|Kim Il-sung's official portrait.|
|Leader of North Korea|
9 September 1948 – 8 July 1994
8 July 1994
|1st President of North Korea|
28 December 1972 – 8 July 1994
|Preceded by||Position created a|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished b|
|Prime Minister of North Korea|
9 September 1948 – 28 December 1972
|Preceded by||Position created|
|Succeeded by||Kim Il (as Premier)|
11 October 1966 – 8 July 1994
|Preceded by||Himself (as Chairman)|
|Succeeded by||Kim Jong-il|
30 June 1949 – 11 October 1966
|Preceded by||Kim Tu-bong|
|Succeeded by||Himself (as General Secretary)|
28 August 1946 – 30 June 1949
Serving with Chu Yong-ha and Ho Ka-i
|Preceded by||Position created|
|Succeeded by||Pak Hon-yong (as 1st Deputy Chairman) and Ho Ka-i (as 2nd Deputy Chairman)|
Chairman of the North Korea Bureau of the Communist Party of Korea
17 December 1945 – 28 August 1946
|General Secretary||Pak Hon-yong|
|Preceded by||Kim Yong-bom|
|Succeeded by||Kim Tu-bong as (WPNK chairman)|
15 April 1912
|Died||8 July 1994
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, Pyongyang
|Political party||Workers’ Party of Korea|
|Residence||Pyongyang, DPR Korea|
|Profession||President of North Korea|
|Years of service||
|Rank||Dae wonsu (Grand Marshal)|
|Commands||All (Supreme commander)|
|Revised Romanization||Gim Il-seong|
|Revised Romanization||Gim Seong-ju|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Kim Il-sung (/ , /; Korean: [kim ilsʰʌŋ]; born Kim Sŏng-ju; 15 April 1912 – 8 July 1994) was the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as North Korea, from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994. He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to his death. He was also the leader of the Workers' Party of Korea from 1949 to 1994 (titled as chairman from 1949 to 1966 and as general secretary after 1966). He authorized the invasion of South Korea in 1950, triggering a defense of South Korea by the United Nations led by the United States. A cease-fire in the Korean War was signed on 27 July 1953.
His tenure as leader of North Korea was autocratic. Inspired by Stalinism, he established an all-pervasive cult of personality around himself. From the mid-1960s, he promoted his Juche variant of communism, which gradually replaced Marxism–Leninism as the ideology of the state.
His son Kim Jong-il became his formal successor at the 6th WPK Congress, and succeeded him in 1994. The North Korean government refers to Kim Il-sung as "The Great Leader" (위대한 수령, widaehan suryŏng) and he is designated in the North Korean constitution as the country's "Eternal President". His birthday is a public holiday in North Korea and is called the "Day of the Sun".
- 1 Early life
- 2 Communist and guerrilla activities
- 3 Return to Korea
- 4 WPK General Secretary
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Cult of personality and legacy
- 7 Works
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Many of the early records of his life come from his own personal accounts and official North Korean government publications, which often conflict with external sources. Nevertheless, there is some consensus on at least the basic story of his early life, corroborated by witnesses from the period.
Kim is reported by some to have been born in the small village of Mangyungbong (then called Namni) on 15 April 1912.:12 Mangyungbong sits on a peak in the Rangrim Range of mountains near Pyongyang, Korea.:11Born to Kim Hyŏng-jik and Kang Pan-sŏk, who gave him the name Kim Sŏng-ju; Kim also had two younger brothers, Ch’ŏl-chu (or Kim Chul Joo) and Yŏng-ju.:15
The exact history of Kim's family is somewhat obscure. According to Kim himself the family was neither very poor nor comfortably well-off, but was always a step away from poverty. Kim is said to have claimed 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. According to the official version, Kim’s family participated in anti-Japanese activities and in 1920 they fled to Manchuria. Like most Korean families, they resented the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula, which began on 29 August 1910.:12 Another view seems to be that his family settled in Manchuria like many Koreans at the time to escape famine. Nonetheless, Kim's parents, especially Kim's mother (Kang Ban Suk) played a role in some of the activist anti-Japanese struggle that was sweeping the peninsula.:16 But, their exact involvement - whether their cause was missionary, nationalist, or both - is unclear.:53[page needed] Still, Japanese repression of any and all opposition was brutal, resulting in the arrest and detention of more than 52,000 Korean citizens in 1912 alone.:13 The repression forced many Korean families to flee Korea and settle in Manchuria.
Communist and guerrilla activities
There is much controversy about Kim's political career before the founding of North Korea, with some sources indicating he was an imposter. Several sources indicate that the Kim Il-sung name had previously been used by a prominent early leader of the Korean resistance, Kim Kyung-cheon (김경천).[page needed] Grigory Mekler, who is 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. 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.:50
However, historian Andrei Lankov has stated that the claim that the name Kim Il-sung was switched with the name of 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.:55 Historian Bruce Cumings argues that the assertion Kim was an imposter parallels the North's propaganda that he single-handedly defeated the Japanese. Cumings points out that Japanese officers from the Kwantung Army have attested to his fame as a guerrilla leader.:160-161 The official version of Kim's guerrilla life is believed to be heavily embellished as a part of the subsequent personality cult, particularly his portrayal as a boy-conspirator who joined the resistance at 14 and had founded a battle-ready army at 19.[page needed]
The following details of his career are therefore disputed.
In October 1926, Kim founded the Down-With-Imperialism Union. Kim attended Whasung Military Academy in 1926, but when later finding the academy's training methods outdated, he quit in 1927. From that time, he attended Yuwen Middle School in Jilin up to 1930, 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 fewer 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.:52
In 1931, Kim joined the Communist Party of China—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. He joined various anti-Japanese guerrilla groups in northern China. Feelings against the Japanese ran high in Manchuria, but as of May 1930 Manchuria was not occupied by the Japanese. On 30 May 1930 a spontaneous violent uprising in eastern Manchuria arose in which peasants attacked some local villages in the name of resisting "Japanese aggression". This unplanned reckless and unfocused uprising was easily put down by the authorities. Because of the attack, the Japanese began to plan an occupation of Manchuria. In a speech before a meeting of Young Communist League delegates on 20 May 1931 in Yenchi County in Manchuria, Kim warned the delegates against such unplanned uprisings as the 30 May 1930 uprising in eastern Manchuria.
Four months later, on 18 September 1931, the "Mukden Incident" occurred in which a relatively weak dynamite explosive charge went off near a Japanese railroad in the town of Mukden in Manchuria. Although no damage occurred, the Japanese used the incident as an excuse to send armed forces into Manchuria and appoint a new puppet government. In 1935, Kim 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.:53 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 8 March 1941.
In 1935 Kim took the name Kim Il-sung, meaning "become the sun". 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 4 June. 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. For their part the Japanese considered Kim to be one of the most effective and popular Korean guerrilla leaders.:160–161 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.:53–54 Kim was sent to a camp at Vyatskoye near Khabarovsk, where the Korean Communist guerrillas were retrained by the Soviets. Kim became a Major in the Soviet Red Army and served in it until the end of World War II.
Return to Korea
The Soviet Union declared war on Japan in August 1945. The United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima (6 August 1945) and Nagasaki (9 August 1945), and the Red Army entered Pyongyang with almost no resistance on 15 August 1945. Stalin had instructed Lavrentiy Beria to recommend a Communist leader for the Soviet-occupied territories and Beria met Kim several times before recommending him to Stalin.
Kim arrived in the Korean port of Wonsan on 19 September 1945. In December 1945, the Soviets installed Kim as chairman of the North Korean branch of the Korean Communist Party. With backing from the Soviets, he became chairman of the Interim People's Committee on 8 February 1946, making him "the top Korean administrative leader in the North."
To solidify his control, Kim established the Korean People's Army (KPA), aligned with the Communist Party, and he recruited a cadre of guerrillas and former soldiers who had gained combat experience in battles against the Japanese and later against Nationalist Chinese troops. Using Soviet advisers and equipment, Kim constructed a large army skilled in infiltration tactics and guerrilla warfare. Prior to Kim's invasion of the South in 1950, which triggered the Korean War, Joseph Stalin equipped the KPA with modern, Soviet-built heavy tanks, trucks, artillery, and small arms. Kim also formed an air force, equipped at first with Soviet-built propeller-driven fighters 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.
WPK General Secretary
Rise of cult of personality
Despite United Nations plans to conduct all-Korean elections, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was proclaimed on 9 September 1948, with Kim as the Soviet-designated premier. In May 1948, the south had declared statehood as the Republic of Korea.
On 12 October, the Soviet Union recognized Kim's government as sovereign of the entire peninsula, including the south. 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, Kim and the Communists had consolidated totalitarian rule in North Korea and all parties and mass organizations were either eliminated or consolidated into the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, a popular front but one in which the Workers Party predominated. Around this time, the "cult of personality" was promoted by the Communists, the first statues of Kim appeared, and he began calling himself "Great Leader".[page needed]
Archival material suggests that North Korea's decision to invade South Korea was Kim's initiative, not a Soviet one. Evidence suggests that Soviet intelligence, through its espionage sources in the US government and British SIS, had obtained information on the limitations of US atomic bomb stockpiles as well as defense program cuts, leading Stalin to conclude that the Truman administration would not intervene in Korea.
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. The Chinese did not provide North Korea with direct military support (other than logistics channels) until United Nations troops, largely US forces, had nearly reached the Yalu River late in 1950. At the outset of the war in June and July, North Korean forces captured Seoul and occupied most of the South, save for a small section of territory in the southeast region of the South which was called the Pusan Perimeter. But in September, the North Koreans were driven back by the US-led counterattack which started with the UN landing in Incheon, followed by a combined South Korean-US-UN offensive from the Pusan Perimeter. North Korean history emphasizes that the United States had previously invaded and occupied the South, allegedly with the intention to push further north and into the Asian continent. Based on these assumptions, it portrays the KPA invasion of the South as a counter-attack. By October, UN forces had retaken Seoul and invaded the North to reunify the country under the South. On 19 October, US and South Korean troops captured P’yŏngyang, forcing Kim and his government to flee north, first to Sinuiju and eventually into 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. There were nevertheless tensions between Kim and the Chinese government. Kim had been warned of the likelihood of an amphibious landing at Incheon, which was ignored. There was also a sense that the North Koreans had paid little in war compared to the Chinese who had fought for their country for decades against foes with better technology. The UN troops were forced to withdraw and Chinese troops retook P’yŏngyang in December and Seoul in January 1951. In March, UN forces began a new offensive, retaking Seoul and advanced north once again halting at a point just north of the 38th Parallel. After a series of offensives and counter-offensives by both sides, followed by a grueling period of largely static trench warfare which lasted from the summer of 1951 to July 1953, the front was stabilized along what eventually became the permanent "Armistice Line" of 27 July 1953. Over 1.2 million people died during the Korean war.
Chinese and Russian documents from that time reveal that Kim 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. Kim also 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.
Restored as the leader of North Korea, Kim returned to the country after war's end and immediately embarked on a large reconstruction effort for 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 economy was focused on heavy industry and arms production. Both South and North Korea retained huge armed forces to defend the 1953 Demilitarized Zone, although no foreign troops were permanently stationed in North Korea. All Chinese troops that fought alongside the North Korean army during the war were removed from North Korea by 1957.
During the late 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. But Kim 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 North Korean 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 de-Stalinization in the Soviet Union emerged within the Party to criticize Kim and demand reforms. After a period of vacillation, Kim instituted a purge, executing some who had been found guilty of treason and forcing the rest into exile.
By the 1960s, Kim's relationship with the great communist powers in the region had become difficult. Despite his opposition to de-Stalinization, Kim never severed his relations with the Soviet Union. He found the Chinese unreliable allies due to the unstable state of affairs under Mao, leaving the DPRK somewhere in between the two sides. The Cultural Revolution in China prompted Kim to side with the Soviets, the decision reinforced by the 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.
At the same time, Kim reinstated relations with most of Eastern Europe's communist countries, primarily 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 in Romania was very similar to that of Kim. Kim and Albania's Enver Hoxha (another independent-minded Stalinist) would remain fierce enemies and relations between North Korea and Albania would remain cold and tense right up until Hoxha's death in 1985. Although not a communist, Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko was also heavily influenced by Kim's style of rule. At the same time, Kim was establishing an extensive personality cult. North Koreans were taught that Kim was the "Sun of the Nation" and could do no wrong. Kim developed the policy and ideology of Juche (self-reliance 주체 사상) rather than having North Korea become a Soviet satellite state.
In the mid-1960s, Kim became impressed with the efforts of North Vietnam's Hồ Chí Minh to reunify Vietnam through guerilla warfare and thought something similar might be possible in Korea. Infiltration and subversion efforts were thus greatly stepped up against US 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 US forces in and around South Korea, engaging US Army troops in fire-fights 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. In 1980, 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.
From about this time, North Korea encountered increasing economic difficulties. The practical effect of Juche was to cut the country off from virtually all foreign trade in order to make it entirely self-reliant. 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, from 1989–1991, completed North Korea's virtual isolation. These events led to mounting economic difficulties because Kim refused to issue any kind of economic or democratic reforms.
As he aged, starting in the late 1970s, Kim developed a calcium deposit growth on the right-back of his neck. Its close proximity to his brain and spinal cord made it inoperable. Because of its unappealing nature, North Korean reporters and photographers, from then on, always shot and filmed Kim while standing from his same slight-left angle to hide the growth from official photographs and newsreels, which became an increasingly difficult task as the growth reached the size of a baseball by the late 1980s.
To ensure a full succession of leadership to his son and designated successor Kim Jong-il, Kim turned over his chairmanship of North Korea's National Defense Commission—the body mainly responsible for control of the armed forces as well as the supreme commandership of the country's now million-man strong military force, the Korean People's Army—to his son in 1991 and 1993.
So far, the elder Kim remained as the country's president, general-secretary of its ruling communist Worker's Party of Korea and the chairman of the Party's Central Military Commission, the party's organization that has supreme supervision and authority over military matters.
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". 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 program. In June 1994, former U.S. 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 isolated from the outside world, except for limited trade and contacts with China, Russia, Vietnam and Cuba. Its economy was crippled by huge expenditures on armaments, and the agricultural sector was unable to feed its population, however, it is also argued that this was due to floods and storms during the same period. At the same time, the state-run North Korean media continued to praise Kim.
On 8 July 1994, at age 82, Kim Il-sung collapsed from a sudden heart attack. After the heart attack, Kim Jong-il ordered the team of doctors who were constantly at his father's side to leave, and for the country's best doctors to be flown in from Pyongyang. After several hours, the doctors from Pyongyang arrived, and despite their efforts to save him, Kim Il-sung died. After the traditional Confucian Mourning period, his death was declared thirty hours later.
Kim Il-sung's death resulted in nationwide mourning and a ten-day mourning period was declared by Kim Jong-il. His funeral in Pyongyang was attended by hundreds of thousands of people flown from all over North Korea. 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. His head rests on a traditional Korean pillow and he is covered by the flag of the Workers' Party of Korea. Newsreel video of the funeral at Pyongyang was broadcast on several networks, and can now be found on various websites.
Kim Il-sung married twice. His first wife, Kim Jong-suk, gave birth to two sons and a daughter. Kim Jong-il was 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 Sung-ae in 1952, and it is believed he had three children with her: Kim Yŏng-il (not to be confused with the former Premier of North Korea of the same name), Kim Kyŏng-il and Kim Pyong-il. Kim Pyong-il was prominent in Korean politics until he became ambassador to Hungary. Since 1998 he has been ambassador to Poland. In sum, Kim Il-sung had six children and eight grandchildren; one of them, Kim Jong-un, is the current leader of North Korea.
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).
Cult of personality and legacy
There are over 500 statues of Kim Il-sung in North Korea. The most prominent are at Kim Il-sung University, Kim Il-sung Stadium, Mansudae Hill, Kim Il-sung Bridge and the Immortal Statue of Kim Il-sung. Some statues have been reported to have been destroyed by explosions or damaged with graffiti by North Korean activists.:201 Yŏng Saeng ("eternal life") monuments have been erected throughout the country, each dedicated to the departed "Eternal Leader", at which citizens are expected to pay annual tribute on his official birthday or the commemoration of his death. It is also traditional that North Korean newlyweds, immediately after their wedding, go to the nearest statue of Kim Il-sung to lay flowers at his feet.
Kim Il-sung's image is prominent in places associated with public transportation, hanging at every North Korean train station and airport. It is also placed prominently at the border crossings between China and North Korea. 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 which are published by the Workers' Party of Korea Publishing House, such as the 100-volume Complete Collection of Kim Il Sung's Works (김일성전집) and his 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 eight volumes.
|North Korea portal|
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- Rummel, Rudolph J. (1997). Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Murder Since 1900. Chapter 10, Statistics Of North Korean Democide Estimates, Calculations, And Sources. ISBN 978-3-8258-4010-5.
- "Complete Collection of Kim Il Sung's Works" Off Press
- 가극 작품 – NK Chosun
- 2008年03月26日, 金日成原创《卖花姑娘》5月上海唱响《卖花歌》 – 搜狐娱乐
- "With the Century" – Complete biography of the Great Leader Kim Il Sung – Korea-DPR.com
- 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 (1993). With the Century. Korean Friendship Association.
- Lee Chong-sik. "Kim Il-Song of North Korea." Asian Survey. University of California Press. Vol. 7, No. 6, June 1967. DOI 10.2307/2642612. Available at Jstor.
- Mansourov, Aleksandr Y., Stalin, Mao, Kim, and China's Decision to Enter the Korean War, 16 September – 15 October 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.
- 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).
- Szalontai, Balázs, Kim Il Sung in the Khrushchev Era: Soviet-DPRK Relations and the Roots of North Korean Despotism, 1953-1964. Stanford: Stanford University Press; Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press (2005).
- Weathersby, Kathryn, The Soviet Role in the Early Phase of the Korean War, Journal of American-East Asian Relations 2, no. 4 (Winter 1993).
- Christian Kracht, Eva Munz, Lukas Nikol, The Ministry Of Truth: Kim Jong Il's North Korea, Feral House, October 2007, 132 pages, 88 color photographs, ISBN 978-1-932595-27-7.
- NKIDP: Crisis and Confrontation on the Korean Peninsula: 1968–1969, A Critical Oral History
- Baik Bong, "From Birth to Triumphant Return to Homeland," "From Building Democratic Korea to Chollima Flight," and "From Independent National Economy to 10-Point Political Programme".
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- Nicolae Ceausescu's visit to Pyongyang, North Korea, in 1971
- "Conversations with Kim Il Sung", Wilson Center Digital Archive.
- Kumsusan Memorial Palace, the Kim Il-Sung mausoleum.
- Kim's resting place
- North Korea Uncovered, Google Earth.
- Korean Unification Studies
- North Korean International Documentation Project (NKIDP)
- A State of Mind, a documentary movie by Daniel Gordon, chronicling everyday life in North Korea in 2003.
- Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, a book by Barbara Demick.
|New title||Prime Minister of the DPRK
as President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly
|President of the DPRK
(Eternal President of the Republic since 5 September 1998)
as Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly
|New title||Chairman of the National Defence Commission
|Party political offices|
|New title||Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea
|Himself as General Secretary|
|Chairman of the WPK Organization Bureau
|Chairman of the WPK Central Military Commission
Title next held byKim Jong-il
|General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea
|Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army