History of War

LEADERS

Kim Il-Sung is still revered almost as a deity in North Korea, but his life has become lost in myth

KIM IL-SUNG

DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA 12 APRIL 1912 - 8 JULY 1994

The life of the North Korean state’s founding father is shrouded in myth. He is alternately vilified in South Korea as an evil dictator and adulated almost as a deity in the North.

Although the narrative of his early life is uncertain, it is known that he was born Kim Jong-su to a middle class, possibly Christian, family in Mangyondae, today a suburb of Pyongyang. In 1920, with the Japanese in control of Korea, the family relocated to Manchuria, north east China, where he became interested in left-wing politics in his teens.

Having been imprisoned by China’s Nationalist government

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from History of War

History of War1 min readPolitics
Crucible
Author: Charles Emmerson Publisher: Bodley Head Price: £25 Released: 05 September By 1917 the Great War had been raging for almost three years. Millions had been killed or mutilated in an industrial conflict in exchange for little gain. Yet, 1917 wa
History of War1 min read
The Cold Blue
Director: Erik Nelson Distributor: HBO Documentary Films Stars: William Toombs, John Doyle, Catherine Wyler Released: Out now The first thing to say about Erik Nelson’s The Cold Blue is the restored 4k resolution footage is nothing short of a miracl
History of War1 min read
Warrior
Authors: Edoardo Albert and Paul Gething Publisher: Granta Books Price: £18.99 Released: 19 September 2019 Archaeology, the study of human history through the excavation of artefacts and human remains, has long held the interest of the British publi