The Selected Works of Kim Il Sung is a collection of speeches, essays, and interviews by the first leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).
Kim Il Sung is often referred to as the “Great Leader“, among North Koreans. After Stalin, with reportedly little resistance, took control of Pyongyang from the Japanese Kim Il Sung was placed in control; the birth of Juche ideology N. Korea was the result of Kim Il Sung’s reign.
The selected works starts with an essay from 1946, on the establishment of the party.
Some excepts from Sung’s 1946 essay entitled: On the establishment of the Workers’ Party of North Korea and the question of founding the Workers’ Party of South Korea
With his opening sentence Kim IL Sung makes it clear, what is being formulated in North Korea is not simply Communism, but rather a fusion ; essentially a Korean flavored Communism.
” The foundation of the Workers Party representing and defending the interests of the labouring masses of Korea through the merger of the Communist Party and the New Democratic Party is the greatest event in the political life of our people at the present time.”
He goes on to reinforce the claim of the Party being truly a people’s party by pointing out the fact that the majority of the people who made up the People’s committee membership were in fact of the peasant class.
“The composition of the people’s committee membership now active in north Korea is as follows:
Office employees(intellectuals)- 15.8%
Immediately after gaining control of the helm, Kim IL Sung went directly to work on reclaiming Korea from the hands of foreign imperialists and homegrown traitors:
“Last August the provisional PPCNK (People’s Committee of North Korea) proclaimed the law on the nationalization of industrial, transport and communications facilities and banks which had been owned by the Japanese imperialists, pro-Japanese elements and traitors to the nation”.
With the imperialists, individualists, and profiteers removed from the business, economics and media sectors of North korea the foucs could once again be placed on the person rather then the pursuit of capital:
“In June this year, The PPCNK promulgated the Labour Law freeing factory and office workers from harsh, colonial exploitation and introducing the 8 hour working day and a social insurance system. And a law was passed to guarantee the women social rights equal to those of the men for the first time in the history of our country.”
Sung also addresses the struggles, suppression and eventual defeat of their South Korean counter parts:
“ The People’s committees set up by the south Korean people immediately after liberation were not recognized and, worse still, they were dissolved and their functionaries were arrested and thrown into jail.”
” And how have the U.S. imperialists and their lackeys who are obstructing the democratic independence and sovereignty of Korea dealt and are dealing with the Communist Party of South Korea? Those villains have arrested, imprisoned and murdered large numbers of the leading cadres and members of the Communist Party and banned its organ Haebang-ilbo.”
” See the massacre in Kwangju of last August 15! With tanks, planes, machine guns and bayonets the Yankees attacked over 1000 workers of the Hwasun Colliery who were marching towards the city of Kwangju to attend the mass meeting in honour of the anniversary August 15, killing one and wounding 109 seriously or lightly.”
The 2nd installment in the collection is a speech from 1955 entitled: On eliminating dogmatism and formalism and establishing Juche in ideological work.
Sung starts the speech off dealing with matters of propaganda. As the Juche idea was still, at this point, a relatively newly introduced ideal there were many confusions and contradictions within the pro Juche propaganda production. Sung addresses the misinformed and/or flat out bad propaganda being put out by his propagandist. Some of the propagandist, according to Sung, either were misinformed about Juche, were not effective enough of hi-lighting important aspects, or were simply not using enough of the Juche philosophy in their works. One of the main focuses of Sung’s complaints was the particularly bad or non-existent pro-Nationalist propaganda.
“Only when our people are educated in the history of their own struggle and its traditions, can their national pride be stimulated and the broad masses be aroused to the revolutionary struggle.”
“The Kwangju Student Incident, for example, was a mass struggle in which tens of thousands of Korean youths and students rose against Japanese imperialism; it played a big part in inspiring the anti-Japanese spirit in broad sections of the Korean youth. As a matter of course, we should publicize this movement widely and educate youth and students in the brave fighting spirit displayed by their forerunners. Our propaganda workers have failed to do so. Instead, Syngman Rhee has been making propaganda of this movement in his favour. This has created a false impression that the Communists disregard national traditions. What a dangerous thing! It will be impossible for us to win over the south Korean youth if we go on working in this way.”
“I noticed in a primary school that all the portraits hanging on the walls were of foreigners such as Mayakovsky, Pushkin, etc., and there were none of Koreans. If children are educated in this way, how can they be expected to have national pride?”
“In compelling schoolbooks, too, materials are not taken from our literary works but from foreign ones. All this is due to the lack of Juche.
The lack of Juche in propaganda work has done much harm to Party work.”
