Battle heralds dawn of Korea’s liberation

June 4, 2023

The Korean People’s Revolutionary Army carried out an assault in Pochon county town in Ryanggang Province (the then Pochonbo, Pochon sub-county, Hyesan County in South Hamgyong Province) on June 4 1937 during the anti-Japanese armed struggle.

Recorded as Pochonbo Battle in history, it was not so large in scale but its historic significance still shines in the history of the Korean people’s anti-Japanese war.

After their military occupation of Korea, the Japanese imperialists speeded up the militarization of its economy and increased economic plunder and exploitation as never before while intensifying their fascist repression of the Korean people in order to complete their preparations for the war to invade the Asian continent in the latter half of the 1930s. Korea thus turned into a literal hell and the destiny of the Korean people was at stake. 

After making a scientific analysis of the prevailing situation, General Kim Il Sung put forward the policy on the KPRA’s offensive operation in the homeland by a large unit and the immediate tasks to realize it at a meeting held in China’s Xigang in March 1937.

After advancing into the homeland by crossing the Amnok River on rafts from the Kouyushui Barrage on the night of June 3, the main force of the KPRA camped on Konjang Hill. When it got dark the following day, they approached the town of Pochonbo to occupy their designated positions respectively.

At 22:00, the army simultaneously started the assault at the signal of a gunshot. The enemies fell dead failing to put up resistance. 

Pillars of flames shot up from the Japanese imperialists’ repressive apparatus and ruling machines, including the police station and sub-county office, brightening up the dark night sky and cheers of “Hurrah!” resounded in the streets which had been fraught with groans in agony. 

Kim Il Sung, the legendary hero of the anti-Japanese war, made a stirring speech before the masses swaying like a nocturnal sea.

He ardently called on them to staunchly fight for the liberation of the country, saying Korea was not dead but alive and that both the spirit and heart of Korea were alive.

The flames of Pochonbo instilled in the Korean people confidence in national liberation and the news of the Pochonbo Battle amazed Korea and the rest of the world.

It not only hit the headlines of publications of Korea but also those of China and the USSR at that time, and local patriots, fighters for national independence and many other people from all parts of the country came to Pochonbo to personally step on it. 

The Japanese troops who had desperately chased the KPRA in order to make up for their ignominious defeat in the Pochonbo Battle were mowed down caught by the protean tactics of the KPRA in the battles on Mt Kouyushui and Jiansanfeng. The enemies suffered another ignominious defeat in the battle on Jiansanfeng, which left so many casualties. Unable to carry all the corpses, they cut the heads and put them into sacks to carry them. For fear that the fact would be known to public, they said that they were carrying pumpkins in the sacks.

The anecdote of “pumpkin heads” gave the Koreans confidence in victory again in the wake of the Pochonbo Battle.

After the battle, passionate Korean youth from all parts of Korea and overseas ardently volunteered to join the KPRA and the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle of Korea greeted a new age of vitalization.  

The Pochonbo Battle, which left an indelible mark on the historic course for the cause of liberating Korea, is significantly commemorated even today and the spirit of that day is being carried on by new generations. 


2023 © All rights reserved.