The respected fatherly Marshal Kim Jong Un sent a letter "March Towards the Future of a Powerful Country under the Unfurled Flag of the Korean Children's Union" to those attending the Ninth Congress of the Korean Children's Union on December 27.
The full text of the letter is as follows:
The Korean Children's Union, which is renowned as the sole revolutionary children's organization in the world, has convened its congress for the ninth time.
First of all, I extend warm congratulations to you, who are attending this meaningful meeting amidst special concern and unqualified blessing of the people across the country as representatives of the Korean Children's Union that is dignified in its name, in its history and in its traditions.
My tenderest feeling also goes to all other KCU members in the country, who are filled with a great hope and renewed determination with their minds turned to the venue of this congress.
I offer thanks to the KCU school instructors and its sub-branch teachers who are leading and taking meticulous care of our KCU members, who will carry forward our revolution, with the feeling of the Workers' Party of Korea, and warm encouragement to the officials in the sector of education of youth and students and parents of the KCU members, who are making unsparing efforts to train the sons and daughters of their country to be genuine persons.
The 100th year is approaching after the founding of the Saenal Children's Union at the dawn of the Korean revolution and over 70 years have passed after the founding of the KCU on the untrodden road of building a new country, but there has been no change in the revolutionary nature and original features of the KCU as a Juche-oriented revolutionary organization of children.
There have been many children's organizations in the world, which wrote their dignified histories under revolutionary slogans, but the KCU is the only one that vigorously adds lustre to its glorious history and traditions still today, carrying forward its red bloodline.
No adversity of the times has been able to get out of order the ranks of the young revolutionaries of Korea, who are advancing only along the road indicated by the Workers' Party of Korea as they are growing up in its embrace.
This is a source of pride of our Party, our state and our people as well as honour for the KCU members.
It seems like only yesterday when the KCU members, who came from various parts of the country, were unfolding the proud stories of their schools, sharing experiences in their KCU life and vigorously renewing their determinations at the Eighth Congress of the KCU, but they have already become youth league members and you are standing in their places.
In our country all children go through the days in the KCU, but it is not a fortune and honour common to everyone to attend a large gathering of the KCU members which is held at an interval of several years.
Each of you, delegates, was approved by all your classmates and positively recommended by your KCU organizations because you were exemplary in studies and organizational life.
It is something which you would be proud of all your lives that you, selected as exemplary members from among millions of KCU members, have decided important issues related with the development of your organization by yourselves.
I am pleased about this more than anything else, and want you, laudable and vivacious delegates, to be envied by all the others and looked up to by the whole country.
Our people, delighted to be greeting the dawn of a new year hearing the laughter and singing of the dear KCU members after successfully winding up this year's struggle which was arduous at every step, are warmly congratulating you on this congress.
What is most important for a revolutionary party is to build a dignified and powerful country where its coming generations will lead an honourable life for 50, nay 500 years, with having no reason to grovel to others.
Our people are stoutly defending the red flag of socialism, making the most powerful weapons in the world in the face of harsh trials and continuously building power stations, factories, new streets and villages.
They are doing this solely for bringing a bright laughter and happiest life to all the generations to come and handing over to them an eternally powerful country which can ensure their well-being.
Such a powerful socialist country is approaching KCU members.
Our Party and people will redouble their efforts and unfailingly build a country in which you will live a cheerful, valiant, abundant and happy life free from any worry.
The masters of this powerful and thriving country are none other than KCU members.
They should always strive to prepare themselves to be pillars, who will firmly defend this precious powerful socialist country and shoulder its future dependably.
Their days in the KCU are the most priceless days in their lives.
It is the first step that decides the whole course of man's life.
For this reason, you can become excellent persons only when you cultivate beautiful dreams and hopes and lay firm foundations of the correct world outlook during your days in the KCU.
On the day when anyone joins the ranks of the KCU, wearing a red neckerchief, he starts his socio-political life, learns one by one things that are essential to his growth together with knowledge, and cultivates features appropriate to a genuine human being.
