of the Workers’ Party of Korea
February 11, 1996
This coming July 8 marks the second anniversary of the death of the great leader Kim Il Sung. This is the third year since he left us. According to traditional custom, this July 8 can be called the third anniversary; the end of the mourning period. But we cannot calculate the mourning period for him in this way.
For him, the great leader, the mourning period should be counted by full years. So, July 8 next year, the third anniversary of his death, will be the actual end of the mourning period.
The two-year period of mourning is a traditional custom of our nation and some other Eastern nations, by which the mourning period for the deceased is extended and the date the mourning period ends is fixed. We cannot fix the mourning period for our leader, a great man unprecedented in history, according to traditional custom.
President Kim Il Sung was a peerless great man, whom our people acknowledged for the first time in their thousands-year-long history; he was not only the father of our nation but also was recognized worldwide as the Sun of mankind.
He was the greatest of great men, in that he embarked on the road of revolution in his early years, dedicated his all to the freedom and happiness of the people, surmounting all manner of trials and hardships, and wound up his brilliant career as a communist revolutionary having striven to the utmost throughout his life.
The imperishable revolutionary achievements he recorded for the cause of the people’s independence, the socialist cause, shine brilliantly and occupy a leading place in the long history of mankind and of the communist movement.
The unprecedented image of his greatness, his great ideas and theories, outstanding leadership, noble humanity, unrivalled personality, unassuming character and simple way of life moves the world.
As the days go by, we feel more keenly that he was a man born with the endowments of a great man. It does not stand to reason to observe convention or traditional custom, in ending the mourning period for the President, a veteran statesman of world politics and the eternal Sun of Juche, who opened the new era of independence for the first time in human history.
Even though his heart has stopped beating, he is still with his people. He will live forever as the top brain of the integral whole of the leader, the Party and the masses and as the founder of socialist Korea, which is emulating him. His history continues in our thriving country, where his instructions are being implemented to the letter.
If we attempt to draw a line under the mourning of the death of the President, who still lives with his people, this will run counter to the moral conscience of the Korean communists who intend to honour him throughout the ages as the sun of Juche.
Our people, who are enjoying a happy life thanks to the great achievements he performed for the country, are missing their fatherly leader all the more as the days go by. Indeed, our people are the eternal members of his family; they cannot live for even a moment outside his embrace.
Our people remember the President both in joy and in sorrow and their yearning for him grows stronger on each anniversary of his death; so it would not be right to specify the end of the mourning period for him according to traditional custom. Ever since his sudden death, we have cherished his memory in an original way without regard to stereotyped convention.
Therefore, there is no need to subject ourselves to ancestral custom. It is natural that we should look back on his memory with the noblest moral obligation of the Korean communists to their leader, the supreme representative of the revolutionary seniors, on this year’s July 8, the second anniversary of his death.
In particular, we should cherish his memory with greater reverence on July 8 next year, the third anniversary of his death.
When the anniversary of his death comes round, the people will look back on his brilliant career and imperishable revolutionary history that was filled with devotion to the country and people, and renew their determination, recalling what he wished them to do and what they have done in order to carry it out. As there is no limit to their longing for him, our people will cherish his memory of their own accord with the noblest moral obligation when July 8 comes round every year.
We should make it an immutable tradition to mark July 8 as a day of condolences for the whole nation. This is the noblest moral obligation of our people and the progressive peoples of the world, who honour him as the eternal great leader of the Juche revolutionary cause and the father of all peoples, and also our firm will.