Caro Bills

Caro Bills

Published: 13 Sep 2023


Kim Il-sung, the founder and first leader of North Korea, remains a figure of great intrigue and interest. His impact on the country and his complex persona have made him a subject of fascination for many. From his rise to power to his enduring legacy, there are numerous aspects of Kim Il-sung’s life that are worth exploring. In this article, we will uncover 11 fascinating facts about Kim Il-sung that shed light on his personality, leadership style, and the lasting influence he has had on North Korea. From his military exploits to his development of the Juche ideology, these facts showcase the multi-faceted nature of one of the most prominent political figures in modern history. So let’s delve into the life and achievements of Kim Il-sung, and uncover the lesser-known aspects that have contributed to his enduring mythos.

Table of Contents

Kim Il-sung was the founding leader of North Korea.

Kim Il-sung, born on April 15, 1912, in Mangyongdae, was the primary architect and first Supreme Leader of North Korea. His leadership spanned for more than four decades, shaping the country’s ideology and policies.

Kim Il-sung is regarded as the eternal President of North Korea.

Even after his death in 1994, Kim Il-sung is still considered the eternal President of North Korea. His legacy is deeply ingrained in the country, and his preserved body lies in state in the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang.

Kim Il-sung authored the Juche ideology.

Juche, meaning “self-reliance,” is the official state ideology of North Korea. It was developed by Kim Il-sung as a guiding principle for the country’s economic, political, and cultural development.

Kim Il-sung initiated the Korean War.

In 1950, Kim Il-sung launched an invasion of South Korea, sparking the Korean War. The war lasted for three years and resulted in a stalemate, with a divided Korean Peninsula that still exists today.

Kim Il-sung emphasized the cult of personality.

During his rule, Kim Il-sung cultivated a personality cult around himself, permeating all aspects of North Korean society. He was often referred to as the “Great Leader” and his image was prominently displayed across the country.

Kim Il-sung promoted self-sufficiency.

Under his leadership, North Korea pursued a policy of economic self-sufficiency, aiming to reduce dependence on foreign aid and resources. This approach, however, resulted in significant economic challenges for the country.

Kim Il-sung established Songun, or “military-first” policy.

Songun is a policy that prioritizes military interests in North Korea. Kim Il-sung played a key role in establishing this policy, which continues to shape North Korea’s domestic and foreign affairs today.

Kim Il-sung’s birthday is a major national holiday in North Korea.

April 15, the birthday of Kim Il-sung, is celebrated as the “Day of the Sun” in North Korea. It is one of the most important national holidays and is marked by grand celebrations, parades, and ceremonies.

Kim Il-sung’s mausoleum is a significant tourist attraction.

The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where Kim Il-sung’s preserved body lies in state, is a major tourist attraction in Pyongyang. Visitors from around the world can pay their respects to the eternal President of North Korea.

Kim Il-sung received numerous posthumous honors and titles.

Following his death, Kim Il-sung was posthumously awarded various honors and titles, including the title of “Eternal President” and the “Grand Marshal of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

Kim Il-sung’s family continues to hold power in North Korea.

Kim Il-sung’s family, known as the Kim dynasty, has maintained its grip on power in North Korea. His son, Kim Jong-il, succeeded him as the leader, and later, his grandson, Kim Jong-un, assumed leadership of the country.

These 11 fascinating facts about Kim Il-sung demonstrate his deep influence and lasting legacy in North Korea. From founding the nation to shaping its ideology, Kim Il-sung’s impact on North Korea is undeniable. Despite his passing, his presence continues to be felt through the cult of personality and the enduring rule of the Kim dynasty. The Day of the Sun celebrations in April honor his birth and further solidify his status as the eternal President. Visiting the mausoleum and experiencing the remnants of his leadership are key attractions for tourists. With the family’s continued hold on power, Kim Il-sung’s influence continues to shape the future of North Korea.


Kim Il-sung, the founding leader of North Korea, remains a figure of great fascination and intrigue. His life and legacy are filled with extraordinary accomplishments and controversy. From his rise to power and establishment of a dynastic ruling family to the development of a unique ideology known as Juche, Kim Il-sung’s influence on North Korea and its people cannot be overstated.

Through these 11 fascinating facts, we have delved into various aspects of Kim Il-sung’s life, including his early years, leadership style, and the cult of personality that surrounds him. We have explored his military exploits, political ideology, and the lasting impact he has had on shaping the nation of North Korea.

As we reflect on the life of Kim Il-sung, it is essential to recognize the complexities surrounding his legacy. While revered by many within North Korea, he is also a figure of contention and criticism in the international community. Undoubtedly, the influence of Kim Il-sung will continue to shape North Korea’s future and keep the world captivated by his enigmatic persona.


1. Who was Kim Il-sung?

Kim Il-sung was the founding leader of North Korea and the grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong-un. He held power from the country’s establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994.

2. What is Juche ideology?

Juche ideology is the guiding political philosophy of North Korea, developed by Kim Il-sung. It emphasizes self-reliance, independence, and the central role of the state in shaping all aspects of society.

3. How did Kim Il-sung rise to power?

Kim Il-sung rose to power through guerrilla warfare against Japanese colonial rule in Korea and later during the Korean War. He established a cult of personality that helped solidify his leadership position.

4. What is the significance of the cult of personality around Kim Il-sung?

The cult of personality around Kim Il-sung is an elaborate and pervasive system of propaganda that promotes his virtues and attributes, portraying him as a demigod-like figure. It is used to maintain control and loyalty among the North Korean population.

5. How did Kim Il-sung shape North Korea’s military capabilities?

Under Kim Il-sung’s leadership, North Korea significantly expanded its military capabilities, focusing on the development of a large standing army and pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

6. How did Kim Il-sung’s leadership impact the economy of North Korea?

During Kim Il-sung’s leadership, North Korea followed a policy of self-reliance, which led to a heavily centralized economy and isolation from the global markets. This, coupled with mismanagement and economic sanctions, resulted in a stagnant economy and widespread poverty.

7. Are there any controversies surrounding Kim Il-sung?

Yes, there are several controversies surrounding Kim Il-sung, including allegations of human rights abuses, political repression, and the suppression of dissent within North Korea.

8. How did Kim Il-sung’s legacy continue after his death?

After Kim Il-sung’s death, his son, Kim Jong-il, succeeded him as the leader of North Korea. Kim Il-sung’s legacy is still deeply ingrained in the country’s political ideology and is upheld by the ruling family.

9. Is Kim Il-sung still revered in North Korea today?

Yes, Kim Il-sung is revered as the eternal president of North Korea and referred to as the “Great Leader.” His image can be found throughout the country, and his birthday is celebrated as a national holiday.

10. What is the impact of Kim Il-sung’s rule on the everyday lives of North Korean citizens?

Kim Il-sung’s rule has had a profound impact on the everyday lives of North Korean citizens, shaping their education, media consumption, and even personal relationships. The state controls almost every aspect of their lives.

11. How has Kim Il-sung’s leadership affected North Korea’s relationship with the international community?

Kim Il-sung’s leadership, marked by isolationism and an aggressive pursuit of nuclear weapons, has strained North Korea’s relationship with the international community. The country has faced numerous sanctions and has often been at the center of regional tensions.