During the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle, Comrade Kim Il Sung founded a youth organization first and paved the way for the Korean revolution in reliance on it.
Right after Korea’s liberation (August 15, 1945) from the Japanese military occupation, he advanced a line of building a mass-based youth organization and founded a democratic youth league to unite young people of all strata across the country.
After returning to the country, he had a mountain of affairs to deal with—the founding of the party, the state and the regular army. He had to restore everything destroyed by the Japanese imperialists during their flight and make his people, who had been deprived of their political rights under the colonial tyranny of the Japanese imperialists, the true masters of the country.
While working hard day and night to this end, he attached great importance to uniting young people as one to make them the main force of building a democratic country.
After the liberation, there were many youth organizations in the country—a communist youth league, students union, young liberated union, young Christian association and young agricultural union. They acted without any unified centre nor a proper programme. What was worse, class enemies did everything possible to split the youth movement, and all political parties attempted to lure young people around them.
With a keen insight into the complicated situation of youth movement, Kim Il Sung advanced a line of founding a democratic youth league to unite all patriotic young people at all levels around a mass-based democratic organization and energetically led the efforts to this end.
He dispatched anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters to different parts of the country to help the work of forming local democratic youth leagues. And he acted for the honorary chairman of the preparatory committee of the democratic youth league to lead its preparations.
On September 28, Juche 34 (1945), he called an anti-Japanese revolutionary fighter to his residence and gave him a new clothes. He said: As you are young and have experience in working with the Young Communist League of the Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Army, it would be better for you to do the work with the youth.
Then, he dispatched the fighter to the YCL organization in South Phyongan Province.
One day early in October Juche 34 (1945), he met YCL officials and told them as follows: In order to organize a democratic youth league, it is necessary to convene a consultative meeting of YCL activists in all provinces, and declare to the world that the YCL will be reorganized into the democratic youth league at a conference of democratic young activists in North Korea. It is also important to make public the programme and rules of the DYL and a declaration calling on patriotic-minded young people to unite under the banner of democracy. It is recommended to reflect the following contents in the declaration—Young people are the pillars of the country. Young people on this land should come and unite. Unity is strength. Let us discharge this weighty mission with the united strength and burning passion!
Late in November that year, he attended a meeting to form the democratic youth league in South Phyongan Province to guide its organization and generalized the experience across the whole country.
During those days, he bestowed loving care for the youth league officials.
At dawn on snowy December 2, Juche 34 (1945), he visited the then democratic youth league of South Phyongan Province.
He asked the accompanying officials to change the light and door of its entrance hall as suited to the characteristics of young people, and put his hand on the floor of the room used by youth league officials. Opening a pot lid in the kitchen, he asked them to supply young people, the treasure of the country, with rice and soya beans so that they could grow bean sprouts and boil soup with them, and chili bean paste favoured by the Koreans, although the country was undergoing difficulties. At the chairman’s room on the first floor, he covered an official, who fell asleep after working till late in the evening, with his fur coat.
Thanks to his meticulous guidance and care, democratic youth league organizations were formed in several areas of the country and, on this basis, the Democratic Youth League of North Korea (DYLNK) was founded on January 17, Juche 35 (1946).
The founding of the DYL, which inherited the brilliant revolutionary tradition of the Juche-based youth movement regarding the Juche Idea as its guideline, made it possible to rally 1.3 million young people behind the Party and organize and mobilize them to building a new Korea.
Kim Il Sung expressed his great satisfaction at the fact that it was possible to step up the building of a prosperous country on the strength of the powerful organization of young people. So, on the evening of its founding, he called the delegates to the meeting to his residence and filled their glasses with wine one by one.
The present Socialist Patriotic Youth League is the successor to the DYLNK.