48 Facts About Kim Il-sung


Kim Il-sung was a Korean politician and the founder of North Korea, which he ruled from the country's establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994.

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Kim Il-sung held the posts of Premier from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to 1994.

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Kim Il-sung was the leader of the Workers' Party of Korea from 1949 to 1994 .

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Kim Il-sung outlived his allies Joseph Stalin by four decades and Mao Zedong by almost two decades, and remained in power during the terms of office of six South Korean Presidents and ten US Presidents.

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At the 6th WPK Congress in 1980, his oldest son Kim Il-sung Jong-il was elected to be a Presidium member and chosen to be his successor.

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Kim Il-sung's birthday is a public holiday in North Korea called the "Day of the Sun".

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Kim Il-sung's family is said to have originated from Jeonju, North Jeolla Province.

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Kim Il-sung was reportedly born in the small village of Mangyungbong near Pyongyang on 15 April 1912.

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Kim Il-sung said that he was raised in a Presbyterian family, that his maternal grandfather was a Protestant minister, that his father had gone to a missionary school and was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and that his parents were very active in the religious community.

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Kim Il-sung attended Whasung Military Academy in 1926, but finding the academy's training methods outdated, quit in 1927.

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Kim Il-sung then attended Yuwen Middle School in China's Jilin province until 1930, when he rejected the feudal traditions of older-generation Koreans and became interested in communist ideologies.

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At seventeen, Kim Il-sung had become the youngest member of an underground Marxist organization with fewer than twenty members, led by Ho So, who belonged to the South Manchurian Communist Youth Association.

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In 1931, Kim Il-sung joined the Chinese Communist Party—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.

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Kim Il-sung joined various anti-Japanese guerrilla groups in northern China.

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In 1935, Kim Il-sung became a member of the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army, a guerrilla group led by the Chinese Communist Party.

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Kim Il-sung was appointed the same year to serve as political commissar for the 3rd detachment of the second division, consisting of around 160 soldiers.

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Kim Il-sung 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.

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Kim Il-sung was sent to a camp at Vyatskoye near Khabarovsk, where the Soviets retrained the Korean communist guerrillas.

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Kim Il-sung became a Major in the Soviet Red Army and served in it until the end of World War II in 1945.

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Kim Il-sung arrived in the Korean port of Wonsan on 19 September 1945 after 26 years in exile.

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Kim Il-sung needed considerable coaching to read a speech at a Communist Party congress three days after he arrived.

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Kim Il-sung formed an air force, equipped at first with Soviet-built propeller-driven fighters and attack aircraft.

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Several sources claim the name "Kim Il-sung" had previously been used by a prominent early leader of the Korean resistance, Kim Kyung-cheon.

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Kim Il-sung'storians generally accept the view that, while Kim's exploits were exaggerated by the personality cult which was built around him, he was a significant guerrilla leader.

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Kim Il-sung had been warned of the likelihood of an amphibious landing at Incheon, which was ignored.

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Chinese and Russian documents from that time reveal that Kim Il-sung became increasingly desperate to establish a truce, since the likelihood that further fighting would successfully unify Korea under his rule became more remote with the UN and US presence.

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Kim Il-sung resented the Chinese taking over the majority of the fighting in his country, with Chinese forces stationed at the center of the front line, and the Korean People's Army being mostly restricted to the coastal flanks of the front.

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However, the three-year war left North Korea devastated, and Kim Il-sung immediately embarked on a large reconstruction effort.

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Kim Il-sung launched a five-year national economic plan to establish a command economy, with all industry owned by the state and all agriculture collectivized.

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Kim Il-sung developed the policy and ideology of Juche in opposition to the idea of North Korea as a satellite state of China or the Soviet Union.

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Kim Il-sung charged Kim with rewriting history so it would appear as if his guerrilla faction had single-handedly liberated Korea from the Japanese, completely ignoring the assistance of the Chinese People's Volunteers.

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In 1986, a rumor spread that Kim Il-sung had been assassinated, making the concern for Jong-il's ability to succeed his father actual.

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Kim Il-sung dispelled the rumors by making a series of public appearances.

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In early 1994, Kim Il-sung began investing in nuclear power to offset energy shortages brought on by economic problems.

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On 19 May 1994, Kim Il-sung ordered spent fuel to be unloaded from the already disputed nuclear research facility in Yongbyon.

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In June 1994, former US president Jimmy Carter travelled to Pyongyang in an effort to persuade Kim Il-sung to negotiate with the Clinton Administration over its nuclear program.

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Kim Il-sung's death resulted in nationwide mourning and a ten-day mourning period was declared by Kim Jong-il.

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Kim Il-sung's funeral was scheduled to be held on 17 July 1994 in Pyongyang but was delayed until 19 July.

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Kim Il-sung's body was placed in a public mausoleum at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where his preserved and embalmed body lies under a glass coffin for viewing purposes.

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Kim Il-sung's head rests on a traditional Korean pillow and he is covered by the flag of the Workers' Party of Korea.

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Kim Il-sung did so both in the context of responding to his comrades who objected to working with religious groups .

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Kim Il-sung's first wife, Kim Jong-suk, gave birth to two sons and one daughter before her death in childbirth during the delivery of a stillborn girl.

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Kim Il-sung Pyong-il was prominent in Korean politics until he became ambassador to Hungary.

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In 2015, Kim Il-sung Pyong-il became ambassador to the Czech Republic, but officially retired in 2019 and resides in North Korea.

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Kim Il-sung was reported to have had other children with women who he was not married to.

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Kim Il-sung was a godlike figure within North Korea, but his personality cult struggled to extend beyond the country's borders.

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Kim Il-sung's image is prominent in places associated with public transportation, especially his posthumous portrait released in 1994, which hangs at every North Korean train station and airport.

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Some, such as the 100-volume Complete Collection of Kim Il-sung's Works, are published by the Workers' Party of Korea Publishing House.

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