Sung had to remind his audience that Korean Communism was just that, and not that of Russia, or anyone else for that matter.
“Comrade Pak Yong Bin, on returning from the Soviet Union, said that since the Soviet Union was following the line of easing international tension, we should also drop our slogan against U.S. imperialism. Such an assertion has nothing to do with revolutionary vigilance. The U.S. imperialists scorched our land, slaughtered our innocent people en masse, and are still occupying the southern half of our country. They are our sworn enemy, aren’t they?”
” Many comrades swallow Marxism-Leninism whole, instead of digesting and assimilating it. It is therefore self-evident that they are unable to display revolutionary initiative.”
” Every effort should be made to unearth our national legacies and carry them forward. True, we should be active in learning from what is progressive internationally. But we should develop fine things of our own while introducing advanced culture. Otherwise, our people will lose faith in their own ability and become a spineless people who only try to copy from others.”
Next in the collection of Sung are transcripts from a press conference with Iraqi media in 1971. Many of the questions dealing with their relationship with Iraq, Socialism and the state of imperialism.
Speaking about the need for cooperation not globalism:
“By establishing Juche and relying on our own efforts we do not mean on any account building .’Socialism in isolation. We fully recognize that it is necessary for states to supply each other’s needs and cooperate with each other, and are striving to expand and develop it. Our position is that mutual cooperation between states should be conducted on the basis of the building of an independent national economy in each country. This alone makes it possible to expand and develop economic cooperation between states on the principles of complete equality and mutual benefit.”
“QUESTION : The relations between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Iraq were established already long ago. However, it was only after the July 17, 1968 Revolution that the relations took a decisive turn.
What is your appraisal of the successes attained by the Iraqi people in two years after the Revolution and, particularly, the solution of the Kurd national problem on a peaceful and democratic basis and of its influence upon the strengthening of the anti-imperialist people’s front?
The Iraqi people attained national independence through their protracted arduous struggle against the domination of foreign imperialism and took the road of new development particularly after the July 17, 1968 Revolution. This was not only a great victory of the Iraqi people but a common victory of the peoples who have risen in the anti-imperialist, national-liberation struggle and a heavy blow to the imperialists and colonialists.
Since the Revolution the Iraqi people, holding aloft the banner of anti-imperialism and independence, have unfolded a devoted struggle to consolidate national independence and build a new, prosperous Iraq and have achieved great successes in a short span of time.
Many difficulties confronted the Iraqi people who set out on the road of struggle for building a new life. The imperialists headed by U.S. imperialism and the Israeli aggressors and their accomplices, the reactionary forces at home, resorted to every underhand scheme to wrest the Iraqi people from the anti-imperialist front.”
On the relationship between the 2 countries:
” The Korean people value the experience accumulated by the Iraqi people in the struggle against imperialism and the Israeli aggressors and for unity, freedom and socialism under the leadership of the Arab Baath Socialist Party.”
On the question of Palestine:
“Our people’s solidarity with and support and encouragement to the Arab people’s revolutionary struggle are constant. The Korean people will continue to resolutely support the valiant struggle of the Palestinian people for liberating their fatherland and the struggle of the entire Arab people against Zionism and imperialist aggression and will always remain a close comrade-in-arms of the Arab people in the struggle against the common enemy. Our people will render active support and encouragement to the righteous struggle of the Arab people at all times.”
Following the transcript from the Iraqi Journalist question answer session is the speech from 1986 entitled :For the Development of the Non-Aligned Movement
In the speech Sung focuses on what the non-aligned movement is about, and what they should be striving to achieve. The speech is separated into 6 major subjects:
THE PRESENT INTERNATIONAL SITUATION AND INDEPENDENCE IN THE FACE OF IMPERIALISM
“Imperialism is the product of aggression and plunder, and it has grown fat on ceaseless aggression and plunder. Since the emergence of imperialism mankind has suffered disasters of recurrent aggression and war, and has been deprived of immeasurable amounts of property, wealth and the fruit of labour.”
“As monopoly capital grows, so its tentacles of aggression and plunder are extended overseas. This is an inevitable outcome and a law of the development of capitalism”
“The method of its aggression and plunder has changed with the progress of time. Today the imperialists are employing mainly neocolonialism to invade, dominate and plunder other countries.”
“By entangling many developing countries in the neocolonialist web of so-called “aid” and “cooperation”, the imperialists now have seized the economic lifelines of these countries, made them nothing more than their sources of raw materials and their markets and grown rich by squeezing tremendous amounts of profit out of them.”
