An Introduction to Foundations of Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism

Oskar Mölleby

Chairman of the Swedish Group for the Study of the Juche Idea

The revolutionary theory that came to be known as Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism originated from the struggle of the Korean people for self-determination and independence, which began with the great leader Kim Il Sung. After the Japanese annexed Korea in 1910, the Korean people were subjected to severe repression and the country was plundered of its resources. The Japanese colonization aimed at the annihilation of Korean culture and using the country's rich resources to build up Japanese industry. The Korean people's hatred of the Japanese led to resistance, but this resistance had a weak leadership and was divided into competing fractions. It was under these circumstances that Kim Il Sung left his home at the age of 14 and crossed the Amnok River to join the Korean resistance in Manchuria. Thus began a new era in the struggle of the Korean people and the development of the theories which would evolve to Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism.

To unite the Korean people in a common resistance, Kim Il Sung founded the organisation "Down with Imperialism Union" on October 17, 1926. The great leader Kim Il Sung saw the need for a unifying ideology and to educate the Korean people in anti-Japanese and socialist ideas. Therefore, during the winter of 1926, he founded the youth organization New Day, “Saenal”, and a newspaper with the same name. Kim Il Sung wrote:

"If we are to crush the Japanese villains and restore the country's independence, we must first unite the masses who love the country.”

To do this, the great leader Kim Il Sung emphasized the revolutionary struggle. In 1927, Kim Il Sung founded the Korean Communist Youth League to gather the youth as a revolutionary force. Through this and several other organizations and newspapers founded by the great leader Kim Il Sung, the previously divided Korean people came to unite in a common resistance to Japanese imperialism.

It was during these decades of struggle against Japanese imperialism that Kim Il Sung developed the Juche Idea and thus formulates a revolutionary theory with the people at the center. The Juche Idea describes man's position in the world as master of his own fate and capable of anything. By relying on the masses' ability for revolutionary resistance, Kim Il Sung showed that they were capable of defeating the greatest of enemies. The victory against the Japanese occupying forces in August 1945 proved that Kim Il Sung's leadership and the theoretical foundation on which it was built upon was correct.

The view of the people as the creators of their own destiny and master of the revolution is one of the foundations of Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism. In his groundbreaking theoretical work ”Socialism Is a Science” dear leader Kim Jong Il wrote:

“The masses of the people are the master of everything in society. This is because everything is created by the masses of the people. “

The popular masses possess the greatest creative power for transforming nature and society. An individual’s strength and wisdom are limited, but those of the popular masses are unlimited. If there is an omniscient and omnipotent being in this world, it's none other than the popular masses. By drawing on their unfathomable strength and wisdom, the masses create everything in society, they advance history and drive the revolution forward.``

During the struggle against Japanese imperialism, the Korean people had made enormous sacrifices to gain their independence and ensure their independent development. As a result the people of Korea won its national liberation and the building of a new and unique socialist society emerged in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

However, the US imperialists soon came to attack the DPRK in an attempt to subdue the free people of Korea. In the Great Fatherland Liberation War, the Korean people, led by Kim Il Sung, demonstrated that a united people armed with a revolutionary theory is impossible to defeat.

To be able to fight with dedicated unity, the people must be armed with a correct ideological understanding and be one with the party and its leadership. This is a further basis in Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism. The party trust in the people as the master of the revolution. And the people trust in the party and the leader as a result of the deeds and theoretical advances the party has made together with their ability to formulate and fulfill the will of the masses in the building of society. Thus a monolithic unity arises as a result of the people's ideological understanding and the correctness of the policies presented by the party and its leadership. The people, as the master of the revolution, act and think as one with the party and the leader in single-hearted unity. The strength of the people arises from this unity.

In his article “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Is a Juche-oriented Socialist State with Invincible Might” Kim Jong Il reflected on this historical achievement in these words:

“The historic victory of our Republic in the Fatherland Liberation War was a clear testimony to its invincible might, to the strength of our State and social system, to the confidence of our army and people in sure victory, and to their indefatigable fighting spirit. It also demonstrated that no force can conquer a people who have taken their destiny in their own hands and have united solidly behind their party and leader.”

The victory over Japanese and American imperialism showed that the people of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are impossible to defeat. It also showed that a country's independence and sovereignty depend on its ability to defend this independence and sovereignty by military forces.

Based on these insights, the dear leader Kim Jong Il came to develop the Songun policy after he started his work for the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in 1964.

The Songun policy puts the military first to create a deterrent military capability and as part of the people’s struggle to build socialism. Through this, peaceful and stable conditions could be created on the Korean Peninsula and the socialist construction made huge steps forward. When the imperialists increased their hostility to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the 1990s, this military capability came to be crucial in preserving independence and sovereignty.

The Songun policy made the Democratic People's Republic of Korea an impregnable bastion of Juche through the development of nuclear weapons. Thus, the Songun policy had fulfilled its purpose and on this achievements a new era of economic development with modern IT technology and science could begin.

Through the leadership of the great leader Kim Il Sung and the dear leader Kim Jong Il, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has adapted to the prevailing conditions and, based on a correct understanding of the situation, has succeeded in turning all adversity into great victories.

Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism has been developed to a complex and unique theory which, on the basis of the people, defends independence and autonomy. With its independence secured, the people are guaranteed a free outlet for their creative power and able to organize a people centered socialist society where the people build their own future as masters of the revolution. That is why Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism appeals to and has relevance to all people in the current era of independence in the struggle against imperialism.