The History of Current Events

North Korea

November 24, 2020 Hayden Season 1 Episode 1
The History of Current Events
North Korea
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

When you think of the country you would least like to have been born in what comes to mind? North Korea, North Korea is the perfect example of a Stalinist-Dystopia a society that shouldn't exist in the 21st century. A creation of the demigod himself Kim Il-Sung... This episode is A Brief History of Kim and his life as well as the creation of the Stalinist-Dystopia.

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 Chapter 1 –INTRO (serious)


 DEMIGOD- A demigod is a minor deity, a mortal or immortal it has frequently been applied figuratively to people of extraordinary ability. or a figure who has attained divine status after death.


This year I was having a conversation with a friend and the name Otto Warmbier got brought up… Otto if you don’t know was the American kid who went to north Korea on a guided tour and ended up getting arrested for “Crimes against the state” a couple years ago and Otto was returned to the usa from north Korea in a Comatose state he ended up dying. Otto got me to thinking what kind of society North Korea was, of course I know about the dark tales of what happens in north Korea but there must be more too it. Why kill a kid over stealing a poster? 

I Took an interest in north Korea and realized that this society had become the closest to an Orwellian distopia, Full of propaganda, No freedom, the whole 9 yards. North Korea to this day is called “the Hermit kingdom” and that’s because it’s the most secretive nation on the planet.

This is the story of Kim Il sung and his mad quest for power that resulted in the deaths of over 3 million people and the enslavement of 25 million people.


Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

George Orwell

Chapter 2 Colonial Korea (SERIOUS)

Kim Il sung grew up in Colonial Korea

Before his birth Korea was ruled by the Joseon Dynasty, (choseon) they were decrepit and weak. They did however make an attempt at westernizing…

The Gwangmu Reformation was Koreas attempt at westernizing, 1897-1907, The Japanese took over after annexing and began industrializing and building efficient transportation systems throughout the country

Japan Formally Annexes Korea IN 1910

This period is also known as Military Police Reign Era (1910–19) in which Police had the authority to rule the entire country. Japan was in control of the law, the media, and the government. They had the power to do whatever they wanted

The Korean emperor, Emperor Gojong died in January of 1919, he was widely believed to have been poisoned by the Japanese., which was credible since previous attempts for instance (the "coffee plot") were well-known, and other leaders had been assassinated by Japanese agents. 

This led to a heightened situation against the Japanese and Anti-colonial marches all across the country occured

At age 6 Kim being very mature and wise beyond his years marched with the adult protesters on the march 1st protests 1919. Chanting along with the crowd. Japanese guards fired at the crowd at random, killing many. “This was the first time i saw one man kill another, this day changed me” Kim il sung wrote later.

After the march 1st protests The Korean Provisional government was established in Shanghai, Syngman Rhee (Kim’s Lifelong adversary) Would be its first President. 1919-1925.


After the march 1st protest the Japanese eased up on their Korean colony. The Japanese wanted to assimilate Koreans into their culture.

In 1931 this changed when a Korean student independence movement as well as the Japanese invasion of Manchuria led to the Japanese deciding to crack down on the Koreans.

There was an attempt to destroy Korean culture, Worship at Japanese Shinto Shrines was made mandatory. The Korean language was banned; education was no longer acceptable in Korean. Koreans had to permanently assume Japanese names. 

In 1937 the Shino-Japanese war begins (world war 2)

Chapter 3 Kim Early Years 1912-Korean war (Involved COMEDIC)

But who was Kim Il sung? And what is the official story of his upbringing 

Born Kim Song-Ju his name meaning “Become pillar of the country”, in Pyongyang To a family of Anti-imperialist heroes

Kim Ung-u (Kim’s great grandfather) almost singlehandedly sunk the American General Sherman, an American armed vessel that wandered past the Keupsa Gate unauthorized in 1866

Kim’s mother was a Feminist fighting for women’s rights, Kim’s father was an anti-imperialist wa hero farmer.

(This is the state account in reality he was born into a middle class Presbyterian family, Not rich but well off, Father was not a farmer but a teacher and cleric)


Kim’s first words were curses against the Japanese Imperialists bastards.

