- Kim Il Sung
- (Kim Sung Chu)(1912–1994)Communist leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from 1946 until his death in 1994, Kim Il Sung created a dictatorial regime based around his own personality cult. Born near Pyongyang the son of a peasant, he was active in the communist party youth in the late 1920s, and by 1932 was organizing guerrilla activity against the Japanese. He received training in the Soviet Union in the early 1940s, and in 1945 he became head of the Korean Communist Party northern branch. He headed the Interim People’s Committee in 1946 (the North Korean provisional government), and became premier of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at its founding in 1948. A new constitution in 1972 gave Kim the new title of president, a position to which he was reelected in 1982, 1986 and 1990.Kim’s leadership of North Korea was characterized by the development of a police state that quashed all dissent, the propagation of a massive cult of personality, a Stalinist political–economic system, and an isolationist and hostile attitude toward most other countries combined with a veil of secrecy that strictly limited contact with the outside world and the outside world’s knowledge of events inside North Korea. Kim also initiated the Korean War (1950–1953) with a surprise attack by North Korean forces on South Korea and pursued a Cold War subsequently. He was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong Il, who in 1998 oversaw changes to the constitution that abolished the position of president and the proclaiming of his father “Eternal President.”
Historical dictionary of Marxism. David Walker and Daniel Gray . 2014.