Chinese Journal Offers Rare Glimpse of the North Korean First Family.

The journal World Affairs, published biweekly by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, revealed such interesting tidbits as Kim Il-sung’s having died upon learning of the death of a comrade and his pursuit of nuclear weapons since the 1950’s. Kim Il-sung, father of current North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, is revered in North Korea as the Eternal President, earning said title upon his death on the 8th of July, 1994. Kim Il-sung first came to fame in Korea for his fight against the Japanese occupiers of Korea, founding the Down-with-Imperialism-Union in 1926. Around the year 1930 Kim began to explore Communist ideology and had joined up with the Communist Party of China by 1931. At 24 years of age Kim Il-sung was given command of a division and launched a successful raid on Poch’onbo. The success of this raid gained fame for Kim and came to be a source of pride in later North Korean retellings, and by 1937 Kim was made a commander of the 2nd operational region for the 1st Army. After the conclusion of World War II, Kim was placed in charge of the Provisional People’s Committee by the Soviet Union. Though he was not a member of the Seoul-based Korean Communist Party, Kim was popular among the people for his actions during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Early on in his reign as Prime Minister of North Korea, Kim Il-sung used his experiences during the Japanese occupation to form a well-honed fighting force in the form of the Korean People’s Army, a force whose nucleus was found in the soldiers who had fought alongside Kim against the Japanese. This army would be used to deadly effect in the coming Korean War, which scholars still debate as to whether the war was of North Korean or Soviet initiative. In the year 1949, Kim Il-sung had consolidated all political power in North Korea within the Korean Worker’s Party as well as under the umbrella group “Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland,” under which are found all non-communist North Korean political parties.


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