His Father was arrested, his mother brought him to a park to calm her son. She said “you must grow up quickly and take revenge on the enemy, you must grow up to be a hero and take back the country” being brilliant and wise beyond his years he agreed and vowed to uphold the revolution.

Kim refused to learn Japanese in school, spending most his time causing problems for the Japanese police for example, poking holes in their tires. He transported ammunition and gunpowder across the border to help the revolution, the revolutionaries crowned him head of the village children. 

When Kim was 11 he used his impressive survivalist skills and ventured across the Icy Yalu river (in the north of north korea) travelling 400KM alone, he hiked up mountains, braved blizzards, defeated wild animals. To go to school in his native Pekdu village.

Kim learned the Chinese language by himself before the age of 13 as well as taking an interest in Leninism, Marxism, and soviet leaders.

At age 13 he sadly left his native Korea to help the Korean rebels in Manchuria.

At the age of 14 Kim’s Father died, losing a revolutionary comrade Kim was crushed. His father’s last words were “You must not forget you belong to this country and its people, you must save your country at all costs!”

After his death kim studied in Manchuria but found the Chinese education antiquated.

He formed the Down With Imperialism union at huyfa river sparking the Korean revolution

The objectives of this union were 

1)Destruction of Japanese Imperialism

2)achievement of Korea’s Independence 

3)building of socialism and communist Korea

4)Destruction of all Imperialists and the of spreading communism

He withdrew from school to completely commit himself to the independence of Korea

Before Kim had turned 20 he wrote a library of books, Composed Musicals, wrote plays and choreographed Dances

In 1930 Kim attended a Commintern meeting using his flattery and charm he got the support of his fellow communists 

In 1935 he enlisted in Northeast Anti-Japanese Army (a Guerilla group from the Chinese)

At the age of 23 Kim was a top athlete, so the Chinese appointed him political commissar in charge of 160 soldiers

At the end of the year Kim had changed his name to Kim Il- SUNG meaning Kim becomes the sun

Brian Myers an expert on North Korea claims’

“Kim Il-sung was not the big guerrilla hero, the big anti-Japanese hero he made himself out to be," 

"In fact, he assumed the persona of a distinguished guerrilla leader with the name Kim Il-sung. And the real Kim Il-sung died in 1937.”

Whatever the truth about Kim may be, he was a guerilla fighting against the Japanese which is what led him to be put in a position of power




Women Loved Kim, however during the war he met Kim Jong Suk his first wife

A Japanese Ambush occurred and Kim Jong Suk rescued Kim by Shooting and killing 1 of the 6 ambushers (causing the other 5 to retreat in fear)

He fell in love and they had their first baby Kim Jong Il 

it is alleged that Kim Jong-il was born on Mount Paektu sacred to the Koreans, at his father's secret base in 1942 (his actual birth was in 1941 in the Soviet Union) and that his birth was QUOTE “heralded by a swallow, caused winter to change to spring, a star to illuminate the sky, and a double rainbow spontaneously appeared.”

[The kim’s got married

They soon fell out of love

He once shot his wife in the arm during a fight

Kim Song Juk died in 1949 from “The Hardships she had endured during her years as a guerrilla fighter”

Kim found a mistress and she became his second wife Kim song ay



Chapter 5 Korea post WW2 1945-1949 (SERIOUS)

 On August 8th 1945 The USSR declared war on Japan 

Soviet troops advanced rapidly, and the US government became anxious that they would occupy the whole of Korea. On  August  10th 1945 two young american officers – Dean Rusk and Charles Bonesteel – were assigned to define an American occupation zone. Working on extremely short notice and completely unprepared, they used a National Geographic map to decide on the 38th parallel as the dividing line.

