Who is Kim Hyong Jik?

Kim Il-sung as a child, with his parents. The Revolutionary founders of the Korean nation. | Image: KCNA

Kim Hyong Jik was the father of Eternal President Kim Il-sung, grandfather of Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, and great-grandfather of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

Kim Hyong Jik (1894-1926), an outstanding leader of the Korean anti-Japanese national liberation movement, was born as the eldest son of Kim Po Hyon and Ri Po Ik, ardent patriots, in Mangyongdae, Nam-ri, Kophyong Sub-County, Taedong County, South Phyongan Province (the present Mangyongdae-dong, Mangyongdae District, Pyongyang).

He grew up receiving patriotic education and revolutionary influence from his parents, and set out on the road of struggle for national liberation in his early years.

While studying at Pyongyang Sungsil Middle School he organized a students’ strike. He also went to the areas of North and South Phyongan provinces and Hwanghae Province, to say nothing of Pyongyang, rallying like-minded people and conducting a vigorous anti-Japanese information campaign among the broad sections of the masses.

Stamp Marks Birth Anniversary of Kim Hyong Jik
Stamp Marks Birth Anniversary of Kim Hyong Jik

After leaving the middle school in mid-course, he became a career revolutionary. As a teacher at Sunhwa School in Mangyongdae, he conducted patriotic educational activities on the basis of the idea of Aim High. He applied himself to rallying like-minded people and enlightening the masses in several parts of Korea, and went as far as Jiandao and Shanghai in China to make contact with the independence campaigners and get acquainted with the situation of the independence movement there.

With an ambitious plan to launch the anti-Japanese national liberation movement more positively, he moved the theatre of his revolutionary activities to the present Ponghwa-ri, Kangdong County, Pyongyang. Teaching at Myongsin School there, he applied himself to educating the younger generation and making preparations for forming an underground revolutionary organization.

On March 23, 1917 in Pyongyang, he formed the Korean National Association. While expanding its organizations, he founded such lawful mass organizations as the School Association, Village Association and Stone Monument Association, thus laying firm mass foundations for his anti-Japanese struggle.

Arrested by the Japanese police in the autumn of 1917, he was imprisoned with 100 other members of the Korean National Association at the Pyongyang gaol, where he groped for the way of further developing the anti-Japanese national liberation struggle in the future.

And released from the gaol in the autumn of 1918, he moved to Junggang in the northern border area of Korea and then to Linjiang, Badaogou in Changbai County, and Fusong, China, and worked energetically to bring about a new upsurge in the national liberation movement.

Kim Il-sung as a child, with his parents. The Revolutionary founders of the Korean nation. | Image: KCNA
Kim Il-sung as a child, with his parents. The Revolutionary founders of the Korean nation. | Image: KCNA

As a result of his devoted efforts, the anti-Japanese national liberation movement developed from a nationalist to a proletarian movement, armed struggle was further intensified, and unity of the independence movement organizations which had been fighting separately in different places was achieved.

He passed away on June 5, 1926 from the aftereffects of torture by the Japanese imperialists and the illness he had contracted during the arduous struggle.