Eighty-five years have passed since the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland was formed as the first national united front body in the history of the anti-Japanese national liberation struggle of the Korean people.
It was an idea President Kim Il Sung had held consistently since the early days of his revolutionary activities that great national unity is the vital issue decisive of success or failure in achieving independence by the nation’s own efforts.
In the mid-1930s it was an urgent requirement of the revolutionary situation to develop the anti-Japanese national united front movement onto a new higher stage.
General Kim Il Sung with keen insight into the requirements of the situation within and without and the developing Korean revolution put forward a policy of setting up a standing united front organization and expanding and developing the anti-Japanese national united front movement to a nationwide scale in close connection with the anti-Japanese armed struggle, and made energetic preparations to that end.
On May 5 1936 the historic inaugural meeting of the ARF took place in Donggang of China’s Fusong with the attendance of the military and political cadres of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army and the delegates of the independence movement, Chondoists, peasants, teachers and workers from all parts of Korea.
At the meeting Kim Il Sung delivered a report on further expanding and developing the anti-Japanese national united front movement and take the Korean revolution as a whole to a new upsurge.
And the Ten-Point Programme of the ARF and its Inaugural Declaration were published at the meeting.
The programme defined wide-ranging issues including those of defeating Japanese imperialism with the efforts of all members of the Korean nation and establishing a genuinely popular revolutionary government, building a revolutionary army to fight for national independence and enforcing all kinds of democratic reforms such as the nationalization of industries, land reform, an eight-hour working system, sexual equality and free compulsory education and the tasks concerning external activities as well.
Kim Il Sung was elected president of the ARF at the meeting according to the unanimous will and desire of the Korean people.
The ARF was the first standing anti-Japanese national united front body and a powerful underground revolutionary organization rallying broad sections of patriotic forces.
After its inauguration, the network of its organizations was expanded from the northern areas of Korea centring on Mt Paektu to all other areas of the country, the vast areas of Northeast China and even to Japan, with the result that the ARF developed into a pan-national organization with hundreds of thousands of members.
It firmly rallied different classes and strata with different positions and political views into a single political force on the basis of community in national interests and aroused them to accomplishing the cause of national liberation.
The invaluable exploits of the national united front movement and the tradition of great national unity which were performed and established in the period of the anti-Japanese armed struggle are still carried on today and serve as a tangible asset for socialist construction in the DPRK and the cause of national reunification.