List of Kim Jong-il's titles

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When Kim Jong-il, former leader of North Korea, is mentioned in North Korean media and publications, he is not simply addressed by name. At least one special title is used, and his name is emphasised by a special bold font, for example: "The great leader Comrade Kim Jong-il provides on-the-spot guidance to the Ragwon Machine Complex."[1] Alternatively, a larger than normal font may be used.[2] The titles themselves were developed by the Central Committee of the Workers' Party. The same applies to Kim Jong-il's father, Kim Il-sung, who ruled North Korea from 1948 to 1994. Scholars[specify] have collected the following list of Kim Jong-il’s titles.[3][4]


Korean (Hanja) English Comment
Party Center
The first of Kim Jong-il’s titles. Has been in use since 1973 after Kim was secretly appointed as his father’s successor and until it was officially announced in order to mention Kim Jong-il in press without calling him by name.[4]
Superior Person
The title has been in use since the middle of the 1970s.[4]
친애하는 지도자
(親愛하는 指導者)
Dear Leader
This title was the most common one during Kim Il-sung’s rule.[4]
존경하는 지도자
(尊敬하는 指導者)
Respected Leader
The title has been in use since the middle of the 1970s.[4]
현명한 지도자
(賢明한 指導者)
Wise Leader
영명하신 지도자
(英明하신 指導者)
Brilliant Leader
유일한 지도자
(唯一한 指導者)
Unique Leader
The title has been in use since June 1975.[4]
령도자가 갖추어야 할 풍모를 완벽하게 지닌 친애하는 지도자
Dear Leader, who is a perfect incarnation of the appearance that a leader should have
In use since the mid-1980s on special occasions.[4]
First mentioned in the middle of the 1980s before Kim was officially appointed as Korean People's Army Commander-in-Chief.[4]
위대한 령도자
(偉大한 領導者)
Great Leader
The most common of current Kim Jong-il's titles.[4]
인민의 어버이
(人民의 어버이)
Father of the People
In use since February 1986.[4]
공산주의 미래의 태양
(共産主義 未來의 太陽)
Sun of the Communist Future
In use since the middle of the 1980s.[4]
Shining Star of Paektu Mountain
향도의 해발
Guiding Sun Ray
혁명무력의 수위
Leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces
In use since December 21, 1991, when Kim Jong-il became Commander-in-Chief of the Korean People's Army.[4]
조국통일의 구성
Guarantee of the Fatherland's Unification
조국 통일의 상징
Symbol of the Fatherland's Unification
민족의 운명
(民族의 命運)
Fate of the Nation
자애로운 아버지
Beloved Father
당과 국가와 군대의 수위
Leader of the Party, the country, and the Army
Became common after Kim Il-sung's death.[4]
One of the most common titles. In use since 1994.[4]
우리당과 우리 인민의 위대한 령도자
Great Leader of our Party and of our Nation
In use since 1994.[4]
위대한 장군님
(偉大한 將軍님)
Great General
경애하는 장군님
Beloved and Respected General
위대한 수령
(偉大한 首領)
Great Leader
When Kim Il-sung was alive, this title was used only to refer to him.[4]
경애하는 수령
Beloved and Respected Leader
백전백승의 강철의 령장
(百戰百勝의 鋼鐵의 靈將)
Ever-Victorious, Iron-Willed Commander
In use since 1997 after the 3-year mourning for Kim Il-sung ended.[4]
사회주의 태양
(社會主義 太陽)
Sun of Socialism
민족의 태양
(民族의 太陽)
Sun of the Nation
삶의 태양
The Great Sun of Life
민족의 위대한 태양
(民族의 偉大한 太陽)
Great Sun of The Nation
In use since 1999 after the new DPRK constitution was accepted in 1998.[4]
민족의 어버이
(民族의 어버이)
Father of the Nation
21세기의 세계 수령
(21世紀의 世界 首領)
World Leader of The 21st Century
In use since 2000.[4]
불세출의 령도자
Peerless Leader
21세기 찬란한 태양
(21世紀 찬란한 太陽)
Bright Sun of the 21st Century
21세기 위대한 태양
(21世紀 偉大한 太陽)
Great Sun of the 21st Century
21세기 향도자
(21世紀 嚮導者)
Leader of the 21st Century
희세의 정치가
(稀世의 政治家)
Amazing Politician
Great Man, Who Descended From Heaven
Glorious General, Who Descended From Heaven
민족의 최고영수
Supreme Leader of the Nation
주체의 찬란한 태양
Bright Sun of Juche
당과 인민의 수령
Leader of the Party and the People
위대한 원수님
Great Marshal
무적필승의 장군
Invincible and Triumphant General
경애하는 아버지
Dear Father
21세기의 향도성
Guiding Star of the 21st Century
실천가형의 위인
Great Man, Who Is a Man of Deeds
위대한 수호자
Great Defender
혁명의 수뇌부
Mastermind of the Revolution
혁명적 동지애의 최고화신
Highest Incarnation of the Revolutionary Comradeship
His Excellency
영원한 당 총비서
Eternal General Secretary of the Party
Since April 2012.[5]


  1. ^ "55-year-long History of Development of Foreign Trade". Foreign trade. March 2005. Retrieved 2010-01-05.  Article from North Korean magazine.
  2. ^ Martyn Williams (July 20, 2011). "Coding the Kims". North Korea Tech. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ 김, 봉기. 영원히 우리와 함께 계신다 [He is always with us]. 조선민주주의인민공화국 바로읽기 시리즈 (in Korean). 서울: 판문점트레블센타. p. 599. ISBN 89-5556-491-0. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s 전, 영선 (2006). 다시 고쳐 쓴 북한의 사회와 문화 [A New View of North Korean Society and Culture]. 역락. ISBN 89-5556-491-0. 
  5. ^ Gambino, Lauren (11 April 2012). "Kim Jong-il made General Secretary for Eternity at North Korea ceremony". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 April 2012.