“The people are my God” was the constant view and motto of President Kim Il Sung. The principle of Juche, which calls for drawing on the strength of the masses who are the masters of the revolution and construction, was his political creed.
Worshipping the people as Heaven
During the anti-Japanese armed struggle, Tojong (a title of a local leader of Chondoist religion) Pak In Jin of Chondoism (Korea’s unique national religion) paid a visit to the Paektusan Secret Camp in the early winter of 1936 to meet General Kim Il Sung.
During conversation with Tojong Pak, Kim Il Sung noticed that it was the time for him to do divine service for the offering of clean water. He told the orderly to fetch a bowl of fresh water, and asked Tojong to do the offering of clean water.
Impressed with his noble personality and magnanimity, Tojong Pak asked him point-blank: “I would like to ask you one thing. General, do you worship anything, like we believe in the ‘Heaven’? If you have, what is it?”
Kim Il Sung answered as follows:
“Of course there is something I believe in like God: the people. I have been worshipping the people as Heaven, and respecting them as if they were God. My God is none other than the people. Only the masses are omniscient and omnipotent and almighty on earth. Therefore, my lifetime motto is ‘The people are my God.’”
After hearing him through, he remarked significantly that he had learned, albeit belatedly, what and where was the true “Heaven”.
The people are mentors
Once, a foreign politician met with President Kim Il Sung and asked him as follows: It is said that everything in Korea has been carried out under your guidance. When and where did you learn such technical knowledge?
Laughing a hearty laugh, he answered as follows: Farmers teach me that here is the fertile soil for fruit culture and officials in the construction sector teach me here is the right place to build a dam so as to use water for irrigation. Then, I go there to make a decision.
He went on to say that there are philosophers, economists and literary persons among the people and that we should mix with them to learn from them if we have anything unclear.
After Korea’s liberation (August 1945) from the Japanese military occupation, he enforced the agrarian reform. In order to carry it out correctly, he met with peasants, the master of the land, to ask about their opinions before analyzing the feudal land ownership system and confirming the principles and ways for the agrarian reform suited to the specific conditions of the countryside.
He always mixed himself with the people to discuss the State affairs with them. In the course of this, he advanced the basic line of socialist economic construction on giving priority to the growth of heavy industry while simultaneously developing light industry and agriculture, the policy of agricultural cooperation and the policy of socialist transformation of private trade and industry, and such people-oriented policies as the free education and medical care systems.
The people are the king
President Kim Il Sung made painstaking efforts for the sake of the people’s wellbeing, noting that the people are the king and he is their servant and that they can lead a happy life when he does a lot of works for them.
One day in June 1960, he visited Onchon County in South Phyongan Province to acquaint himself with the reclamation of tidal flats. Accompanying officials asked him to refrain from following a rough road.
Noting that we should not mind following a rough road if it is the road for the people’s wellbeing, he took his steps on the muddy road of the tideland.
Later, he paid several visits to the reclaimed tideland and specified the ways for removing the salt from the soil quickly and increasing grain yields.
In his lifetime he made ceaseless journeys of on-site guidance to different parts of the country.
Sometimes, he pushed his car mired in a ditch on his way to a farm village in the northern part of the country. And sometimes he had a late lunch with green maize after looking round the fields of a farm for hours.
In July Juche 83 (1994), the last period of his great life, he presided over the consultative meeting of senior officials in the economic sector. Noting that he trusted in the people, struggled for them and lived among them, he said he dedicated his life for the country and the nation and struggled together with the people throughout his life.