The Japanese surrendered 5 days later on the 15th of August 

Soviet forces began amphibious landings in Korea by 14 August and rapidly took over the north-east of the country, and on 16 August they landed at Wonsan.[17] On 24 August, the Red Army reached Pyongyang, the second largest city in Korea

The Americans were happy to find that the soviets had honored their agreement (made at the 1943 Cairo Conference) and stopped at the 38th parallel 

The North had 9 million Koreans and a surplus of facotories from the Japanese. About 80 % of Korea’s heavy industry was located in the north. At this time It was the most industrialized place in all of mainland Asia

The south had 16 Million Koreans with the old capital Seoul. Most of it was backwater farmland

The soviets installed Kim Il-Sung in power due to the fact that he could speak Russian and was an avid supporter of communism. Kim pledged Individuality and Complete freedom of speech to his people

Kim having grown up in china and the Soviet Union actually spoke very little Korean and had to have his speeches written out for him in his early years.

On September 9th 1948 The Democratic People’s republic of Korea Was created. Colloquially known as North Korea.

Kim Il sung’s government was popular in early days

Kim campaigned for the reunification of the peninsula, he pestered Stalin for an invasion of the south

Stalin granted kim’s request after the Americans withdrew from the peninsula in 1949.

The north had a surplus of military supplies from Stalin and the south didn’t get much from the usa (to syngman Rhees Dismay)

Stalin allowed Kim to invade as the soviets had just developed their own nuclear bomb (named First Lightening)


On June 25th 1950 Kim attacked the south

He quickly conquered 95% of the Korean peninsula all except Busan where Syngman Rhee’s government was holed up

President Truman was an avid believer of Domino Theory and wanted to halt the spread of communism so he petitioned to create a UN army to save the south

A UN army forms under the leadership of Douglass Mcarthur

Early July the americans arrive

The Americans land an amphibious assault at Incheon and push North Korea back past the 38th Parralel

October 7th 1950 The US continues its attack into North Korea and just a few days later they capture Pyongyang

The North Koreans are pushed all the way back to the Yalu river on the border with china (Where Kim made his Rugged adventure to go to school all those years ago)

China Intervenes and attacks with 250,000 Troops

The UN is pushed out of North Korea with heavy losses

Macarthur Requests to Use the atomic bomb on china… Truman relieves him.

The Front stabilizes almost exactly along the 38th parallel where the map was drawn years before.

Eisenhower Gets elected in 1953 and ends the war by signing a peace deal 

South Korea never signed the Armistice agreement due to their inability to unify the peninsula (I guess you cant blame them because the war completely devastated the economy of both sides

Before the war North Korea was the most heavily Industrialized place in all of east Asia, after it was reverted to an impoverished backwater.

Even though the invasion failed, Kim portrayed it as a victory, claiming that Kim Il-sung defended North Korea from the American aggressors. 


Chapter 7 Destalinization and The Politburo members (SERIOUS)

Before The war Kim was just a Primus Inter Pares but in 1953 Kim would begin his Purges not dissimilar to the fate of other communist revolutionaries around the world.

The first round of Purges were to be anti-Soviet. Before Stalin’s Death in 1953 Kim was shown in propaganda next to the fatherly Stalin, after Stalin’s death all photos of Stalin were removed. 

The North Koreans disliked the liberalism of Destalinization and decided to go in a much darker direction

In 1949 The North Korean Politburo Consisted of 10 full members this is a list of their professions and fate…

1)     Kim Il Sung – Remained in power until his death in 1994

2)     Pak Hon-Yong – Leader of the Korean Communist underground in the colonial era, In 1953 he was ousted and arrested. in 1955 he faced a kangaroo court and was executed as an American spy.

3)     Hol-kai – he was a soviet Beurocrat in 1951 he was accused of political mistakes and in 1953 he commited suicide in his home (it is widely believed he was executed under kim il sungs orders

4)     Yi song-yap- responsible for korean communist movements in the south, in 1953 he became the defendant of a show trial, said to be an American spy he gave a forced confession and was sentenced to death

5)     Kim sam yong – leader of the communist underground in the south, during the war he was captured by the south korean police and killed    XXX

6)     Kim Chay-ek – killed in an American air raid in 1951    XXX

7)     Kim Tu Bong – In 1949 was North Korean head of state in 1957 he was purged, subjected to public humiliation and disappeared 

8)     Pak Il-uh Minister of interior, Purged 1955, disappeared

9)     Pak Jung-ay – Only female, she was purged in the late 1960’s spent next decade exiled, she came back after 2 decades in the prison camps but didn’t regain her power

10)  Hol hong- died of naturel causes in 1951


During these purges Kim replaced these important positions with his family, most of whom were uneducated and hadn’t graduated high school.

