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This is a Korean name; the family name is Kim.
Kim Il-sung
김 일성

Portrait of Kim

In office
28 December 1972 – 8 July 1994
Preceded by Position created
Choi Yong-kun, Head of State as President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly
Succeeded by Position abolished
(Proclaimed Eternal President of the Republic after his death)

In office
30 June 1949 – 8 July 1994
Succeeded by Kim Jong-il

In office
9 September 1948 – 28 December 1972
Succeeded by Kim Il

Assumed office 
8 July 1994 (Upon Death)

Born 15 April 1912(1912-04-15)
Mankeidai, Heian-nando, Japanese Korea
Died 8 July 1994 (aged 82)
Pyongyang, North Korea
Nationality North Korean
Political party Workers’ Party of Korea
Spouse(s) Kim Jong-suk (d. 1949)
Kim Song-ae
Children Kim Jong-il
Kim Man-il
Kim Kyong-jin
Kim Pyong-il
Kim Yong-il
Religion Atheist
Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 김 일성
Hancha 金日成
McCune–Reischauer Kim Il-sŏng
Revised Romanization Gim Il-seong
North Korea

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
North Korea

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Kim Il-sung (Korean: 김 일성[1]; 15 April 1912 – 8 July 1994) was a Korean communist politician who led North Korea from its founding in 1948 until his death.[2] He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to his death. He was also the General Secretary of the Workers Party of Korea.

During his tenure as leader of North Korea, he ruled the nation with autocratic power and established an all-pervasive cult of personality. From the mid-1960s, he promoted his self-developed Juche variant of communist national organisation. [3] Following his death in 1994, he was succeeded by his son Kim Jong-il. North Korea officially refers to Kim Il-sung as the "Great Leader" (Suryong in Korean) and he is designated in the constitution as the country's "Eternal President". His birthday is a public holiday in North Korea.


Early years

Kim Il Sung's birthplace in Mangyongdae-guyok

Much of the early records of his life come from his own personal accounts and official North Korean government publications, which often conflict with independent sources. Nevertheless, there is some consensus on at least the basic story of his early life, corroborated by witnesses from the period.

Kim was born to Kim Hyŏng-jik and Kang Pan-sŏk, who gave him the name Kim Sŏng-ju, and had two younger brothers, Ch’ŏl-chu and Yŏng-ju. The ancestral seat (pon’gwan) of Kim's family is Chŏnju, North Chŏlla Province, and what little that is known about the family contends that sometime around the time of the Korean-Japanese war of 1592–98, a direct ancestor moved north. The claim may be understood in light of the fact that the early Chosŏn government’s policy of populating the north resulted in mass resettlement of southern farmers in Phyŏngan and Hamgyŏng regions in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. At any rate, the majority of the Chŏnju Kim today live in North Korea, and extant Chŏnju Kim genealogies provide spotty records. Moreover, a persistent rumour alleges that during the North Korean occupation of Seoul in the Korean War, the North Koreans collected all the available Chŏnju Kim genealogies and took them to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea[citation needed].

The exact history of Kim's family is somewhat obscure. The family was neither very poor nor comfortably well-off, but was always a step away from poverty. Kim was raised in a Presbyterian family; his maternal grandfather was a Protestant minister, his father had gone to a missionary school and was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and both his parents were reportedly very active in the religious community. According to the official version, Kim’s family participated in anti-Japanese activities and in 1920 they fled to Manchuria. The more objective view seems to be that his family settled in Manchuria like many Koreans at the time to escape famine. Nonetheless, Kim’s parents apparently did play a minor role in some activist groups, though whether their cause was missionary, nationalist, or both is unclear.[4][5]

Kim's father died in 1926, when Kim was fourteen years old. Kim attended Yuwen Middle School in Jilin, where he rejected the feudal traditions of older generation Koreans and became interested in Communist ideologies; his formal education ended when he was arrested and jailed for his subversive activities. At seventeen, Kim had become the youngest member of an underground Marxist organization with less than twenty members, led by Hŏ So, who belonged to the South Manchurian Communist Youth Association. The police discovered the group three weeks after it was formed in 1929, and jailed Kim for several months.[6][7]

