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Kim Il-sung (15 April 1912 – 8 July 1994) was the leader of North Korea for 46 years, from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994.

Kim Il-sung
Kim Il Sung portrait Grand People's Study House cropped.jpg
Kim Il-sung
Total number of works10,800
Complete Works100
Collected Works50
Selected Works15
References and footnotes

According to North Korean sources, the works of Kim Il-sung amount to approximately 10,800 speeches, reports, books, treatises and other types of works.[1] North Korean sources say that publishing houses in 110 countries have published works of Kim Il-sung in translations in some 60 languages.[2]

Kim Il-sung's works are published and republished in countless collections.[3] These include the 100-volume Complete Works of Kim Il-sung (chŏnjip),[4] the 50-volume Collected Works (chŏjakchip) and the 15-volume Selected Works (sŏnjip).[5] In North Korea, his works are published by the Workers' Party of Korea Publishing House.[6] The earliest work in the Enlarged Edition of Complete Collection of Kim Il Sung's Works is from October 1926.[7] By the time of Kim's death, the collections had ballooned to unpractical sizes with the Selected Works "too long and costly to be used in group study, the only kind the regime felt safe in encouraging" and the Collected Works "unfit to any propaganda purpose except to lead awed schoolchildren past". With more electricity and leisure time, too, such enormous collections were no longer popular.[8]

The English editions, published by the Foreign Languages Publishing House, as Kim Il-sung Works, Kim Il-sung Selected Works, and Kim Il-sung Complete Works have reached volume 50, eight, and seven, respectively.[9][10] Volume seven of Selected Works was never published in English.[9]

According to the official North Korean version, Kim Il-sung laid out the Juche ideology in his 1955 speech On Eliminating Dogmatism and Formalism and Establishing Juche in Ideological Work, although half of the speech is on unrelated matters and the speech praises the Soviets, which is ill-suited to the ideology's stress on self-reliance.[11] For the next ten years Kim failed to elaborate on Juche, even on important occasions such as his speech to mark the tenth anniversary of the North Korean state.[12] The concept had all but completely disappeared from the vocabulary of his works with the exception of a 1960 speech, On the Lessons Drawn From Guidance to the Work of the Kangso County Party Committee, where he passingly mentions it.[13] The next work to deal with Juche in detail was Kim's On Socialist Construction and the South Korean Revolution in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a lecture he had given when visiting Indonesia. The formulation of Juche as it is known today is from a 1972 interview with Mainichi Shimbun journalists, entitled On Some Problems of Our Party's Juche Idea and the Government of the Republic's Internal and External Policies. North Korea scholar B.R. Myers thinks that these occasions are too low-profile for introducing major ideological developments, leading him to conclude that the Juche idea is merely a front.[11]

Different editions of collections have played a significant role in the propagation of Juche. In 1960, the second edition of a collection of Kim Il-sung's speeches was published. It included Kim's On Eliminating Dogmatism and Formalism and Establishing Juche in Ideological Work, which was not considered an important work at the time. After the publication, American scholars translated the speech into English and left the word "Juche" untranslated. According to Myers, this marked the begin of the recognition of Juche as a distinct ideology.[14]

According to Myers, Kim Il-sung's cult of personality was consciously trying to match that of Mao Zedong. Thus when Mao was renowned for his poetry, the North Koreans matched this with claiming that Kim Il-sung had written plays during the anti-Japanese struggle of the 1930s.[15] Two plays that were allegedly written by Kim Il-sung are The Sea of Blood[16] and The Flower Girl.[17] Nonetheless, Kim Il-sung also wrote poems,[18][19] such as one called "Brightest Star", written in 1992 to congratulate Kim Jong-il on behalf of the latter's birthday.[18] Kim Il-sung also wrote song lyrics.[20] Official North Korean history also attributes operas to Kim. Sometimes Kim is attributed with writing the scripts of operas and plays directly, and at other times for providing the actual authors with the plots.[21]

Kim delivered a New Year Address since 1 January 1946. Although the tradition was likely copied from the Soviet Union, North Korea made one important distinction. In the Soviet Union, the speech was always delivered by the formal head of state instead of Stalin who held real power. Since the North Korean state had not been organized by 1946, the task fell on Kim as the head of the North Korea Bureau of the Communist Party of Korea [ko]. The speech has been delivered by the supreme leader of North Korea instead of the formal head of state ever since, making it an important policy speech identified with the leader personally.[22]

With the Century, Kim Il-sung's eight-volume autobiography written shortly before his death, is his most popular work among North Korean readership.[3] The exact number of works attributed to Kim Il-sung that are actually written by him is unclear.