Due to China’s aid during the Korean war and the Soviets refusal to get directly involved, Korea found itself no longer a puppet and in between the two powers. 

After the war Kim requested Aid from both the Soviets and the Chinese, like a child between divorced parents he receives it, as both wanted to maintain good relations.

Chapter 8 JUCHE Ideology (COMEDIC)

Propaganda had blown up in the late 1950’s Kim although originally popular had lost a lot of prestige from the Korean war and he decided to rewrite history,

The Soviets were hardly mentioned anymore, this had been a Korean struggle and Korea was the master of its own realm!

By the late 1950’s you would believe Stalin had Kowtowed to Kim

He is credited with almost single-handedly defeating the Japanese at the end of the occupation of Korea (ignoring Soviet and American efforts)

Kim was the most important person in the world, He after all had conceived the brilliant Juche Ideologoy.

 described by the government as "Kim Il-sung's original, brilliant and revolutionary contribution to national and international thought"

Translated into English It means Self-Reliance

The ideology has been described as a version of Korean ethnic ultranationalism

First mentioned in a speech from kim in 1955, it became the state Ideology by the mid 1960’s 

The principles are as follows 

1)ecocnomic self reliance

2)political Independence

3)military autonomy

In reality the North Koreans only survived because of the Aid given to them by the Chinese and Soviets

(the fall of the soviet union in the 1990’s would show this)

Brian Myers best known for his writi ngs on North Korean propaganda Said about the Juche Ideology

  • “Juche Thought exists to be praised and not read, let alone implemented. The little paraphrasable sense that can be extracted from the official sources is not only distinct from, but in many respects incompatible with, the paranoid, race-based nationalism that has always constituted North Korea's true dominant ideology.”

Kim would have his disciples believe that people from all over the world were ardent supporters of the Juche Ideology. Many African and south American villagers would read it before they would go to bed.

Chapter 9 State Control (DARK)

Over the next few decades North Korea would take an unthinkable level of control over the average person’s daily life

For example, in 1957 Private trade in Rice and grains were banned only the state could trade (this would remain in effect until the 1990’s

The average ration for someone in this time was 700 grams of rice for a male and 300 grams for a female

The maximum one could get was 900 grams of rice (this was reserved for the military or someone like a miner performing hard labor)

It depended a lot on where you lived, as said by a defector “90 % of the country lives in slavery to provide a nice existence for the 10%) People living in Pyongyang could get double the ration if the times were good

Markets fell out of use in the north although they were never fully banned, after all why would people in a communist utopia need luxury items? They had their hard work and the Juche Ideology to keep them happy.

All Jobs were assigned by the government and changing jobs was extremely difficult

It was extremely difficult to leave one’s county, permission was required and getting that permission was nearly impossible.

Farmers could not own private lots of land everything was harvested for the state



Chapter 10 INMEN BOND (DARK)

Another Bizarre example from North Korea was the Inmen Bond

All Inhabitants of a block or shared apartment are required to have an Inmen Bond 

A women generally middle aged or elderly is chosen as a head to represent 20-40 families

Inmen bond heads learn   about surveillance 

The police meet with the Inmen bond head’s and they must report suspicious behavior

If a friend comes to stay the night head must interview and inspect their ID

A Head can perform random midnight searches

They also check radios to see If they are programed properly in Kim’s North Korea all radios had to be reported to the police and preprogramed to only state run channels.