Communist and guerrilla activities

The Communist Party of Korea had been founded in 1925, but had been thrown out of the Comintern in the early 1930s for being too nationalist. In 1931, Kim had joined the Communist Party of China. He joined various anti-Japanese guerrilla groups in northern China, and in 1935 he became a member of the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army, a guerrilla group led by the Communist Party of China. Kim was appointed the same year to serve as political commissar for the 3rd detachment of the second division, around 160 soldiers.[4] It was here that Kim met the man who would become his mentor as a Communist, Wei Zhengmin, Kim’s immediate superior officer, who was serving at the time as chairman of the Political Committee of the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army. Wei reported directly to Kang Sheng, a high-ranking party member close to Mao Zedong in Yan'an, until Wei’s death on March 8, 1941.[8]

Also in 1935 Kim took the name Kim Il-sung, meaning "become the sun."[9] The name had previously used by a prominent early leader of the Korean resistance.[5] Soviet propagandist Grigory Mekler, who claims to have prepared Kim to lead North Korea, says that Kim assumed this name while in the Soviet Union in the early 1940s from a former commander who had died.[10] On the other hand, some Koreans simply did not believe that someone as young as Kim could have anything to do with the legend.[11] Historian Andrei Lankov has claimed that the rumor Kim Il-Sung was somehow switched with the “original” Kim is unlikely to be true. Several witnesses knew Kim before and after his time in the Soviet Union, including his superior, Zhou Baozhong, who dismissed the claim of a “second” Kim in his diaries.[12]

Kim was appointed commander of the 6th division in 1937, at the age of 24, controlling a few hundred men in a group that came to be known as “Kim Il Sung’s division.” It was while he was in command of this division that he executed a raid on Poch’onbo, on June 4. Although Kim’s division only captured a small Japanese-held town just across the Korean border for a few hours, it was nonetheless considered a military success at this time, when the guerrilla units had experienced difficulty in capturing any enemy territory. This accomplishment would grant Kim some measure of fame among Chinese guerrillas, and North Korean biographies would later exploit it as a great victory for Korea. Kim was appointed commander of the 2nd operational region for the 1st Army, but by the end of 1940, he was the only 1st Army leader still alive. Pursued by Japanese troops, Kim and what remained of his army escaped by crossing the Amur River into the Soviet Union.[13] Kim was sent to a camp near Khabarovsk, where the Korean Communist guerrillas were retrained by the Soviets. Kim became a Captain in the Soviet Red Army and served in it until the end of World War II.

In later years, Kim would heavily embellish his guerrilla feats in order to build up his personality cult. He was portrayed as a boy-conspirator who joined the resistance at 14 and had founded a battle-ready army at 19. North Korean students are taught that this Kim-led army singlehandedly drove the Japanese off the peninsula.[5]

Return to Korea

When the Soviet Union declared war on Japan in August 1945, it fully expected a long, drawn-out conflict. However, much to Stalin's surprise, the Red Army churned into Pyongyang with almost no resistance on August 15. Stalin realized he needed someone to head a puppet regime. He asked Lavrenty Beria to recommend possible candidates. Beria met Kim several times before recommending him to Stalin. It is widely believed that Kim was selected over several more qualified candidates because he had no ties to the native Communist movement.[5]

Kim arrived in North Korea on August 22 after 26 years in exile. According to Leonid Vassin, an officer with the Soviet MVD, Kim was essentially "created from zero." For one, his Korean was marginal at best; he'd only had eight years of formal education, all of it in Chinese. He needed considerable coaching to read a speech the MVD prepared for him at a Communist Party congress three days after he arrived. They also systematically destroyed most of the true leaders of the resistance who ended up north of the 38th parallel.[5]

In September 1945, Kim was installed by the Soviets as head of the Provisional People’s Committee. He was not, at this time, the head of the Communist Party, whose headquarters were in Seoul in the U.S.-occupied south. During his early years as leader, he assumed a position of influence largely due to the backing of the Korean population which was supportive of his fight against Japanese occupation.