Year Title Text
1946 On the establishment of the Workers' Party of North Korea and the question of founding the Workers' Party of South Korea
The Results of the Agrarian Reform and Future Tasks
1955 On Eliminating Dogmatism and Formalism and Establishing Juche in Ideological Work [2]
1959 On the Victory of Socialist Agricultural Co-operativization and Further Development of Agriculture in Our Country
1960 On the Lessons Drawn From Guidance to the Work of the Kangso County Party Committee
1964 Theses on the Socialist Rural Question in Our Country
1965 On Socialist Construction and the South Korean Revolution in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
1966 The Present Situation and the Tasks of Our Party
1968 Let Us Embody More Thoroughly the Revolutionary Spirit of Independence, Self Sustenance and Self-Defense in All Fields of State Activity
1971 Answers to the Questions Raised by the Iraqi Journalists' Delegation
Revolution and Socialist Construction in Korea: Selected Writings of Kim Il Sung
1972 The Selected Works of Kim Il Sung: Volumes 1 - 5
Juche! The Speeches and Writings of Kim Il Sung
Let Us Further Strengthen the Socialist System of Our Country
On Building the Party, State and Armed Forces in the Liberated Homeland
On Some Problems of Our Party's Juche Idea and the Government of the Republic's Internal and External Policies
1975 For the Independent, Peaceful Reunification of Korea
On Juche in Our Revolution
Answers to the Questions Raised by an AFP Correspondent
1976 The Occasion of Founding the Anti-Japanese people's guerrilla army
1977 The Land Law Of The Democratic People's Republic Of Korea
Let Us Inspire The People With Hopes Of National Liberation By Advancing With Large Forces Into The Homeland
Let Us Fight On Staunchly For The Liberation Of The Fatherland
1982 On The Juche Idea; Treatise Sent to the National Seminar on the Juche Idea Held to Mark the 70th Birthday of the Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung
1986 For the Development of the Non-Aligned Movement [4]
1991 For a Free and a Peaceful New World [5]
1993 10 Point Programme for the Great Unity of the Whole Nation for the Reunification of the Country
With the Century
[6] [7]
2001 For an Independent World published posthumously
2003 For the Independent, Peaceful Reunification of the Country published posthumously
2011 The Selected Works of Kim Il-sung [8] published posthumously

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "6. Immortal classical works written by President Kim Il Sung". Naenara. May 2008. Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  2. ^ "7. Over 110 Countries Published President Kim Il Sung's Classic Works in Their National Languages". July 2008. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  3. ^ a b Lim 2015, p. 28.
  4. ^ ""Complete Collection of Kim Il Sung's Works" Off Press". KCNA. January 18, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  5. ^ Ruediger Frank (October 22, 2013). "The North Korean Tablet Computer Samjiyon: Hardware, Software and Resources — A 38 North Product Review by Ruediger Frank" (PDF). 38 North. p. 15. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  6. ^ Yonhap News Agency, Seoul (27 December 2002). North Korea Handbook. M.E. Sharpe. p. 424. ISBN 978-0-7656-3523-5.
  7. ^ "Enlarged Edition of 'Complete Collection of Kim Il Sung's Works' Vol. 1 Published". KCNA. 13 April 2017. Archived from the original on 8 September 2017.
  8. ^ Myers 2015, p. 187.
  9. ^ a b Korea Publications Exchange Association catalogue (PDF). Korea Publications Exchange Association. 2011. pp. 8–23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2014.
  10. ^ >"Kim Il Sung Complete Works Volume 07". Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  11. ^ a b O'Carroll & Myers 2013, 14:00.
  12. ^ Myers 2015, pp. 65–66.
  13. ^ Myers 2015, p. 68.
  14. ^ O'Carroll & Myers 2013, 20:30-26:00.
  15. ^ Myers, B.R. (February 11, 2010). Book Discussion on The Cleanest Race. Event occurs at 4:20-5:00. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  16. ^ Schönherr 2012, p. 46.
  17. ^ Schönherr 2012, p. 49.
  18. ^ a b Lim 2015, p. 95.
  19. ^ Hokkanen, Jouni (2013). Pohjois-Korea: Siperiasta itään [North Korea: East of Siberia] (in Finnish). Helsinki: Johnny Kniga. p. 216. ISBN 978-951-0-39946-0.
  20. ^ "Song lyrics by President Kim Il Sung". Archived from the original on 2016-02-21. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  21. ^ Kim 2018, p. 159.
  22. ^ Tertitskiy, Fyodor (29 December 2017). "How to interpret Kim Jong Un's New Year's address". NK News. Retrieved 8 October 2018.

Works citedEdit

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