An outstanding revolutionary born of the Korean nation, Kim Jong Suk gained fame on account of her distinguished contribution to the long-drawn-out guerrilla struggle against the Japanese imperialists.
Unusual Tactics and Accurate Marksmanship
Kim Jong Suk learned guerrilla tactics when she was serving in the unit led by Commander Kim Il Sung.
Her remarkable stratagem was demonstrated in the January 1936 battle of Neidaoshan, China. The Japanese army enlisted over 800 troops, including a mortar battery and a special unit that was allegedly capable of coping with guerrilla warfare, to seize the guerrilla base. Prior to the battle, she suggested a campfire tactic–building campfires on some heights of Neidaoshan to let the enemy know the whereabouts of the guerrilla unit and lying in ambush to make a sudden attack from a favourable position. The battle went as she expected. Hit hard by the guerrillas, the enemy suffered heavy casualties and turned tail.
Her ever-changing and adroit tactics proved highly effective in subsequent battles.
She was also renowned as a fine shooter.
There are a number of episodes that illustrate her remarkable marksmanship: One night, each time she saw an enemy soldier’s gun muzzle flashing in the dark, she fired back and killed many; in a shooting practice her bullets hit the necks of transparent glass bottles hundreds of metres away; during the battle of Donggang she fired a bullet to cut a telephone wire hanging on a pole under the dim moonlight.
At the time of the formation of the International Allied Forces the Chinese and Soviet Union service personnel would say that Kim Jong Suk’s bullets “have eyes.”
Matchless Courage and Warm Humanity
The following anecdote shows what a courageous woman Kim Jong Suk was.
In 1933, according to Commander Kim Il Sung’s strategy, forming an alliance with a Chinese anti-Japanese unit called “Pingyi” presented itself as a pressing task. This was somewhat dangerous because the Chinese indiscriminately killed Koreans, deceived by the Japanese imperialists’ national alienation plot.
However, she proposed a negotiation with the head of the Chinese unit and went to see him. Despite the obstructions by armed guards, she came to the headquarters and sat face to face with him. The Chinese man looked overbearing and scornful; by contrast, the young, daring girl looked composed and self-confident as she kindly and logically explained how the Japanese imperialists were scheming to alienate the Chinese from Koreans. Admired by her uncommon character, he agreed to join hands with the Korean guerrillas.
Kim Jong Suk was possessed of warm humanity.
She devoted herself heart and soul for the sake of her comrades and fellow people. When she was engaged in underground activities, she happened to know that the village landlord ordered a fevered kitchen maid to be carried away to a hut in a mountain. She immediately rushed to the hut and shared bed and meal with her. Other members of her organization dissuaded her from living with the sick girl, for fear of infection, but she continued to nurse the poor maid. At last, the girl was saved from the jaws of death thanks to Kim Jong Suk’s self-sacrificing care.
Kim Jong Suk’s warm humanity went beyond the differences in nationality, ideas and political views. One day, after Japan’s defeat, a few Japanese girls who had served as nurses of the Japanese army came to her house for begging. The hostess took good care of the wretched girls without prejudice. And when they were returning home, she helped them with their procedures and gave them some new clothes, food and money. Twenty-five years later, one of them sent a letter of thanks via the governor of Tokyo who was visiting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Kim Il Sung’s Bodyguard
Kim Jong Suk devoted her all to defending the ever-victorious brilliant Commander Kim Il Sung.
The June 1940 battle of Dashahe is a typical example.
During the height of the battle the Commander was standing on a hillside rock. Hiding herself nearby, Kim Jong Suk kept a sharp watch on the surroundings. Suddenly, she noticed that several enemy soldiers were worming their way through a reed field. A few steps away from where the Commander was, they were levelling their rifles at him. At this critical moment she shielded him and opened fire, killing them all. Thus she saved the Commander, which was a notable contribution to the Korean revolution.
Later on, even in the years of nation-building after Korea’s liberation, she remained faithful as the leader’s bodyguard.
This year the Korean people will mark the centenary of her birth. They will always remember the brilliant career of the anti-Japanese war heroine as an ennobling example of loyalty.