“The imperialists are working towards invading and dominating other countries in every possible way and in different fields. They are trying to invade other countries and establish political domination over them by resorting to military force and underhanded methods.They are also scheming to subordinate them economically and infiltrate them ideologically and culturally by means of surplus goods, unfair economic relations, decadent Western culture and bourgeois way of life.”
THE PREVENTION OF A NUCLEAR WAR AND THE ABOLITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
“To dominate the world by force, wielding nuclear weapons, is the world strategy which the imperialists have persisted in since the Second World War. The danger from this strategy is growing as the days go by.”
“In order to abolish nuclear weapons and prevent a nuclear war, we must create nuclear-free, peace zones in many regions of the world and extend them all the time.”
“The Government of our Republic and the Korean people will struggle energetically to make the Korean peninsula and the rest of Northeast Asia a nuclear-free, peace zone and, in unity with the peace-loving people of the world, make every effort to create and expand these zones in other parts of the world.”
“we must fight against the imperialist policy of military blocs and of increasing military bases.”
THE ELIMINATION OF COLONIALISM AND RACISM AND THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE CAUSE OF NATIONAL LIBERATION
“Under the active aegis of the imperialists, the South African racists and Israeli Zionists overtly pursue the racist and expansionist policy of aggression in all-out opposition to the cause of national liberation.”
“In order to realize their ambition to establish a “Great Zionist Empire” in the Middle East, the Israeli Zionists have occupied Arab lands and are pursuing the policy of establishing colonies. Under the active patronage of the imperialists they are flagrantly violating the national rights of the Palestinian and other Arab people, growing more blatantly ferocious and arrogant as each day passes.”
“First, we must intensify together the struggle to put an end to the racist system of South Africa.South Africa is a major stronghold of colonialism. South African racism is the cruellest form of colonialism. It is the major obstacle to the complete liberation and decolonialization of Africa. It is clear that without putting an end to the policy of apartheid in South Africa it would be impossible to accomplish the cause of national liberation, stabilize the situation in this area and defend world peace and security.”
“Second, we must foil the expansionist, aggressive schemes of the Israeli Zionists.Zionism is a form of racism and colonialism. The aggressive, expansionist policy of the Israeli Zionists is the main factor obstructing the triumphant advance of the cause of national liberation in the Middle East. Without thwarting Israel’s aggressive schemes it would be impossible for the Middle-East countries to achieve their independence, territorial integrity and progress nor would it be possible to guarantee lasting world peace and security.”
“The non-aligned countries must strongly denounce the criminal acts perpetrated by the Israeli Zionists in their opposition to the Arab people and in their efforts to destroy the liberation cause of the Palestinian people. They must continue to extend active support and solidarity to the Palestinian and Arab peoples in their just cause. They should regard the struggle of the Palestinian and other Arab people as their common cause and take strong joint action to reject Israel in the fields of diplomacy, economy, military affairs, culture and marine and air transport in accordance with the decision of the 7th Summit Conference of Non-aligned Nations.”
“The United States must stop giving the Israeli Zionists political and diplomatic support and military and economic aid, take their hands off the Middle East and discard their ambition for dominating this region.”
“Third, we must strengthen solidarity with those people who are fighting for independence, sovereignty and to build a new society.”
SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION AND ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE
“South-South cooperation is a noble way for the developing countries to strengthen their economic independence and achieve complete economic freedom through close economic and technical cooperation.”
“The non-aligned and developing countries must also cooperate closely with each other in their efforts to improve the farming method.The most important way to increase grain production in the developing countries is to improve the farming method and grow crops scientifically and technologically. Improving the farming method alone will mean a great increase in agricultural production even though a large investment is not required.The developing countries must create a new farming method that suits the topographical and climatic conditions of every zone and country and must make the good experience gained in this improvement widely known.The non-aligned and developing countries must establish wide cooperation and exchange with each other in the field of seed selection and production.Those countries whose technology and experience are good in this field must supply the technology on seed selection and production to other developing countries and provide progenitors where needed.In order to increase grain production, it is necessary to intensify joint study and mutual cooperation in the field of agricultural science.The non-aligned and developing countries must start a joint venture in agriculture.”
“A joint venture in agriculture is one reasonable way for the developing countries, including the African countries, to solve the food problem. If they undertake an extensive agricultural joint venture the developing countries will not only be able to save the people from starvation by a rapid increase in agricultural production but also strengthen the foundations of agricultural production.”
“Establishing a Global System of Trade Preferences between developing countries is of great importance in the improvement of trade among these countries. The non-aligned and developing countries must make joint efforts to introduce this system as early as possible.”