Kim Il-sung in 1946

One of Kim’s accomplishments was his establishment of a professional army, the Korean People's Army (KPA) aligned with the Communists, formed from a cadre of guerrillas and former soldiers who had gained combat experience in battles against the Japanese and later Nationalist Chinese troops. From their ranks, using Soviet advisers and equipment, Kim constructed a large army skilled in infiltration tactics and guerrilla warfare. Before the outbreak of the Korean War, Joseph Stalin equipped the KPA with modern heavy tanks, trucks, artillery, and small arms. Kim also formed an air force, equipped at first with ex-Soviet propeller-driven fighter and attack aircraft. Later, North Korean pilot candidates were sent to the Soviet Union and China to train in MiG-15 jet aircraft at secret bases.[14]

Although original plans called for United Nations-sponsored all-Korean elections in 1948, Kim persuaded the Soviets not to allow the UN north of the 38th parallel, believing he could not possibly win a free election. As a result, a month after the South was granted independence as the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was proclaimed on September 9, with Kim as premier. On October 12, the Soviet Union declared that Kim's regime was the only lawful government on the peninsula. The Communist Party merged with the New People's Party to form the Workers Party of North Korea (of which Kim was vice-chairman). In 1949, the Workers Party of North Korea merged with its southern counterpart to become the Workers Party of Korea (WPK) with Kim as party chairman.

By 1949, North Korea was a full-fledged Communist dictatorship. All parties and mass organizations were cajoled into the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, ostensibly a popular front but in reality dominated by the Communists. Around this time, Kim built the first of many statues of himself and began calling himself "the Great Leader."

Korean War

The government of U.S. occupied South Korea (ROK) usurped power from locally controlled "People’s Committees" and reinstalled many of the former land owners and police who had held office when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule. These moves were met with heavy resistance and open rebellion in some parts of South Korea such as the southern islands.[15]. After several altercations at the border, it appeared that civil war might be inevitable. North Korean troops invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950 intending to use force to unify the country under a communist government. Evidence suggests that the North’s bid to reunify the country was met with a wide range of popular support across the south.[16]

Archival material suggests[17][18][19] that the decision was Kim's own initiative rather than a Soviet one. Evidence suggests that Soviet intelligence, through its espionage sources in the U.S. government and British SIS, had obtained information on the limitations of U.S. atomic bomb stockpiles as well as defense programme cuts, leading Stalin to conclude that the Truman administration would not intervene in Korea.[20]

The People’s Republic of China acquiesced only reluctantly to the idea of Korean reunification after being told by Kim that Stalin had approved the action,[17][18][19] and did not provide direct military support (other than logistics channels) until United Nations troops, largely U.S. forces, had nearly reached the Yalu River late in 1950. North Korean forces captured Seoul and occupied most of the South, but were soon driven back by the U.S.-led counter attack. However, North Koreans are taught to this day that it was the South who invaded the North, and the KPA's sweep through the South was merely a counterattack. By October, UN forces had retaken Seoul and on October 19 captured P’yŏngyang, forcing Kim and his government to flee north to China.

On 25 October 1950, after sending various warnings of their intent to intervene if UN forces did not halt their advance, Chinese troops in the thousands crossed the Yalu River and entered the war as allies of the KPA. The UN troops were forced to withdraw and Chinese troops retook P’yŏngyang in December and Seoul in January 1951. In March U.N. forces began a new offensive, retaking Seoul. After a series of offensives and counter-offensives by both sides, followed by a gruelling period of largely static trench warfare, the front was stabilized along what eventually became the permanent "Armistice Line" of 27 July 1953. During the stalemate warfare, North Korea was devastated by U.S. air raids with very few buildings left standing in the capital and elsewhere in the country. By the time of the armistice, upwards of 3.5 million Koreans on both sides had died in the conflict.

