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|Jo Ki-chon (조기천; 6 November 1913 – 31 July 1951) was a Russian-born North Korean poet. He is regarded as "a founding father of North Korean poetry" whose distinct Soviet-influenced style of lyrical epic poetry became an important feature of North Korean literature. He was nicknamed "Korea's Mayakovsky" after the writer whose works had had an influence on him and which implied his breaking from literature of the old society and his commitment to communist values. After a remark made by Kim Jong-il on his 2001 visit to Russia, North Korean media has referred to Jo as the "Pushkin of Korea".
Jo was dispatched by the Soviet authorities to liberated Korea when the Red Army entered in 1945. By that time, he had much experience of Soviet literature and literature administration. The Soviets hoped that Jo would shape the cultural institutions of the new state based on the Soviet model. For the Soviets, the move was successful and Jo did not only that but also significantly developed socialist realism as it would become the driving force of North Korean literature and arts.
Jo offered some of the earliest contributions to Kim Il-sung's cult of personality. His most famous work is Mt. Paketu (1947), a lyrical epic praising Kim Il-sung's guerrilla activities and promoting him as a suitable leader for the new North Korean state.
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