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ORDER
“Relying as ever on the old international economic order, the imperialists are plundering the developing countries of their natural resources and paying only a pittance for the results of the peoples’ labour and obstructing the economic development of these countries. Protective trade and the high-interest policy pursued by the developed countries along with the continually worsening terms of trade and the massive increase in foreign debts of the developing countries are having a serious effect on the social and economic development of the non-aligned and developing countries. Because of the unfair international economic order, the economies of the developing countries are growing weaker and becoming stagnant. The economic situation in the African countries in particular is worsening.”
“In reality, without abolishing the old economic order, the product of the colonial system and the lever of imperialist exploitation and plunder, it will be impossible for the non-aligned and developing countries to free themselves from international exploitation and plunder and then develop.”
“At present a non-equivalent exchange is being made as ever in trade between the developing countries and the developed countries. The developing countries sell raw materials at low prices and buy manufactured goods at exorbitant prices, and the share that manufactured goods make up in the exports of these countries is decreasing continually. The result is that the trade deficit of the developing countries is increasing all the time and their economic difficulties are becoming more serious.”
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT
“The non-aligned movement is a powerful independent force of our times which is opposed to imperialism. Only when this movement is strengthened will it be possible to succeed in repelling all forms of imperialist domination and subjugation, aggression and intervention, defend the sovereignty of the non-aligned countries and settle not only the problem of establishing a new international economic order but also all other issues in the international arena in accordance with the aspirations and desire of the peoples of the newly-emergent countries for independence. And it also makes it possible to prevent a nuclear war, defend universal peace and security and give a strong impetus to the cause of national liberation.”
The Selected Works of Kim IL Sung comes to a close with a speech from 1991 entitled: For a Free and Peaceful New World.
In this speech, Sung pontificates on his “new world” vision, a reunification of Korea, nuclear disarmament among other things.
“In order to build the new world aspired to by mankind, it is necessary to abolish the unequal old international order in all fields of politics, the economy and culture and establish an equitable new international order. There are large and small countries in the world, but there cannot be major and minor countries; there are developed nations and less developed nations, but there cannot be nations destined to dominate other nations or those destined to be dominated. All countries and nations are qual members of the international community and as such have the right to independence and equality. No privilege and no arbitrariness should be tolerated in international relations; friendship and cooperation among countries must be fully developed on the principles of mutual resect, non-interference in the affairs of other countries, equality and mutual benefit.”
“Disarmament and the abolition of nuclear weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction is the most pressing task in ensuring peace. The large stockpile of nuclear weapons now on Earth is a menace to the survival of mankind itself. It is intolerable that the valuable results of science and technology created by mankind and social wealth be used for the production of the means of aggression and war that threaten man’s survival, and not for the well-being and development of humanity. The testing and production of nuclear weapons must be banned, the number of existing nuclear weapons must be reduced and, then, nuclear weapons must be completely abolished.”
“The political philosophy of our state is the Juche idea which requires that all consideration should be centred on man and that everything should be made to serve him. By fighting in single-hearted unity under the banner of the Juche idea our people have been able to build, even under the most difficult conditions and circumstances, man-centred socialism in which the people are the genuine masters of the society and everything in society serves them. the democratic character of our society finds clear expression in the fact that all the people, as the masters of the state, equally enjoy a sound and stable life in its material and cultural aspects, exercising completely equal political rights and that, on the basis of comradely love and obligation, they work together for a common goal and develop together, helping one another and leading one another forward.”
“Reunifying Korea is the vital requirement of our nation; it is an important question in international politics.The Korean people are a homogenous nation that has lived on the same territory generation after generation, a nation celebrated for its long history and fine cultural traditions. There is no internal cause for our nation to live divided. Ours was not a defeated country in the Second World War; our people contributed to destroying fascism through their long-drawn-out national-liberation struggle. In spite of this, after the war our country was divided into north and south, contrary to the will of the Korean nation, and the nation is still divided. This is not only a source of untold misfortune and sufferingfor our nation bt also a cause of the unstable and dangerous situation in the Asian region. Both from the point of view of national independence and of the cause of peace in Asia and the rest of the world, the question of Korea’s reunification requires an immediate settlement.”
“we consistently maintain the three principles of independence, peaceful reunification and great national unity which the north and the south agreed upon and jointly declared; we hold that on these principles the country should be reunified by founding a confederacy based on one nation, one state, two systems and two governments.”
Unfortunately, Selected works of Kim IL Sung is not a great source for understanding Juche ideology philosophy, but does give insight to the beliefs of Kim IL Sung and thus a broader understanding of Juche, and the goals of the North Korean government.
With on the topic of North Korea, enjoy a North Korean propaganda flick about American and internationalist propaganda.