Leader of North Korea

Kim returned to North Korea at the Korean War's end and immediately embarked on the reconstruction of the country devastated by the war. He launched a five-year national economic plan to establish a command economy, with all industry owned by the state and all agriculture collectivised. The nation was founded on egalitarian principles intent on eliminating class differences and the economy was based upon the needs of workers and peasants. The economy was focused on heavy industry and arms production. Both South and North Korea retained huge armed forces to defend the 1953 ceasefire line, although no foreign troops were permanently stationed in North Korea.

Kim's hold on power was rather shaky. To strengthen it, he claimed that the United States deliberately spread diseases among the North Korean population. While Moscow and Beijing later determined that these charges were false, they continued to help spread this rumor for many years to come. He also conducted North Korea's first large-scale purges in part to scare the people into accepting this false account. Unlike Stalin's Great Purge, these took place without even the formalities of a trial. Victims often simply disappeared into the growing network of prison camps.[5]

During the 1950s, Kim was seen as an orthodox Communist leader, and an enthusiastic satellite of the Soviet Union. His speeches were liberally sprinkled with praises to Stalin. However, he sided with China during the Sino-Soviet split, opposing the reforms brought by Nikita Khrushchev, whom he believed was acting in opposition to Communism. He distanced himself from the Soviet Union, removing mention of his Red Army career from official history, and began reforming the country to his own radical Stalinist tastes. Kim was seen by many in North Korea, and in some parts elsewhere in the world, as an influential anti-revisionist leader in the communist movement. In 1956, anti-Kim elements encouraged by destalinization in the Soviet Union emerged within the Party to criticize Kim and demand reforms.[21] After a period of vacillation, Kim instituted a purge, executing some who had been found guilty of treason and forcing the rest into exile.[21]

By the 1960s, Kim's relationship with the great Communist powers in the region became difficult. Despite his opposition to de-Stalinization, Kim never severed his relations with the Soviets, since he found the Chinese as unreliable allies due to the unstable state of affairs under Mao, leaving the DPRK somewhere in between the two sides. The Cultural Revolution, however, prompted Kim to side with the Soviets, the decision reinforced by the neo-Stalinist policies of Leonid Brezhnev. This infuriated Mao and the anti-Soviet Red Guards. As a result, the PRC immediately denounced Kim's leadership, produced anti-Kim propaganda, and subsequently began reconciliation with the United States[citation needed].

At the same time he reinstated relations with both Erich Honecker's East Germany and Nicolae Ceauşescu's Romania. Ceauşescu, in particular, was heavily influenced by Kim's ideology, and the personality cult that grew around him was very similar to that of Kim. However, Kim and Albania's Enver Hoxha (another independent-minded Stalinist) would remain fierce enemies of each other[22] and relations would remain cold and tense up until Hoxha's death in 1985. At the same time, he was establishing an extensive personality cult, and North Koreans began to address him as "Great Leader" (widaehan suryŏng 위대한 수령). Kim developed the policy and ideology of Juche (self-reliance) rather than having North Korea become a Soviet satellite state.

In the mid-1960s, Kim became impressed with the efforts of Hồ Chí Minh to reunify Vietnam through guerrilla warfare and thought something similar might be possible in Korea. Infiltration and subversion efforts were thus greatly stepped up against U.S. forces and the leadership that they supported. These efforts culminated in an attempt to storm the Blue House and assassinate President Park Chung-hee. North Korean troops thus took a much more aggressive stance toward U.S. forces in and around South Korea, engaging U.S. Army troops in firefights along the Demilitarized Zone. The 1968 capture of the crew of the spy ship USS Pueblo was a part of this campaign.

A new constitution was proclaimed in December 1972, under which Kim became President of North Korea. By this time, he had decided that his son Kim Jong-il would succeed him, and increasingly delegated the running of the government to him. The Kim family was supported by the army, due to Kim Il-sung’s revolutionary record and the support of the veteran defense minister, O Chin-u. At the Sixth Party Congress in October 1980, Kim publicly designated his son as his successor.

