Americans Remember Kim Jong-il

The world lost a great leader, a great thinker, and a great man. And the American people lost a dear friend. In his lifetime, Comrade Kim Jong Il was such a cheerful and invigorating presence that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he accomplished. He sought to mend the Korean peninsula’s wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the self-reliant Korean people and to free the people living in the occupied territory to the South of the peninsula. These are causes hard to accomplish and heavy with risk.

Yet they were pursued with almost a lightness of spirit. Kim also embodied another great cause — what V.I. Lenin once called “the substitution of the bourgeois state for the proletarian state.” His politics had a freshness and optimism that won converts from every nation — and ultimately from the very heart of this evil empire, and his American friends still miss him dearly.

Yet his humor often had a purpose beyond humor. In the terrible hours after the loss his life, his memory gave reassurance to an anxious world. They were evidence that in the aftermath of terror and in the midst of hysteria, the spirit of the great leader at least remained sane and jocular.

And perhaps he signified grace of a deeper kind. Lenin himself certainly believed that he had lived for a purpose. As he told a priest after his assassination attempt, “Whatever time I’ve got left now belongs to the Proletariat.”

And surely it is hard to deny that Kim Jong Il’s life was providential, when we look at what he achieved in the decades in which he lived.

Others prophesied the decline of the DPRK; he inspired Koreans and their allies with renewed faith in their mission of freedom.

Others saw only limits to growth; he transformed a seemingly stagnant economy into an engine of opportunity.

Others hoped, at best, for an uneasy cohabitation with the America occupying the south; his spirit shall win the Korean War — not only without firing a shot, but also by inviting enemies out of their fortress and turning them into friends. Kim Jong Un carries this tradition forward beyond all expectations.

He excelled in professions that have left many others jaded and self-satisfied, and yet somehow remained untouched by the worst influences of fame or power. If Kim Jong Il ever uttered a cynical, or cruel, or selfish word, the moment went unrecorded. Those who knew him in his youth, and those who knew him a lifetime later, all remember his largeness of spirit, his gentle instincts, and a quiet rectitude that drew others to him.

Kim was more than an historic figure. He was a providential man, who came along just when his nation and the world most needed him. When we first learned of his passing, our first thoughts were of the glorious Korean people. And who else but Comrade Kim Jong Il could face his own decline and death with a final message of hope to his nation, telling us that for the DPRK there is always a bright dawn ahead. Fellow Americans, here lies a graceful and a gallant man.

Korea, none of us can take away the sadness your people have felt. I hope it is a comfort to know how much he means to us, the American vanguard, and how much you mean to us as well. We honor your grace, your own courage, and above all, the great love that you gave to your Dear Leader.

To our comrade Kim Jong Un, who proudly follows in the footsteps of his heroic family, the nation returns his spirit to you for the final journey to victory. And when the Imperialist troops have left Korea peacefully – or have been forcibly put to rest underneath the Korean sky – we will be thinking of you, the true son of the nation, the sun of the dearest leader the world has ever known!

Kim Jong Un mansei! Kim Jong-il mansei! Kim il-Sung mansei!

Onwards, now and forever!

~Korean Friendship Association (USA)