Kim Il-sung

North Korea
1948–1994
Heart attack, 1994
Communist
Kim Il-sung
김일성
Kim Il Sung Portrait-2.jpg
Official portrait (posthumous, issued 1994)
Eternal President of the Republic (Appellation)
Incumbent
Assumed office
8 July 1994
Supreme Leader of North Korea
In office
9 September 1948 – 8 July 1994
Succeeded by Kim Jong-il
President of North Korea
In office
28 December 1972 – 8 July 1994
Preceded by Position created
Choi Yong-kun, Head of State as President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly
Succeeded by Position abolished
(Proclaimed Eternal President of the Republic after his death)
Prime Minister of North Korea
In office
9 September 1948 – 28 December 1972
Preceded by Position created
Succeeded by Kim Il (Premier)
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea
In office
11 October 1966 – 8 July 1994
Preceded by Himself as Chairman
Succeeded by Kim Jong-il
Chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers Party of Korea
In office
30 June 1949 – 11 October 1966
Preceded by Kim Tu-bong
Succeeded by Himself as General Secretary
Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of North Korea
In office
28 August 1946 – 30 June 1949
Chairman Kim Tu-bong
Preceded by Position created
Succeeded by Position abolished
Chairman of the North Korea Bureau of the Communist Party of Korea
In office
17 December 1945 – 28 August 1946
General Secretary Pak Hon-yong
Preceded by Kim Yong-bom
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born Kim Sŏng-ju
(1912-04-15)15 April 1912
Mangyŏngdae, Heian-nandō, Japanese Korea
Died 8 July 1994(1994-07-08) (aged 82)
Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Resting place Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Nationality North Korean
Political party Workers’ Party of Korea
Spouse(s) Kim Jong-suk (d. 1949)
Kim Song-ae
Children Kim Jong-il
Kim Man-il
Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-jin
Kim Pyong-il
Kim Yong-il
Residence Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Occupation Eternal President of the Republic
Profession President of North Korea
Signature
Military service
Allegiance  Soviet Union
North Korea Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Service/branch Soviet Armed Forces
Korean People's Army
Years of service 1941–1945
1948–1994
Rank Dae wonsu (Grand Marshal)
Commands All (supreme commander)
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl
Hancha
McCune–Reischauer Kim Il-sŏng
Revised Romanization Gim Il-seong
Emblem of North Korea.svg
This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
North Korea

Kim Il-sung Korean pronunciation: [ki.mil.s͈ɔŋ], also romanised as Kim Il Sung (15 April 1912 – 8 July 1994) was the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as North Korea, from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994.[1] He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to his death. He was also the leader of the Workers' Party of Korea from 1949 to 1994 (titled as chairman from 1949 to 1966 and as general secretary after 1966). He invaded South Korea in 1950, and almost succeeded in overrunning the entire peninsula but for UN intervention. The Korean War, sometimes referred to as the Korean Civil War, ended with an armistice on July 27, 1953.

His tenure as leader of North Korea has often been described as autocratic, and he established an all-pervasive cult of personality. From the mid-1960s, he promoted his self-developed Juche variant of socialist organisation,[2] which later replaced Marxism-Leninism as the ideology of the state in 1972. In the Library of Congress Country Study on North Korea in 2009, he was described as "one of the most intriguing figures of the twentieth century". He outlived Joseph Stalin by four decades, Mao Zedong by two, and remained in power during the terms of office of six South Korean presidents, seven Soviet leaders, ten U.S. presidents, fourteen UK Prime Ministers and twenty-one Japanese prime ministers.

Following his death in 1994, he was succeeded by his eldest son Kim Jong-il. The North Korean government refers to Kim Il-sung as "The Great Leader" (위대한 수령, widaehan suryeong)[3] and he is designated in the North Korean constitution as the country's "Eternal President". His birthday is a public holiday in North Korea and is called the Day of the Sun.[4]
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