Later years

From about this time, however, North Korea encountered increasing economic difficulties. The practical effect of Juche was to cut the country off from virtually all foreign trade. The economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping in China from 1979 onward meant that trade with the moribund economy of North Korea held decreasing interest for China. The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, during 1989–1991, completed North Korea's virtual isolation. These events led to mounting economic difficulties.

North Korea repeatedly predicted that Korea would be re-united before Kim’s 70th birthday in 1982, and there were fears in the West that Kim would launch a new Korean War. But by this time, the disparity in economic and military power between the North and the South (where the U.S. military presence continues) made such a venture impossible.

As he aged, Kim developed a growth on the back his neck which was a calcium deposit. Its location near his brain and spinal cord made it inoperable. Because of its unappealing nature, North Korean photographers always shot and filmed him from the same slight-left angle, which became a difficult task as the growth reached the size of a baseball.[23][24]

In early 1994, Kim began investing in nuclear power to offset energy shortages brought on by economic problems. This was the first of many "nuclear crises", although the U.S. had nuclear weapons in South Korea as early as 1953, and threatened to use them during the Korean War.[citation needed] On 19 May 1994, Kim ordered spent fuel to be unloaded from the already disputed nuclear research facility in Yongbyon. Despite repeated chiding from Western nations, Kim continued to conduct nuclear research and carry on with the uranium enrichment programme. In June 1994, former President Jimmy Carter travelled to Pyongyang for talks with Kim. To the astonishment of the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency, Kim agreed to stop his nuclear research program and seemed to be embarking upon a new opening to the West.


By the early 1990s, North Korea was nearly completely isolated from the outside world, except for limited trade and contacts with China, Russia, Vietnam, and Cuba. Its economy was virtually bankrupt, crippled by huge expenditures on armaments, with an agricultural sector unable to feed its population, but state-run North Korean media continued to lionize Kim. On July 8, 1994 at age 82, Kim Il-sung collapsed from a sudden heart attack, After the attack Kim Jong-il ordered the team of doctors who always were at his father's side to leave, and insisted that only the best be flown in from Pyongyang. Hours passed as the elder Kim lay near death in a room with his son, when the doctors finally arrived, the elder Kim was too far gone and died despite efforts to save him. Many claim Kim Jong-Il did this to ensure his father's death and his rise to power 3 years later.[citation needed] (After traditional Confucian Mourning period) His death was declared thirty hours later.[25] His death caused a nationwide mourning crisis, and a ten-day mourning period was declared by Kim Jong-il. His funeral in Pyongyang was attended by hundreds of thousands of people from all over North Korea, many of whom were mourning dramatically (there were reports that many people committed suicide or were killed in the resulting mass mourning crushes), weeping and crying Kim Il-sung's name during the funeral procession. Kim Il-sung's body was placed in a public mausoleum at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, where his preserved and embalmed body lies under a glass coffin for viewing purposes. His head rests on a Korean-style pillow and he is covered by the flag of the Workers Party of Korea. Video of the funeral at Pyongyang was broadcast on several networks, and can now be found on various websites.[26]

Family life

Kim Il-sung married twice. His first wife, Kim Jong-suk, bore him two sons and a daughter. Kim Jong-il is his oldest son. The other son (Kim Man-il, or Shura Kim) of this marriage died in 1947 in a swimming accident and his wife Kim Jong-suk died at the age of 31 while giving birth to a stillborn baby girl. Kim married Kim Sŏng-ae in 1952, and it is believed he had three children with her: Kim Yŏng-il, Kim Kyŏng-il, and Kim Pyong-il. Kim Pyong-il was prominent in Korean politics until he became ambassador to Hungary.

Kim was reported to have other illegitimate children, as he was well known for having numerous affairs and secret relationships. They included Kim Hyŏn-nam (born 1972, head of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers' Party since 2002)[27] and Chang-hyŏn (born 1971, adopted by Kim Jong-il's sister Kim Kyŏng-hŭi).[28]

Kim's name and image

Kim Il-sung as pictured on the 100-won banknote.

There are over 500 statues of Kim Il-sung in North Korea.[29] The most prominent are at Kim Il-sung University, Kim Il-sung Stadium, Kim Il-sung Square, Kim Il-sung Bridge and the Immortal Statue of Kim Il-sung. Some statues have been destroyed by explosions or damaged with graffiti.[30]

Kim Il-sung's image is prominent in places associated with public transportation, hanging at every North Korean train station and airport.[29] It is also placed prominently at the border crossings between China and North Korea. His portrait is featured on the front of all recent North Korean won banknotes. Thousands of gifts to Kim Il-sung from foreign leaders are housed in the International Friendship Exhibition.


Kim Il-sung was the author of many works and they are published in books. His works are published by the Workers' Party of Korea Publishing House and among them are "Complete Collection of Kim Il Sung's Works" and "Collection of Kim Il Sung's Selected Works". These include new year speeches, and other speeches delivered on different occasions. Shortly before his death, he also published an autobiography entitled "With the Century" in 12 volumes.

See also


  1. ^ Rodongja Sinmum, 8 December 2009
  2. ^ "김일성, 쿠바의 ‘혁명영웅’ 체게바라를 만난 날" (in Korean). DailyNK. 2008-04-15. 
  3. ^ Herman, Steve (2004-07-13). "North Korea: ten years later". Asian Research. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  4. ^ a b Lankov, Andrei, From Stalin to Kim Il Sung: The Formation of North Korea 1945–1960, Rutgers University Press (2002), p. 53.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Becker, Jasper (2005). Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea. New York City: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019517044X. 
  6. ^ Lankov, Andrei, From Stalin to Kim Il Sung: The Formation of North Korea 1945-1960, Rutgers University Press (2002), p. 52.
  7. ^ Suh Dae-Sook, Kim Il Sung: The North Korean Leader, Columbia University Press (1998) p. 7.
  8. ^ Suh Dae-Sook, Kim Il Sung: The North Korean Leader, Columbia University Press (1998) pp. 8–10.
  9. ^ Bradley K. Martin (2004). Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty. Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 0312323220. 
  10. ^ Staff writer. "Soviets groomed Kim Il Sung for leadership". Vladivostok News. 
  11. ^ Hong An. Interview. The Cold War. CNN Washington, DC. (Interview).
  12. ^ Lankov, Andrei, From Stalin to Kim Il Sung: The Formation of North Korea 1945–1960, Rutgers University Press (2002), p. 55.
  13. ^ Lankov, Andrei, From Stalin to Kim Il Sung: The Formation of North Korea 1945–1960, Rutgers University Press (2002), pp. 53–54.
  14. ^ Blair, Clay, The Forgotten War: America in Korea, , Naval Institute Press (2003).
  15. ^ Cumings, Bruce, The Origins of the Korean war, , Princeton University Press (1981, 1990)
  16. ^ Cumings, Bruce, The Origins of the Korean war, , Princeton University Press (1981, 1990)
  17. ^ a b Weathersby, Kathryn, The Soviet Role in the Early Phase of the Korean War, The Journal of American-East Asian Relations 2, no. 4 (Winter 1993): 432
  18. ^ a b Goncharov, Sergei N., Lewis, John W. and Xue Litai, Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War (1993)
  19. ^ a b Mansourov, Aleksandr Y., Stalin, Mao, Kim, and China’s Decision to Enter the Korean War, September 16 – October 15, 1950: New Evidence from the Russian Archives, Cold War International History Project Bulletin, Issues 6–7 (Winter 1995/1996): 94–107
  20. ^ Sudoplatov, Pavel Anatoli, Schecter, Jerrold L., and Schecter, Leona P., Special Tasks: The Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness — A Soviet Spymaster, Little Brown, Boston (1994)
  21. ^ a b Lankov, Andrei N., Crisis in North Korea: The Failure of De-Stalinization, 1956. Honolulu:Hawaii University Press (2004)
  22. ^ RADIO FREE EUROPE Research 17 December 1979 quoting Hoxha's Reflections on China Volume II: "In Pyongyang, I believe that even Tito will be astonished at the proportions of the cult of his host, which has reached a level unheard of anywhere else, either in past or present times, let alone in a country which calls itself socialist."
  23. ^ Cumings, Bruce, North Korea: Another Country, The New Press, New York, 2003, p. xii.
  24. ^ Image of Kim Il-sung's "neck tumor"
  25. ^ Demick, Barbara: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
  26. ^ Scenes of lamentation after Kim Il-sung’s death
  27. ^ Henry, Terrence (May 2005). After Kim Jong Il, The Atlantic Monthly.
  28. ^ Leadership Succession Recent Developments.
  29. ^ a b Portal, Jane; British Museum (2005). Art under control in North Korea. Reaktion Books. p. 82. ISBN 978-1861892362. 
  30. ^ Becker, Jasper (2007). Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea. Oxford University Press US. pp. 201. ISBN 978-0195308914. 

Further reading

  • Blair, Clay, The Forgotten War: America in Korea, , Naval Institute Press (2003)
  • Goncharov, Sergei N., Lewis, John W. and Xue Litai, Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War (1993)
  • Kim Il-sung (2003). With the Century. Korean Friendship Association. 
  • Lankov, Andrei N., Crisis in North Korea: The Failure of De-Stalinization, 1956. Honolulu:Hawaii University Press (2004)
  • Mansourov, Aleksandr Y., Stalin, Mao, Kim, and China's Decision to Enter the Korean War, September 16-October 15, 1950: New Evidence from the Russian Archives, Cold War International History Project Bulletin, Issues 6-7 (Winter 1995/1996)
  • Martin, Bradley (2004). Under The Loving Care Of The Fatherly Leader: North Korea And The Kim Dynasty. St. Martins. ISBN. 
  • Sudoplatov, Pavel Anatoli, Schecter, Jerrold L., and Schecter, Leona P., Special Tasks: The Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness — A Soviet Spymaster, Little Brown, Boston (1994)
  • Suh, Dae-Sook, Kim Il Sung: The North Korean Leader. New York: Columbia University Press (1988)
  • Weathersby, Kathryn, The Soviet Role in the Early Phase of the Korean War, The Journal of American-East Asian Relations 2, no. 4 (Winter 1993)
  • Christian Kracht, Eva Munz, Lukas Nikol, "The Ministry Of Truth. Kim Jong Ils North Korea", Feral House, Oct 2007, 132 pages, 88 color photographs, ISBN 978-932595-27-7
  • NKIDP: Crisis and Confrontation on the Korean Peninsula: 1968-1969, A Critical Oral History

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Chairman of the People's Committee of North Korea
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the DPRK
Succeeded by
Kim Il
Preceded by
President of the DPRK
(Eternal President of the Republic since September 5, 1998)

Succeeded by
Yang Hyong-sop de facto as head of State
Party political offices
Preceded by
General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea
Succeeded by
Kim Jong-il
Vacant until 1997
Military offices
Preceded by
Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army
Succeeded by
Kim Jong-il

Simple English

File:Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-Sung

Kim Il-Sung (Kim Il Sŏng;김일성;金日成) was the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) from the time it was formed until his death (heart attack due to stress) in 1994. North Koreans still consider him the 'Eternal Leader'. He was the creator of the Juche political idea. He ran North Korea in a different way from the Soviet Union and China. His son Kim Jŏng-Il is the current leader of North Korea. His name means "become the sun".[1] There are more than 300 statues of Kim Il-sung in North Korea.[2]

Resistance to Japan

During the Japanese occupation of Korea, Kim Il-Sŏng was involved with numerous opposition guerrilla groups.


  1. Bradley K. Martin (2004). Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty. Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 0312323220.
  2. Portal, Jane; British Museum (2005). Art under control in North Korea. Reaktion Books. p. 82. ISBN 978-1861892362.

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