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Soviets Groomed Kim Il Sung For Leadership (Interview with Soviet handler)
Vladivostok News ^ | January 10, 2003

Posted on 01/15/2003 6:27:27 PM PST by Shermy

Grigory Mekler was a Soviet 'spin doctor' ordered to help North Korea's now-demised leader Kim il Sung climb to power in 1945.

Now a 90-year-old pensioner, Mekler said in an interview that he had spent a year touring North Korea with Kim Il Sung, gleaning the leader mass popularity.

In April 1945 army chiefs in the Russian Far East were ordered to find a suitable leader for a new Korean state, and Mekler, a propaganda expert, was one of those entrusted with the task.

"Imagine what a responsibility it was. Basically the future of an entire nation was at stake," said Mekler.

Marshal Meretskov, Commander of the Far East Front, asked Mekler whether he had heard of a man called Kim Il Sung.

In fact Mekler had met Kim Il Sung in 1944, when the Korean was training at a Soviet army camp for Chinese and Korean guerillas near Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East. The Soviet officer found out that Kim, who then commanded a Korean battalion, had borrowed his name from the previous commander. Kim's predecessor, highly respected by Korean guerrillas, was killed in action.

"I want you to work on this person," said Meretskov, referring to Kim. "At the moment not many people know him. Travel to every corner of North Korea with him. It will be useful for both of you."

Kim Il Sung, who gained the rank of major in the Soviet army, returned to Korea in 1945 with the occupying forces, and Mekler and other Soviet advisers spent a year touring with him, even helping to write his speeches.

"When he was taking his first steps towards power, he didn't do anything without taking our advice," recollected the Soviet colonel.

Initially Kim Il Sung experienced some setbacks. "Sometimes after his speeches at demonstrations there was silence," said Mekler. "But later people started clapping."

Photo from Mekler's personal archive
Grigory Mekler (with his back to the
photographer), Kim Il Sung (facing Mekler), little
Kim Jong Il and an unidentified woman.

Stalin approved of the choice of Kim Il Sung, believes Mekler, and the Korean was "sincerely in love with Stalin."

Kim Il Sung was invited to Moscow and was taken to a shop for distinguished guests, where they could take any item for free, even a motor car.

Asked what he chose, Kim Il Sung answered, "A car for Kim Jong Il (his son)," and showed Mekler a small toy truck.

The Korean leader declared that, "North Korea and the USSR are brothers for all time. Stalin and I forever," recalled Mekler.

Mekler also met the current North Korean leader Kim Jong Il as a three-year-old child, and keeps photographs of himself with Kim Il Sung's family.

Before Mekler returned to Moscow, Kim Il Sung asked for a final word of advice. "I answered with the famous English phrase 'Look before you leap'," recalled the Russian.

Korea was a Japanese colony from 1910 until 1945, when the USSR and the United States occupied the north and south of the peninsula. Neither superpower was prepared to withdraw and give way to an independent Korea, and in 1948 two separate states, the Republic of Korea and the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, were formed.

Kim Il Sung created the North Korean Communist Party in 1945 and was elected premier of the republic in 1948.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs

1 posted on 01/15/2003 6:27:27 PM PST by Shermy
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To: All
There's no need to be mean spirited !

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2 posted on 01/15/2003 6:29:14 PM PST by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: AmericanInTokyo; dighton; Fred Mertz; aristeides; spectre; HAL9000; JohnHuang2; CommiesOut; ...
3 posted on 01/15/2003 6:32:50 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy
This guy Mekler needs to hook up with Bill Richardson and trade notes.
4 posted on 01/15/2003 6:36:24 PM PST by vbmoneyspender
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To: vbmoneyspender
Good one!

I wonder if historians know about this guy. Would be a good interview.

5 posted on 01/15/2003 6:37:06 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy
Very interesting.
6 posted on 01/15/2003 6:39:40 PM PST by Commander8
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To: Shermy
I believe it was Kruschev that made public 50 years ago the way the communists would lull America to sleep and wait until it was morally hollowed out while we would invite our own demise by communism...the master plan 50+ years later.
7 posted on 01/15/2003 6:44:21 PM PST by ApesForEvolution ((communism is a rash that needs to be scraped off of the planet))
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To: Shermy; leadpenny; SLB; Wally Cleaver; Recon by Fire; logos; Askel5; Alamo-Girl; aristeides; ...
This is interesting, to say the least.
8 posted on 01/15/2003 6:46:24 PM PST by Fred Mertz
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To: Fred Mertz
Thanks for the heads up!
9 posted on 01/15/2003 8:47:52 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Shermy; Askel5; belmont_mark
"'Cooperate with us or face the prospect of nuclear chaos and conflict'. The late Kim II Sung was a Soviet Korean. The North Koreans would not have acted in a provocative manner without the concealed support of the Russians and of their Chinese comrades-in-arms from the 1950's.

In a different context, the Russians may be expected to provoke an incident unattributable to themselves involving the explosion of a nuclear device somewhere in the West not excluding the United States. The purpose would be to reassert or re-emphasise the necessity for the American-Russian partership now, and to create pressure for eventual World Government.

US policy for dealing with the North Korean crisis is inadequate because it focuses on North Korea in isolation as a rogue state, and naively seeks help from the Russians and Chinese to solve the problem. The North Korean situation and any future nuclear incident, wherever it occures, must be seen against the background of Sino-Soviet 'convergence' strategy: the interaction of Russian and Chinese policy and the moves they make to derive strategic gains from critical situations should be closely studied." -Anatoliy Golitsyn, 1989.

10 posted on 01/15/2003 10:26:31 PM PST by Orion78
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To: Shermy
What's funny is that even though he's been dead for 7 years, he is still officially the country's President. Wow, even the Dems can't top that one.
11 posted on 01/15/2003 10:28:13 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Shermy
This is a fascinating read...

Fresh off the Vladivostok Press though, and scrubbed as not to offend any ties with Kim Jong Il.

12 posted on 01/16/2003 12:15:07 AM PST by Happy2BMe
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To: Orion78; Sawdring
Thanks, Orion.

Further to your other flag ... I think Golitsyn's been silent quite some time. Can't hurt to email Story and ask, which I will.

13 posted on 01/16/2003 7:22:59 AM PST by Askel5
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To: Askel5
Great let me know if you get a response. Given the current rate at which the United States is moving closer and closer to convergence with Russia, Golitsyn's analysis is needed now more than ever.
14 posted on 01/16/2003 6:39:45 PM PST by Orion78 (I hope Golitsyn is wrong)
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To: Orion78
Perhaps Golitsyn has moved to a certain ex-top gun's farm... seriously! Knowing what he knows, he must have his own plan! Getting rather long in the tooth though, so maybe he wouldn't mind, after all, being in London when the balloon goes up! A that age, one does not cling to life quite so strongly!
15 posted on 01/16/2003 7:23:57 PM PST by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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