Kim Il Sung


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Kim Il Sung

(kĭm ĭl so͝ong), 1912–94, North Korean political leader, chief of state of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (1948–94); originally named Kim Sung Chu. While fighting Japanese occupation forces in the 1930s, he adopted the name Kim Il Sung after a famous Korean guerrilla leader of the early 20th cent. He was trained in Moscow before World War II, and in 1945 he became chairman of the Soviet-sponsored People's Committee of North Korea (later the Korean Workers' party). In 1948, when the People's Republic was established, he became its first premier. Between 1950 and 1953 he led his nation in the Korean WarKorean War,
conflict between Communist and non-Communist forces in Korea from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel into Soviet (North Korean) and U.S. (South Korean) zones of occupation.
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. In 1972 the "Great Leader" relinquished the premiership but retained his position as North Korea's leader by assuming the presidency under a revised constitution. Under his rule, North Korea increased its military forces, embarked on a program of industrialization, and maintained close relations with both China and the Soviet Union.

His son, Kim Jong Il (kĭm jông ĭl), 1941?–2011, was groomed as his successor. Active in the Korean Workers' party leadership from 1964, Kim Jong Il became secretary of its central committee in 1973. In 1991 he was appointed supreme commander of the armed forces. Upon his father's death, Kim Jong Il took over leadership of the country. He was named secretary of the Communist party in 1997 and consolidated his power with the title of National Defense Commission chairman in 1998. Although Kim established relations with a number of Western nations, easing the North's diplomatic isolation, and hosted meetings with South Korean presidents Kim Dae JungKim Dae Jung
, 1924–2009, president (1998–2003) of South Korea. A native of South Jeolla prov., Kim was a long-time campaigner for increased democracy and a writer on international issues.
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 (2000) and Roh Moo HyunRoh Moo Hyun
, 1946–2009, South Korean politician, president (2003–8) of South Korea. A self-educated lawyer who defended antigovernment activists in the early 1980s, he was elected to the national assembly in 1988 and served on the special committee investigating
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 (2007), he did not reciprocate with a visit to the South, and the North developed nuclear weapons and provoked international crises to win desperately needed food and other aid.

In 2010, due to ill health, the "Dear Leader" moved to secure the succession for his youngest son, Kim Jong Un, 1984?–, whose name is sometimes transliterated Kim Jong Eun. He attended school in Switzerland and Kim Il Sung Military Univ. (2002–7), but was largely unseen in public until 2009, when he was named to the National Defense Commission and appointed chief of the State Security Dept. In 2010 he was promoted to four-star general and shortly afterward named to the Workers' party central committee and became vice chairman of its central military commission. He was named to succeed his father when the latter died in 2011, and officially became first secretary of the party and its central military commission as well as chairman of the National Defense Commission (reconstituted as the State Affairs Commission, 2016) in 2012; later that year he was made a marshal. In 2016 he was named party chairman. He purged and executed a number of high-ranking officials in subsequent years. He also has moved forward aggressively to develop the country's nuclear weapons and missile technologies and encouraged economic growth through the tolerance of limited market-oriented changes.

Kim Il Sung

1912--94, North Korean statesman and marshal; prime minister (1948--72) and president (1972--94) of North Korea
References in periodicals archive ?
Kim Jong Un's new party posts underline the solidification of his grip on power and appears to consolidate the generational transition of North Korea's leadership from Kim Il Sung to his son Kim Jong Il in 1994 and from Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un this time.
Kim Jong Un's New Year's message, which was also aired for domestic and overseas radio listeners, was the first of its kind since Kim Il Sung delivered one in 1994, the year he died.
New leader Kim Jong Un reviewed the parade at Kim Il Sung Square, the main plaza in Pyongyang.
The palace also houses the embalmed body of Kim Il Sung.
He was seen smiling, talking to senior officials and saluting a march-past by goose-stepping troops, armored vehicles and military hardware from the rostrum overlooking Kim Il Sung Square, the main plaza in Pyongyang.
North Korea has been jubilant since the successful launch, which raised Kim Jong Un's standing by having followed through on his father's "behest" to launch a satellite in 2012, the centennial of the birth of Kim Il Sung -- especially after a similar launch attempt failed in April.
Kim Jong Un is set to consolidate power in the run-up to the centennial on April 15 of the birth of Kim Il Sung amid growing speculation that he may become general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea at a party conference slated for mid-April and chairman of the National Defense Commission, the leading state organ, at a parliamentary session to convene on April 13.
So far, Kim's father and state founder Kim Il Sung was the only holder of the title.
Kim's father and state founder Kim Il Sung had previously been the only holder of the title.
In the state funeral held July 19, 1994 for North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, then a secretary of the party's Central Committee, and leading members of state organs paid respects in the morning to the late president as his body lay in state at the then Kumsusan Assembly Hall, currently the Kumsusan Memorial Palace.
16, 1942 -- Kim Jong Il is born as the eldest son of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung.