Template talk:Politics of North Korea

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Kim Il-sung[edit]

Please do not remove him from the template. Yes, he's dead. However, North Korea is a special case:

  • Kim is still the "eternal president" and head of state according to the 1998 constitution.
  • He was the state founder (along with others, though this is now omitted from the official version).
  • He is still the subject of the biggest personality cult in the world.
  • He ran North Korea as a personal dictatorship for 46 years, longer than any other dictator.
  • Juche, the official state ideology, is little more than his collected sayings.
  • Everything he said in public was written down and has the force of unalterable law.
  • His birthday is the biggest national holiday.
  • The country is a dynasty consisting of his family members.

Etcetera. The template lists the irrelevant rubber-stamp "parliament," the Supreme People's Assembly, the probably nonexistent Political parties in North Korea (besides the WPK), and the staged Elections in North Korea. Is Kim Il-sung less relevant than these?

I am also tempted to suggest we add Workers' Party of Korea in place of Political parties in North Korea, as it is the only party of any importance. ProhibitOnions 07:15, 29 January 2006 (UTC)


I have indeed added this, in place of the previous phrase "National culture." I don't know whether this was meant as a description of Juche or as a placeholder for a future link, but we can always add the latter, and "National culture" isn't really what Juche is all about ("Official ideology" or the likes). ProhibitOnions 07:26, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

I will deal with your argument point by point:

Kim is still the "eternal president" and head of state according to the 1998 constitution.

True, but an honorary position held by a dead person has little effect on politics.

He was the state founder (along with others, though this is now omitted from the official version).

Again, true. But George Washington isn't on the Politics of the United States box, nor is Charles de Gaulle in the French one-- people with arguably just as much influence on the establishment of their respective states.

He is still the subject of the biggest personality cult in the world.

Yes, but again, he's dead; I'd say his personal influence is thus slightly negated :).

He ran North Korea as a personal dictatorship for 46 years, longer than any other dictator.

Actually, he's hardly the longest lived dictator--how many pharoahs of Egypt were there anyway? But Adolf Hitler isn't on the Politics of Germany box, nor is Joseph Stalin on the Russian one or Mao Zedong on the Chinese one.

Juche, the official state ideology, is little more than his collected sayings.

If he even said any of those things--you said it yourself, he's the object of the world's most advanced personality cult. I seem to remember North Korean texts referring to the lotus blossom's being prettier the year Kim Jong-il came to power.

Everything he said in public was writen down and has the force of unalterable law.

He can't enforce laws when he's dead, after all. Any force they have now comes directly from Kim Jong-il and the power of his security forces.

His birthday is the biggest national holiday.

Again, Washington and Lincoln's birthdays are holidays in the United States, but they aren't on that infobox.

The country is a dynasty consisting of his family members.

Absolutely true. Notice that this isn't the contesting of the placement of his son Kim Jong-il. Again, a dead man can't directly influence anything. What is done is his name is done by the authority of Kim Jong-il and no other's. You'd be surprised just how resistant the human mind is to domination. Thirty seconds after their downfall, the Kims will be national disgraces, despised by those who just before were fawning before them in adulation. It happens everywhere. Once they are dead their power and influence dissipates. They can't touch anyone beyond the grave.

Also, although you are right that the Worker's Party of Korea is the only real party in the country, make that abundantly clear at Political parties in North Korea.--naryathegreat | (talk) 01:46, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

There are other (legal and illegal) parties in NKorea. So both the article on political parties and the article on WPK should be in. There are elections and Juche is the state dominant ideology. But I am not convinced to include a dead politician in a template on politics in any country, how important he might have been for that country. Is De Gaulle in France,Washington in the US, Mao in China. I agree on this with Naryathegreat. I deleted the referenced to articles that are not entries on a north korean subject (as most of these templates do). 159.46.248.232 07:32, 9 February 2006 (UTC) (=Electionworld)

naryathegreat deleted President. There is an article about the president and something had to me mentioned about the strange fact that North Korea has a dead man as president. That can be done by linking to that function. I will restore it. Electionworld 06:49, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, I don't believe that's necessary. It makes it seem like an important part of the government, which it is not. And there are many references to that fact in linked articles, particularly Politics in North Korea, which makes it relatively unnecessary to utilize in the infobox.--naryathegreat | (talk) 02:55, 12 February 2006 (UTC)


Sorry folks, but the mistake the template makes is to treat North Korea as a normal country with a "legislative branch," "judicial branch," "political parties," etc. All of which is irrelevant window dressing. Real power is held by Kim Jong-il, given him by his dad, and exercised through both the WPK and Juche, a totalitarian state religion based on adoration of Kim Il-sung.
Kim Il-sung created a national savior/prophet/warrior role for himself that was patterned on the likes of Muhammad, who is mentioned in the Islam infobox despite being dead (or, as some would argue, mythical). I hope you are right, that the Kims will be considered national disgraces upon the death of KJI. But North Koreans are required to repeat the stories about lotus blossoms and double rainbows, on pain of death, as if they were true; many defectors report that they actually believed this stuff.
To omit mention of KIS while including the fake legislature and political parties is to ignore the unique characteristics of the DPRK. ProhibitOnions 11:58, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
Having had a chance to think about this some more, I've put Kim Il-sung back, and put both his name and title in italics. Italics are often used to indicate "noteworthy but no longer current." What do y'all think? ProhibitOnions 19:39, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree with you that North Korea is a special case and that all real power is held by Kim Jong-il. I, however, find it annoyingly stupid to include a dead man in the infobox because, as I explained in detail above, a dead man just has no influence except what is attributed to him by those wishing to use his image, namely his son. I still don't think it should be in the infobox. Most people don't know better, and would assume he's alive and important-it's misleading.--naryathegreat | (talk) 03:15, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Again, though, he is the president. We're not just including him because of his historic significance, but because he is the current officeholder. Like I say, North Korea is different. We can't omit this fact just because "some people don't know better." Regards, ProhibitOnions 08:41, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
He's not the president; he's dead. He can only be the president if he's alive. Otherwise you can call him the Duke of East Bummerplop if you want to, but that doesn't make it him. It is important to omit facts when they are misleading, which this is.--naryathegreat | (talk) 23:29, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
According to the North Korean constitution (and not me), he is the president. I'm not making this up. FWIW, I have been to North Korea post-1994 and he was always spoken of as the president in the present tense. Like I say, it's a religion. ProhibitOnions 18:45, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I know about North Korea's constitution (actually, I'm not sure why I said he's not the president). I think I meant that he's the president in name only, and thus not worthy of mention.--naryathegreat | (talk) 05:38, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Premier[edit]

I have updated the "premier" slot as Pak Pong-Ju has been replaced by Kim Yong-Il (not to be confused with Kim Jong-Il) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 24.176.136.221 (talk) 22:30, 11 April 2007 (UTC).