Kim Il-sung

President of North Korea
Born Apr 15, 1912

Kim Il-sung, also romanised as Kim Il Sung, 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. 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).… Read More

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1912 Birth Kim is reported to have been born in the small village of Mangyungbong (then called Namni) near Pyongyang on 15 April 1912. … Read More
1920 8 Years Old According to the official version, Kim’s family participated in anti-Japanese activities and in 1920 they fled to Manchuria. … Read More


1926 14 Years Old 1 More Event
In October 1926 Kim founded the Down-With-Imperialism Union.
1929 17 Years Old The police discovered the group three weeks after it formed in 1929, and jailed Kim for several months.
1931 19 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1931 Kim joined the Communist Party of China—the Communist Party of Korea had been founded in 1925, but had been thrown out of the Comintern in the early 1930s for being too nationalist. He joined various anti-Japanese guerrilla groups in northern China. Feelings against the Japanese ran high in Manchuria, but as of May 1930 the Japanese had not yet occupied Manchuria. On 30 May 1930 a spontaneous violent uprising in eastern Manchuria arose in which peasants attacked some local villages in the name of resisting "Japanese aggression." … Read More


1935 23 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1935, Kim became a member of the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army, a guerrilla group led by the Communist Party of China. … Read More
1937 25 Years Old 1 More Event
Kim was appointed commander of the 6th division in 1937, at the age of 24, controlling a few hundred men in a group that came to be known as "Kim Il-sung's division".
1940 28 Years Old 1 More Event
The Japanese "Maeda Unit" was sent to hunt him in February 1940, but he was able to destroy it.


Kim became a Major in the Soviet Red Army and served in it until the end of World War II in 1945. … Read More
1946 - 1947 2 More Events
1948 36 Years Old 1 More Event
…  He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to 1994. … Read More
1949 37 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1949, the Workers Party of North Korea merged with its southern counterpart to become the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) with Kim as party chairman.


1952 40 Years Old Kim married Kim Sung-ae in 1952, and it is believed that he had three children with her: Kim Yŏng-il (not to be confused with the former Premier of North Korea of the same name), Kim Kyŏng-il and Kim Pyong-il. … Read More
1955 43 Years Old …  The 1955 Juche speech, which stressed Korean independence, debuted in the context of Kim's power struggle against leaders such as Pak, who had Soviet backing. … Read More
1956 44 Years Old During the 1956 August Faction Incident, Kim Il-sung successfully resisted efforts by the Soviet Union and China to depose him in favor of Soviet Koreans or the pro-Chinese Yanan faction. … Read More


1972 60 Years Old A new constitution was proclaimed in December 1972, under which Kim became President of North Korea.
A cult of personality around Kim Il-sung came to dominate domestic politics and loyalty to the supreme leader was a de facto condition for public office. At the 6th Workers' Party Congress in 1980, his son Kim Jong-il, who had consolidated control over the party through the cult of personality, was selected as his heir to supreme leadership. … Read More
1991 79 Years Old To ensure a full succession of leadership to his son and designated successor Kim Jong-il, Kim turned over his chairmanship of North Korea's National Defense Commission—the body mainly responsible for control of the armed forces as well as the supreme commandership of the country's now million-man strong military force, the Korean People's Army—to his son in 1991 and 1993. … Read More
1993 81 Years Old After transitioning his military authority to Kim Jong-il in 1993, Kim Il-sung died in the summer of 1994. … Read More
In early 1994, Kim began investing in nuclear power to offset energy shortages brought on by economic problems. … Read More
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