The fathers and mothers of you, delegates, are patriots who are still supporting the country with their honest sweat and efforts, continuing invariably the first step of life which they took with an honest mind to live up to the pledge they made in front of the KCU flag.
Holding high the slogan "Let's always be ready for the socialist motherland!", KCU members should learn hard and make unremitting efforts in their precious days which will never come back again, so as to become well-rounded, excellent successors to the revolution and pillars in the building of a powerful country.
A genuine KCU member required by our Party is a young revolutionary and patriot who loves most the socialist motherland which has fed and brought him up in its embrace and who cultivates his mind and abilities with which he can demonstrate its prestige on the highest level.
Among our KCU members there are many, who, well aware of the truth that outside the embrace of their socialist motherland they can never bring into full bloom their hopes, talents and happiness, live faithfully true to the intention of the Party that wants them to dream of demonstrating their country's prestige when they dream a dream and acquire workable knowledge with which to build it in a more brilliant way when they study.
The way of thinking having become matured for their ages, they prepare themselves as sons and daughters faithful to the Party by endeavouring to learn about their leader, the revolution and their motherland, and making frequent visits to the revolutionary battlefields and historic sites voluntarily so as to learn the precious spirit of their forerunners.
Such an ennobling spiritual world of theirs clearly manifests that the tradition of loyalty the first generation of our young revolutionaries created in the forests of Paektu is being inherited invariably.
In the future, too, they all should love the Party ardently, follow it to the end and fully prepare themselves to be dependable successors and reserves for communism, who can carry forward the baton of the Korean revolution.
What they must not forget even a moment is that the U.S. imperialists and their stooges are now looking for a chance to trample upon their dear homes and deprive them of their hopes.
Even at this moment, the People's Army soldiers are standing in confrontation with the enemy at the posts of national defence with their guns levelled at him.
With a bitter hatred against the enemy of the revolution and with the feeling of fighting with him, KCU members should stand in the vanguard of rendering assistance to the People's Army, and donate Sonyon tanks and cannons to it.
And if the enemy dares to invade the country, they should fight as bravely as the children's guards in the days of the Fatherland Liberation War, thus demonstrating the mettle of the three-million-strong Korean Children's Union.
The criterion of a young revolutionary and patriot consists in his top honour records of school performance.
As it is true now, so in the future, too, it is only when KCU members have a profound knowledge that they will be able to work faithfully for the Party, perform great feats for the country and win the fight against the enemy.
Reminding themselves every day and every minute of the slogan "Let us learn for Korea!" they should study hard to get practical knowledge and qualifications.
Every one of them should listen to their teachers carefully at class, try hard to gain even a bit more of knowledge, and hit the target of top honour by learning assiduously, devoting their time to learning.
In this way every school can produce famous young inventors, young doctors of engineering.
They should, from their days, love reading, like to have imaginations, be good at writing, know how to present your impressions, and be well prepared to recite poems, sing songs, play sport and play musical instruments.
The red neckerchiefs hanging over their chests represent the warm embrace of our Party for each of them, and the KCU organizational life is a school of revolutionary education, a crucible of revolutionary training, which guides them step by step to grow up as true sons and daughters of the Party.
Cherishing the honour of being members of the KCU, which marks the beginning of political integrity in their lives, they should regard it as their sacred duty and obligation to participate in the organizational life voluntarily and faithfully.
Through the organizational life in the KCU, they should learn the great intentions of the Party, get awakened to their class consciousness, and equip themselves with the ideological and spiritual qualities of a laudable person, such as devotion to comrades and the collective and the spirit of loving labour.
As long as they are members of the KCU, they should always keep in mind the oath they made when they were joining the organization, and be faithful to its Rules at all times and in all places.
Valuing their organization as the most benevolent embrace and precious companion, they should love the organization and make it part of their habit to faithfully observe the organizational discipline and always rely on the organization.
If they have an aversion to their organization's guidance and control, and if they alienate themselves from their organization, it immediately means their loss of the qualification of the KCU membership and deviation from the straight course of their life.
They should take an active part in the organizational life by carrying out the organizational assignments in time and offering creative opinions; they should train themselves in the course of accepting the organizational criticism thankfully and implementing the organizational decisions.
Through this course of cultivation and training, they should be model members of the youth league and, further, have the honour of becoming a member of the Workers' Party of Korea, who thinks and behaves according only to the Party's intentions and devotes his wisdom and enthusiasm for the good of the motherland.
For KCU members, moral traits are no less important than academic performance.
Those, who lack morality and are poor in manners, are forsaken as beings of no use even if they are talented.
KCU members should steadily acquire the qualities of respecting their parents, teachers and seniors, loving their friends, volunteering to do difficult tasks and giving up good things for others.
They should make the moral traits as part of their mental qualities in their daily lives, like being polite in their speech, dressing neatly, willingly observing social order and public decency, and valuing and using with care the assets of the country and society.
Abilities and good traits are twin pillars of personality, neither of which should tilt.
The Box Telling Beautiful Minds, which KCU members are using, is small, but I treasure their beautiful minds in it more than thousand tons of gold.
The praiseworthy act of unhesitatingly plunging oneself into a rapid stream to save drowning younger kids, a warm heart of giving one's pencils to others and helping those who are falling behind in school, the beautiful stories of carefully making medicine envelopes to help the local pharmacies busy with anti-epidemic work, and all the other stories told by the boxes are truly touching, and the pure minds of publicizing others' good deeds are most precious.
I want our KCU members to help and lead one another forward like this in cherishing ennobling moral traits.
They should voluntarily do good deeds to make a contribution to the country's economic development and become young information workers and young political activists who greatly encourage their parents in the building of a powerful socialist country.
I believe that all the KCU members will prove themselves worthy of the trust and affection of the Party and the expectations of their parents and teachers by becoming true sons and daughters of the socialist country, who study hard, take an active part in their organizational life and have ennobling moral traits.
The Ninth Congress of the Korean Children's Union has invited many officials of the youth league and in the sectors related to educating youth and students, KCU school instructors and its sub-branch teachers.
Your responsibilities and roles of rightly leading every step of KCU members in their growth are directly linked to the future of our Party and revolution, the future of our country.
No matter how successfully we are carrying out the revolution, the failure in educating youth and students will lead to the severing of the lineage of the revolution and render the valuable gains won at the cost of our blood and sweat worthless.
You, the first teachers of the rising generations and their political guardians, carry on your shoulders the heavy burden of the education of youth and students, which our Party puts forward as a policy of top priority and as an important strategic task.
I highly appreciate your efforts for firmly defending the important revolutionary post assigned to you by the Party and making yourselves the foundation for the sound growth of KCU members.
And availing myself of this opportunity, I would like to emphasize some issues related to bringing up our beloved KCU members with greater success.
The present new generation is growing while seeing and hearing many new things, so their thinking is different from that of their predecessors and the difference of its level is wide according to age group.
The method of the edification of KCU members should be different from when they have just joined their organization to when they are about to join the youth league, from primary-school age to junior-middle-school age, and from one region to another.
Edification of youth and students can be said to be an important area of study.
However, methodology is not explored for conducting their edification in a scientific way according to the law-governed nature of their cognitive development and their characteristic features, and instead the tendency to cling to outdated forms and methods persists.
As a result, genuine education to the true sense of the word is not given.
We should overcome the tendency to conduct their edification for form's sake and in a haphazard and stereotyped manner, and actively explore new methods suited to the level of our schoolchildren's consciousness, their psychological characteristics and actual conditions.
To this end, we should first lay out research bases for the edification of students in such a substantial way as to make them pay off in reality and operate them in an effective way.