Chapter 11  North Korea Organization (DARK)

All North Koreans must join a state run organization 

They usually consist of frequent as much as 3 times a week each taking 2 hours meetings consisting of political indoctrinations

Hearing about the greatness of Kim’s family and how Evil the USA is

The third meeting of the week would be about the misdeeds one has performed recently. You must criticize yourself (normally people are smart enough to not give information too large)

Chapter 12 Caste Society (DARK)

Starting in 1957 the north Korean government created a caste system called “SONGBUN”

They researched all of your families’ histories 

There are 3 classes and it depends on how your family performed during the colonial times and Korean war

1)Loyal - 



People in the Loyal class had ancestors who helped the Kim’s or the glorious revolution

People in the hostile class normally consist of former landlords, Christians, Buddhist Priests, Private entrepreneurs, or CHINILPA – the Korean word for  Japanese Collaborators 

Your position depends on your direct male ancestor

People born in Hostile cast can’t do many things like go to prestigious colleges and can face ridicule from fellow comrades

You can’t change your place unlesss you do something heroic

For example, “in 2007 a flood happened, the news widely reported the heroic story about a factory worker who left his flooded house with his daughter in one hand and a picture of Kim Il sung in the other… He lost control of his daughter in the flood and she died, but managed to protect the photo. He was labeled a hero”

Normally people don’t marry lower songbuns

Chapter 13 1960’s 2nd Purge (DARK)

During this time Children in Nurseries were required to thank a picture of Kim for their food

Even primary school mathematics involves State run propaganda for instance this is taken from a mathematics book published in 2003
  “American imperialist bastards” fared better and were lucky to survive the pious slaughter: “During the Fatherland Liberation War the brave uncles of the Korean People’s Army in one battle killed 374 American imperialist bastards, who are brutal robbers. The number of prisoners taken was 133 more than the number of American imperialist bastards killed. How many bastards were taken prisoner?”

The answer is 507 American Imperialist Bastards

Stories started arising of the greatness of Kim and the Korean people

legend has it that sailors would protect their ship from sinking during rough storms by chanting hymns to Kim Il sung, The Great Leader

The people began believing the evil American imperialist bastards or puppet south Koreans were around every corner trying to cause mayhem to the worlds happiest state

Freedom of the press in the early 1960’s was completely rescinded and replaced with state run media. Any foreign media was banned under death penalty

Foreigners from noncommunist nations were banned from entering

By 1962 marriages with foreigners (already frowned upon) were no longer recognized and all future relations with a foreigner was outlawed

Foreign books were banned in the early 60’s Even books written by Marx Lenin and Engle’s they were replaced with masterpieces from Kim Il Sung’s handwritten library

This would be known as the 2nd purge

Chapter 14 The 3rd Purge (DARK)

In 1967 the third purge begins when china enters its Cultural Revolution, 

With Khrushchev’s resignation and the far more conservative Brezhnev assuming power, relations began to improve between North Korea and the USSR.
 China at this time was a mess 

Many Koreans began crossing the border into Korea to avoid Mao’s persecutions

The Great leader announced his vision for the future “All north Koreans will eat boiled rice and meat soup, dress in silk and live in houses with tile roofs”

The opposition began questioning Kim’s Cult of personality

Kim created “North Korea 10 Principles” every citizen must know them by heart

Kim’s portrait was required to be presented in every house and put at the entrance of railway stations factories and airports.

In the 1970’s it was made necessary to wear a badge depicting the great leader.

If an inmen bond sees a dirty picture of the great leader the person can be punished and sent to prison


Chapter 15 North Korean Prison camps (DARK)

Those who broke the laws or teachings of the great leader would face draconian punishments by being sent to a North Korean prison camp, a gulag style labor camp

As early as the mid-1950s show trials were discarded if the state wished it a person would simply disappear, leaving their family to wonder but never question the state

North Korea separates political prisoners and common prisoners

Kim il sung blamed entire family for one’s crime and they were all punished

Kang Chol Hwan a Korean defector was sent to the notorious camp 15 when he was 7, he was there for 10 years ----- This is his story

In 1977, his grandfather was accused of treason and was sent to the Senghori concentration camp. According to current KCNA (KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY), the elder Kang was an agent of the Japanese National Police.[3] As the family of a traitor, Kang, 9, and his family were sent to the Yodok concentration camp.

