The history of ever-flourishing DPRK-Russia relationship is associated with the world of affection shown by the greatest men for an internationalist soldier.
He is Ya. T. Novicheko, a war veteran of the former Soviet Union and an internationalist soldier, who is well known to the peoples of the DPRK and Russia.
Novichenko lost his parents at an early age and drove a cart for a living. He joined the Red Army during the war between the Soviet Union and Germany. In August 1945, he took part in the anti-Japanese operation together with the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army.
During the period of his military service near President Kim Il Sung after the liberation of the Korea, he was so charmed by heroic image of President Kim Il Sung who successfully controlled the chaos at home and led the great cause of founding the party, the people’s state and the modern regular army.
Therefore, he defended the safety of President Kim Il Sung at the cost of his life by covering with his own body a grenade thrown at the platform on which President Kim Il Sung was delivering a speech at a celebration rally held in the square of Pyongyang station on March 1, 1946.
Despite the passage of several decades, President Kim Il Sung never forgot his heroic merit and had a significant meeting with Novichenko at the Novosibirisk Station in May 1984 while passing through Siberia for his visit to the former Soviet Union and other socialist countries in the eastern Europe.
Over the last 38 years, Novichenko became an ordinary old man of Siberia but President Kim Il Sung recognized the once-energetic Red Army officer at first glance. President Kim Il Sung warmly embraced one-armed Novichenko and highly appreciated his act of heroism, telling his good deeds to the state officials who were receiving him at the station.
Thereafter, President Kim Il Sung conferred him the title of Labor Hero of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and invited his family to Pyongyang.
He met with Novichenko and his family who visited Pyongyang several times and called him the world model of internationalist. President Kim Il Sung said that Novichenko is the only survivor among those who had saved his life, and that he is a flower of friendship between the DPRK and the Soviet Union.
He also took benevolent measures for his family so as to they could spend a good time during their stay in Pyongyang, visiting Mangyongdae and Mt.
Paektu and touring around the Arch of Triumph, the Tower of the Juche idea and other monumental edifices created by our people as well as famous scenic spots including Mt. Kumgang.
Chairman Kim Jong Il , who succeeded to the internationalist obligation of President Kim Il Sung , sent a wreath and a message of condolence in his name, when Novichenko passed away on December 8, 1994.
When Chairman Kim Jong Il was on a historic visit to Russia in August 2001, he recalled Novichenko with deep emotion and sent his family gifts of love to be handed down throughout generations.
The noble internationalist obligation of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il towards Novichenko and his family is being carried on by respected Comrade Kim Jong Un more splendidly.
When Novichenko’s wife passed away, respected Comrade Kim Jong Un personally sent a message of condolence. On the occasion of the centenary celebration of Novichenko’s birthday, he sent a delegation together with a wreath in the name of himself.
He also dispatched professional construction force to wonderfully reconstruct Novichenko’s grave and his old house.
His old house is in Travnoe village which is 360km away from the Novosibirisk City, Russia. There is a tablet on the wall of the house which reads: “Here lived Yakov Tihonov Novichenko (1914.4.28-1994.12.8), the Labor Hero of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”
This short sentence reflects the moral obligation of the great men towards Ya. T. Novichenko, an internationalist soldier who is regarded as a symbol of the DPRK-Russia friendship and the eternal fellowship between the peoples of the two countries.