President Kim Il Sung (1912-1994), a great man of the 20th century, rendered distinguished services to the cause of making the world independent. In his lifetime, he met over 70,000 foreign personages, including heads of states, government and party from many countries the world over.
The foreigners, who met President Kim Il Sung, were greatly impressed by his noble personality, broad magnanimity, and warm humanity. Among them was Salvador Allende (1908-1973), former president of Chile.
Salvador Allende visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1969, when he was President of the Senate in his country, and met Kim Il Sung.
He was so eagerly looking forward to meeting with President Kim Il Sung that he could not suppress his surging emotion.
Allende had majored in medicine at the San Diego University, and obtained his doctorate in the nervous system. However, he had woken up to the social reality in Chile, which urgently required that social maladies should be treated before the medical treatment of individual patients. While groping for the way of independent development of Chile, he had happened to read the works authored by President Kim Il Sung of the DPRK. While reading the works, he had become an adherent of the Juche idea, and made up his mind to see Kim Il Sung. He had been so eager to meet him that he invited a delegation of friendship and culture from the DPRK to his house and expressed the ardent desire of his.
President Kim Il Sung came as far as the entrance hall, and warmly welcomed Allende. President Kim Il Sung said he was pleased to meet a comrade-in-arms, who was fighting at the common front against imperialism, adding that he was very proud of having such a good friend as him in Chile of Latin America.
Allende was all the more moved by his trust and lofty personality of Kim Il Sung who was treating him not as a guest but as a comrade-in-arms as if he had so far shared a life and death with him.
It was a meaningful day for Allende; he firmed his will to devote all his to the cause of independence with an unshakable faith in independence. Before his departure, Kim Il Sung said that he should come to Korea again and become an eternal comrade-in-arms on the anti-imperialist common front.
Back at home, Allende praised Kim Il Sung as the incarnation of independence and justice, and waged a vigorous struggle for the independent development of Chile and the building of a new society in the country.
In 1970, the following year, he was elected the president of Chile. He effected socio-economic reforms aimed at consolidating the national sovereignty and improving the social standing of the broad sections of the working masses. He had the US military bases and economic and cultural establishments, which had been used as instrument for the domination and control of Chile, abolished. Chile reestablished diplomatic relationship with Cuba and established such a relationship with the DPRK, China, Vietnam and Mongolia.
Uneasy with the anti-imperialist, independent measure taken by Allende government, the US instigated the right-wing military junta led by Pinochet to stage a military coup in 1973. When the military junta asked him to leave the presidential palace, promising him his personal safety, he refused to follow their words. Saying that surrender was thing done by cowards, he took up a rifle and fought bravely with his 40 bodyguards for about seven hours at the palace, before dying a heroic death.
On hearing the news of his death, Kim Il Sung met the Chilean charge d’affaires ad interim to the DPRK, and expressed his deep condolence over Allende’s death. And inquiring after Allende’s younger sister who was taking refugee abroad, he said that she had better come to Korea for medical treatment.
On several occasions afterwards, the President recalled Allende and the revolution in Chile. When he was meeting the general secretary of the Socialist Party of Chile who was on a visit to the DPRK, Kim Il Sung remembered Allende, saying that he had fought heroically, and that he regarded Allende as a hero not only of the Chilean people but of the working class all over the world.
Indeed, President Kim Il Sung of the DPRK was possessed of a noble personality, a great man who treated people, strangers as they were, as his old comrades-in-arms if they aspired after independence and justice, and remained loyal to friendly relations once they had been established.
The story about relationship between Kim Il Sung and Allende has been handed down as a legend of love and trust among Chileans and other Latin American people.