Kang's autobiography describes a brutal life in the camp. Death from starvation or exposure to the elements was common, with routine beatings and other punishments. His education consisted almost solely of memorizing the sayings and speeches of Kim Il-sung; at 15, his education ceased and he was assigned to exhausting and dangerous work details, and was made to view public executions. He said of the camps, "It was a life of hard labour, thirty percent of new prisoners would die. And we were so malnourished, we would eat rats and earthworms to survive."[4]

There was an order by Kim Jong Il that those in the prison with relatives in Japan had to be released after 10 years. In the mid-1980s North Korea depended heavily on foreign currency remittances. Many Koreans living in Japan were sending remittances to North Korea. These people also protested the regime’s sending their relatives to prison. This had a bad effect on the public opinion and the amount of remittances being sent from Japan. If he didn’t have that connection, he probably never would have left that prison. Once he left the camp, he was sent to live in Yodok village. He could not go all the way back to Pyongyang, but he moved to Pyongsong, near Pyongyang. He moved in with his uncle who was working at the National Science Research Institute in the city.

Kang managed to escape into china and then find passage into South Korea

Kang has not been in contact with his family since he defected. In 2011, it was revealed that his sister, Mi-ho, and her 11-year-old son are believed to be at Yodok concentration camp.

The perpetrators family is sent to a less regulated camp

The Guilty person is separated from their family

The labor camps would consist of 12-hour backbreaking labor followed by boring indoctrination sessions

1 day of rest per month

Inability to meet labor quotas has reduced rations and beatings (even full rations aren’t enough for survival and the food consists of poor quality corn)

Normally the prisoners must hunt rats or snakes to survive and if they are caught eating when they shouldn’t be they can face severe punishments such as

The pigeon pose punishment where a person has their hands tied behind their back to such an angle that they can’t sit or stand and they must crouch for days.

Or prisoners could be sent to a hole in the wall that is completely black and they don’t have enough room to stand or sit for weeks

Kang Chol-hwan wrote of his childhood in North Korea:

“To my childish eyes and to those of all my friends, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il were perfect beings, untarnished by any base human function. I was convinced, as we all were, that neither of them urinated or defecated. Who could imagine such things of gods?[34]



Chapter 16 Kim’s later years (COMEDIC)

Even a mighty god such as kim was mortal… In the early 70’s beginning to feel his age he began looking for a successor. 

He chose his first born Kim Jong Il in 1976

In the late 1970’s a tumor appeared on Kim within a decade it grew to the size of a baseball.

This is why if you look at elderly photos of Kim they are always taken from his left side

His poor health was kept a secret from the public, a mighty god such as himself cannot be seen as weak or infirm

After he turned 78 he began regularly taking blood transfusions from young men, allegedly his blood type changed from AB-B

Kim refused to clean up his diet or unhealthy habits 

And on July 8th 1994 aged 82 Kim collapsed on a train from a heart attack

CHAPTER 17 the following days (COMEDIC)

When Kim Il-sung died in 1994, Kim Jong-il declared a national mourning period for three years.[40] Those who were found violating the mourning rules (such as drinking) were met with punishment.[41] After his death he was referred to as the "Eternal President or eternal leader" thus becoming the first and only Necrocracy – a government operating under a deceased leader.

 In 1998 the national constitution was changed to reflect this.[42] When his father died, Kim Jong-il greatly expanded the nation's cult of personality.[43]

In 1997, the Juche Era dating system, which begins with the birth of Kim Il-sung (April 15, 1912) as year 1, was introduced and replaced the Gregorian calendar.[44][45] The year 2020 would thus correspond to Juche 109 (there is no year 0).

his name must be written as a single word in one line, it may not be split into two parts if there is a page break or the line of text runs out of room (for example: Kim Il-sung, not Kim Il-...sung).[31]

The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun was built as the official residence of Kim Il-sung in 1976. After his death it was converted into his mausoleum (and then that of his son's).[112] It is reported to have cost between $100–900 million USD.[113][114] Kumsusan is the largest mausoleum dedicated to a Communist leader.

This amount would have been enough to feed the population of north korea for a minimum of 3 years.