Our KCU members are young in age, but not in mind.
We should strictly guard against the cramming method in the edification of KCU members and rely on heuristic methods.
We should not attempt to cram anything into the heads of students, but help them get the capability of distinguishing right from wrong, let them present their own opinions fully and support what are positive while encouraging them to sincerely repent of their mistakes.
In the course of this, we can make all kinds of edification acceptable to them.
It is a principle to start education with that in morality and collectivism, which students can easily understand even when they are on a low stage in terms of knowledge and consciousness, and then move on to that in loyalty, patriotism and class awareness.
When the mind of valuing their friends and collective and the sound moral traits become part of their mental qualities in their childhood, the spirit of loyalty, patriotism and class awareness will develop.
Now that educational conditions and environment have improved with radical changes having been brought about in education in recent years, application of modern means and information technology, including video presentations which appeal to the mentality of children preferring video materials to audio ones, are likely to enhance the effect of edification.
As fertile soil produces good fruits, so KCU organizations should be strong if they are to train their members as stout persons.
The key to the consolidation of KCU organizations is to improve the qualifications and the sense of responsibility of KCU school instructors who design, plan and conduct KCU activities.
The Party regards KCU school instructors as ranking teachers and has great expectations of their roles.
The work of the KCU school instructors is something worth trying during one's youth.
They may experience many troubles or mental sufferings while doing their work, but they should become standard-bearers leading sub-branch organizations and their members with a resolve to take responsibility for the KCU organizations of their schools.
In a family parents are guardians of their children, whereas at a school KCU school instructors are guardians of its students.
If all the KCU school instructors fulfil their duties with a high sense of responsibility in their important positions, our Party can feel relieved about the ideological and mental state of our students.
Strengthening its sub-branch organizations is a hallmark of the consolidation of the KCU.
KCU activities are conducted with its sub-branch organization as the base, and the decisions of the KCU organization are also implemented with it as the main unit.
Sub-branch teachers should be genuine mentors and parents of their students and show and teach them only what are correct.
And they should enhance the role of activists of sub-branch organizations and make the student groups work properly.
When all the sub-branch organizations win the title of Honoured Red-Flag Class competitively, KCU members will grow up to be the pillars of the country, who are knowledgeable, morally sound and physically strong, and the sub-branch organizations and the KCU as a whole will be strengthened that much.
To strengthen the KCU, it is necessary to decisively improve the role of the youth league.
The Party has entrusted guidance over the KCU entirely to the youth league.
But the KCU work is overlooked in the youth league work, resulting in some of its organizations failing to play their proper role.
For the youth league, guidance over KCU organizations is the work for training its own successors and stout ranks of future young people.
The KCU work is all part and parcel of the youth league work.
The youth league should not confine its work to the role of mechanically transmitting the Party's ideas and policies to KCU organizations and of assigning education work and grasping their results, but guide these organizations in such a substantial manner as to help them produce development-oriented results.
It should improve the qualifications of KCU school instructors and provide them with good working conditions so that they can work at full capacity.
And it should organize the work of creating new standards and models continuously by regions and by the level of schools and generalizing them, so that the KCU organizations at schools can work independently, creatively and briskly.
In particular, at the present stage it should direct primary and concentrated attention to finding knotty problems in the KCU work and taking measures to deal with them.
There are quite a few problems to be immediately solved so as to run the KCU organization well and improve its activities as required by the changing times and developing reality.
It can be strengthened to be an organization in the true sense of the word only when the knotty problems are solved, such as perfecting the guidance system over its organizations, building up the ranks of the KCU school instructors and enhancing their sense of dignity, supplying publications and other educational materials to its organizations in time and in sufficient amounts and organizing socio-political activities, do-good-deeds movement, camping and visits in a substantial way.
The Central Committee of the youth league should not maintain the status quo, being engrossed in the work like guidance of extracurricular education for which a well-knit system has already been in place, but should organize its work in an audacious and innovative way and solve the problems by reporting even to the Party Central Committee all those, whose solution is beyond its power.
