitalist state relationship, which is dominated by the capitalist class, preoccupied with the pursuance of maximum profits, is characterized by fierce scrambles for markets and raw material hinterlands, aggression and conquest of small nations by great powers and exploitation and plunder of colonies and semi-colonies.
A typical relationship is that between the Syngman Rhee clique and the United States. In south Korea, US imperialism is-trampling upon national sovereignty under the specious signboard of "freedom" and "equality" and openly resorting to colonial plunder in the beautiful name of "aid". The US imperialists who have occupied south Korea seized all the major industrial facilities and economic establishments there, put the economy in the south under their control and turned south Korea into their commodity market. The south Korean people are being further reduced to slaves shackled with debts to the United States, and the puppet regime is on the verge of financial bankruptcy. Under the pressure of American monopoly capital, south Korea's national industry is declining irretrievably. The only things that are growing in south Korea are hunger, poverty, oppression and lack of rights. This is the very result of US "aid" to south Korea.
US "aid" to south Korea is aimed at subjugating south Korea politically, economically and militarily. It is driving the south Korean people into an abyss of poverty and subordination.
The United States is continuing with the reckless move to extend to the northern half the colonial system which they have imposed upon south Korea. Oblivious of the bitter lesson of their ignominious defeat in the Korean war, they are aggravating the tension in Korea again and making frantic efforts to build up arms in south Korea. They have started virtually abrogating the Armistice Agreement which guarantees the maintenance of peace in Korea. They have unilaterally nullified the most important article of the Armistice Agreement which prohibits both sides from building up armed forces in any form, and these days they are bringing new mass destruction weapons to south Korea.
No matter what kind of adventure they may resort to, the United States will never be able to frighten the Korean people. The Korean people are not the colonial slaves of yesterday. The days when imperialist powers could play with the destiny of Korea at will are gone for good.
Korea cast off the yoke of imperialist colonial enslavement and is upholding the banner of peace, national independence and socialism. The Korean people are firmly holding state power in their own hands and have a powerful democratic base which withstood the grim trial of war. This democratic base now constitutes the decisive force capable of repelling any aggression and bringing sooner the peaceful reunification of the country. All the struggles of the Korean people are led by the Workers' Party of Korea which has inherited the excellent revolutionary tradition of our nation and has been tempered in the hard-fought struggle.
The Korean people's struggle for the peaceful reunification of their country is closely linked with the struggles of the peoples for peace and socialism throughout the world; it is a major link in the Asian peoples' struggle against the US imperialist policy of aggression and for the defence of freedom, national independence and durable peace. The countries of the socialist camp and peace-loving nations are backing us and supporting in every way our people's struggle for the peaceful reunification of the country. International support for and solidarity with the Korean people are one of the important factors for speeding up the reunification of the country and the complete victory of our revolution.
Friendship and solidarity with the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China and other countries of the socialist camp have given and are still giving unbreakable strength to our people. Through experience, the Korean people clearly know how precious the banner of proletarian internationalism is.
We regard it as our solemn duty to further promote friendship and solidarity with the countries of the socialist camp.
Recently, imperialist reactionaries have made frenzied "anti-Soviet, anti-communist" moves, fussing about "national communism", and kicked up a boisterous racket to cause split and confusion in the socialist camp and conjure up the "crisis" of Marxist-Leninist doctrine. The spearhead of this plot and malignant agitation has been directed to the Korean people as well.
At this very moment, we Korean people are united more closely behind our Party and Government without the slightest confusion and vacillation, having crushed the plot of international reaction, together with the peoples of the countries of the socialist camp, holding high the banner of proletarian internationalism. The demagogues are dismayed at the fact that there is no indication of "crisis", which they have awaited so much in the socialist camp. Split and confusion have occurred in the very coterie of imperialist aggressors, and not in the socialist camp. Recent international developments prove this. The countries of the socialist camp have smashed the imperialist scheme of aggression by uniting their forces, and knitted their ranks closer under the revolutionary banner of Marxism-Leninism. No force can ever weaken friendship and solidarity among these countries which are fully united in their joint struggle against imperialism and in their common cause of building socialism and communism.
Rivalry, plunder and antipathy among capitalist countries emanate from the essential character of capitalism, whereas friendship and solidarity among socialist countries stem from the quintessence of socialist society. This is the law-governed process.
The might of the socialist camp is derived from the community of the social and state systems and political, economic and cultural tasks of the countries embraced in this camp and from the identity of the world outlook of their working peoples. Fraternal ties, close economic cooperation and friendly and mutual aid among socialist countries represent a new type of international relations unprecedented in the history of mankind. The socialist camp is a friendly alliance based on the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism and the voluntary spirit of the peoples.
There can be no nation-splitting contradictions and conflicts of interests among the countries of the socialist camp which is based on the Leninist principles of proletarian internationalism and national equality. There are only common prosperity and friendship among them.
When the imperialist clique of aggression does not cease subversive moves and provocative acts against socialist countries and peace forces, we must further strengthen solidarity and cooperation with the peace forces. Despite their failure in previous ventures, the ruling circles of Western powers are now manoeuvring to provoke new colonial wars in the Middle East, including Syria, and other parts of the world in order to hold in check the process of total disintegration of the colonial system. Solidarity among the peace forces, centring around the socialist camp, is a powerful means to counter the challenge of the aggressive circles to the national-liberation forces.
We must always be highly vigilant against the destructive and subversive moves of the imperialists and more solidly unite all forces which can oppose the imperialist forces of aggression.
The idea of peace, friendship and working peoples' international solidarity is penetrating every part of the earth with a great attractive force. Everyone who wishes mankind happiness is advancing under the unfurled banner of lasting peace and friendship among the peoples, the invincible banner of proletarian internationalism.
We will strengthen friendship and solidarity with the countries of the socialist camp in every way and remain faithful to proletarian inter nationalism to the last for the ultimate victory of our revolution and for the triumph of the common cause of the working class in all lands.
We will contribute to the struggle to win world peace and the cause of communism by bringing sooner the reunification and independent of the country, accelerating the building of socialism and firmly defending the eastern outpost of the socialist camp.
Kim Il Sung's article, originally published in Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn, thanks the Soviet Union and China for assisting North Korea while deriding American foreign policy.
- Korea (North)--Foreign economic relations
- Communist countries--Internal relations
- Korean War, 1950-1953
- Korea (North)--Foreign relations--Soviet Union
- China--Foreign relations--Korea (North)
- Korea (North)--Economic conditions
- United States--Military policy
- Korea (South)--Foreign relations--United States
- Korea (North)--Economic policy
- Korea--History--Japanese occupation, 1910-1945
- Hungary--History--Revolution, 1956--Foreign public opinion, Korean
The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.
To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].