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. (Example: "The great leader Comrade Kim Jong-il provides on-the-spot guidance to the Ragwon Machine Complex.") [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[who?] have collected the following list of Kim Jong-il’s titles.[3][4]


Korean (Hanja) English Comment
Party Centre/Center of the Party 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]
웃분 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 title 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
(領導者가 갖추어야 할 風貌를 完璧하게 지닌 親愛하는 指導者)
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]
Commander-in-Chief 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
(嚮導의 해발)
Guiding Sun Ray
혁명무력의 수위
(革命武力의 首位)
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
(祖國統一의 構成)
Guarantee of the Fatherland's Unification
조국 통일의 상징
(祖國 統一의 象徵)
Symbol of the Fatherland's Unification
민족의 운명
(民族의 命運)
Fate of the Nation
자애로운 아버지
(慈愛로운 아버지)
Beloved Father
당과 국가와 군대의 수위
(黨과 國家와 軍隊의 首位)
Leader of the Party, the country, and the Army
Leader Became common after Kim Il-sung's death.[4]
General One of the most common titles. In use since 1994.[4]
우리당과 우리 인민의 위대한 령도자
(우리黨과 우리 人民의 偉大한 領導者)
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
(敬愛하는 將軍님)
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
(敬愛하는 首領)
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
(삶의 太陽)
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
(不世出의 領導者)
Peerless Leader
21세기 찬란한 태양
(21世紀 燦爛한 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
(民族의 最高領袖)
Supreme Leader of the Nation
주체의 찬란한 태양
(主體의 燦爛한 太陽)
Bright Sun of Juche
주체의 찬란한 태양
(主體의 燦爛한 太陽)
Bright Sun of Pudank
당과 인민의 수령
(黨과 人民의 首領)
Leader of the Party and the People
위대한 원수님
(偉大한 元帥님)
Great Marshal
무적필승의 장군
(無敵必勝의 將軍)
Invincible and Triumphant General
경애하는 아버지
(敬愛하는 아버지)
Dear Father
21세기의 향도성
(21世紀의 嚮導星)
Guiding Star of the 21st Century
실천가형의 위인
(實踐家型의 偉人)
Great Man, Who Is a Man of Deeds
위대한 수호자
(偉大한 守護者)
Great Defender
혁명의 수뇌부
(革命의 首腦部)
Mastermind of the Revolution
혁명적 동지애의 최고화신
(革命的 同志愛의 最高化身)
Highest Incarnation of the Revolutionary Comradeship
His Excellency
영원한 당 총비서
(永遠한 黨 總秘書)
Eternal General Secretary of the Party

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "55-year-long History of Development of Foreign Trade". Foreign trade. March 2005. Archived from the original on 2005-11-19. 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. pp. 289–291. 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.