The Working People's Organization Department of the Party Central Committee should intensify Party guidance over the edification of youth and students so that any vacuum and deviation are not revealed in the KCU work, and all other departments such as the Organizational Leadership Department, the Information and Publicity Department and the Science and Education Department should purposefully pay attention to the KCU work with the awareness of being its masters and regarding it as an undertaking that has a bearing on the destiny of the country.
Edification of youth and students can be more effective only when it is conducted in close combination with the educational work.
There is a tendency among some officials in the education sector to confine themselves only to transferring knowledge, putting edification of students aside; this cannot be called an attitude appropriate to a genuine educator who brings up the future of the country.
Education separated from edification is sure to produce lame ducks.
In the training of the new generations there cannot be education separated from edification nor edification separated from education, and revolutionary talents required by our Party are, above all, the persons prepared politically, ideologically and morally.
Everybody engaged in the educational work, whatever they do and whatever they teach at whatever post, should be loyal to their duty as educator regarding edification of students as their principal task.
It is important to discover the methodology for making edification run through in the whole school life, ranging from going to school, receiving lesson, conducting extracurricular activities to leaving school, and apply it to suit specific conditions by intensifying the three-way consultation of headmaster, Party cell secretary and KCU instructor of school and promoting coordination between the school's teaching administration and KCU organization.
Nobody can take the place of parents in the edification of students.
It cannot be said that parents have ensured the continuity of the lineage simply because they gave birth to their children, and that they have fully discharged the responsibility they have assumed for society and the next generation as parents simply because they are responsible and faithful in their jobs.
The parents, however busy they may be, should direct a major effort to family education by keeping regular contact with educators so as to implant in their children for what and how they should live.
In this way they can make sure that the lineage of the revolution and the tradition of patriotism are firmly carried forward.
The whole country should become a master in the edification of students.
Party organizations and working people's organizations at factories, enterprises and farms, too, should attach importance to the edification of their employees' children, always show concern on it with a stand of taking responsibility for them together with their parents.
In particular, Women's Union organizations should give active help to mothers so that they can discharge their responsibility as the first educator of their children.
We should produce every suit of school uniform and every item of school things with sincerity so that the students can cultivate the mind of holding our things dear and preferring to use them.
And we should create and broadcast every media presentation, first taking into consideration the effect it would give to the children's spiritual growth, and everybody should not look away when they see children committing mistakes but explain to them their shortcomings with patience.
We should make it part of the Party's and state's traits to attach importance to the KCU work and take loving care of KCU members throughout the Party, country and society.
Before the people and above the people whom our Party believes in as in heaven there stand our children.
Taking all pains for the younger generations who should grow more stoutly and more vivaciously–this is not a suffering but happiness and honour for us.
The top-priority policy of our Party and state is always one for the younger generations, and it will be an invariable principle of the WPK and an eternal policy of our state.
When we see the bright and cheerful appearances of KCU members we feel greater pride and dignity in waging the revolution, and when we hear them singing March of the Children's Union, we feel encouraged.
Our state is strong not merely because it has nuclear weapons.
Our Korea is strong because successors and reserves like KCU members grow up staunchly and dependably, always adding freshness and vigour to the ranks of the revolutionaries.
You are now wearing a red neckerchief as a KCU member but tomorrow you will have a medal of hero or a medallion of doctor on your chest and rise to fame as pillars of our powerful country.
And by the time when you have become its active masters, our country will shine its glory as a more beautiful and powerful one all over the world.
The eternal glory of our great state is calling KCU members.
The energetic strides of three million KCU members represent the valiant spirit of socialist Korea which is achieving one progress after another and one victory after another.
The future of our Korea is bright as it will advance by dint of their greater ambitions and ideals, strong minds and wisdom.
March courageously towards the dawning future under the unfurled flag of the Korean Children's Union!