The overall estimated cost of maintaining the personality cult varies greatly between published sources. A white paper by the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy placed the cost at 38.5% of North Korea's budget in 2004, up from 19% in 1990.[52][116] However, other sources such as South Korea's Chosun iLbo and the United Kingdom's Daily Telegraph estimate the cost in 2012 at between $40 million[69] and $100 million respectively.[117] Large scale construction projects for the Kim family has been blamed for the country's economic downturn in the 1980s.

All was not lost however, North Korea still had Kim jong-Il, A man of such intelligence and talent that it is said he could walk and talk before the age of six months. 


After Kim Jong-Il’s death on December 17th, 2011 The Korean central News Agency announced that “Layers of ice ruptured with an unprecedently loud crack at Chon Lake On Mount Paektu and a snowstorm with strong winds hit the area. 

Today Kim is survived by Kim Jong-Un, his grandson, who recently cured Aids, Ebola and Cancer with a single miracle drug.




“No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious & charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.”
 ― kurt vonnegut, A Man Without a Country





























 The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia

·  By: Andrei Lankov

·        Kim Il-sung: The Controversial Life and Legacy of North Korea's First Supreme Leader

·        By: Charles River Editors








Stalin and Kim made human idols of themselves because they believed - as utopian idealists always do - in the ultimate goodness of themselves and the unchallengeable rightness of their decisions. There was no higher power and so there could be no higher law. If people disagreed with them, it was because those people were in some way defective- insane, malignant, or mercenary. They could not tolerate actual religion because they could not tolerate any rival authority or any rival source - or judge - of goodness, rectitude and justice.

·        Peter Hitchens (2010) Rage Against God, Continuum International Publishing Group,

Kim Il-sung, one of the most prominent, bright and heroic socialist leaders of the present day, whose history is one of the most beautiful thing a revolutionary may have written in the service of the cause of socialism.

·        Fidel Castro, Speech (19 April 1966)

To a certain extent, all dictatorships are alike. From Stalin's Soviet Union to Mao's China, from Ceauşescu's Romania to Saddam Hussein's Iraq, all these regimes had the same trappings … But Kim Il-sung took the cult of personality to a new level. What distinguished him in the rogues' gallery of twentieth-century dictators was his ability to harness the power of faith. Kim Il-sung understood the power of religion.

·        Barbara Demick (2010) 

Kim Il Sung not only presided over the birth of a new nation in an old land, he was inextricably bound to the fate of North Korea. Perhaps to a greater degree than any other modern political leader, he may be seen as the full embodiment of the state. Indeed, Kim was more integral to state and society in North Korea than Stalin in the Soviet Union, or Mao in China.

·        G. Cameron Hurst III'


It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power. —David Brin

“No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious & charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.”
 ― kurt vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

“Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.”
 ― Henry Kissinger



“One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic”.

Josef Stalin


“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
 ― adolf hitler


From 1948 through 1987 the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was ruled by Kim Il-sung, an absolute communist dictator who has turned his country into an Orwellian state. People were so tightly controlled in all their activities, and those visitors that were allowed in were so managed, that comparatively little independent information about the regime's purges, executions, and concentration and forced labor camps filtered out of the country. Nonetheless, through defectors, escapees, agents, Korean War refugees, and analyses of Korean publications and documents, a hazy picture emerges of systematic democide little different than that carried out in the first decades of the Soviet Union or early communist China.

Perhaps from 710,000 to slightly over 3,500,000 people have been murdered, with a mid-estimate of almost 1,600,000. But these figures are little more than educated guesses. In this case Kim's thought control over all his people and their foreign and domestic communications has protected him and his party from nothing more than deep suspicion about having committed democide so enormous as to be megamurder. But given the nature of his society and what bits and pieces have come out about his purges, labor camps, and executions, there is enough evidence to at least indict him and his party for this crime against humanity.


The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.

George Orwell

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

Colonial Korea
Baby Kim and The Early Years!
Kim and Da Ladiezzz
The Korean War and Partition of Korea
The Purges
Rewriting History and Juche
Dark Times, Inmen Bond and Songbun
Brainwashing and The Cult of Kim
Prison Camps
Kim's Later Years and Death
Korea Today