Is Kim Il-Sung Alive After All?


At least not in real life, because as we all know, physical and biological laws disallow for metaphysical events such as coming back from the dead or reincarnation. The dilemma at present, however, is that North Korea seemingly has a dead man as president. According to the 1998 Constitution, Kim Il-sung, father Kim Jong-il and grandfather of the current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, is the "Eternal President" and head of state of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea, as the country is more commonly known.

The title “Eternal President of the Republic” was established in the preface of the North Korean constitution after it was amended on September 5, 1998. The clause reads: "Under the leadership of the Workers' Party of Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Korean people will hold the great leader Comrade Kim Il-sung in high esteem as the eternal President of the Republic..."

This case in particular, although seemingly a brain basher and a defiance to simple natural laws, fits in a category of government diversity and variety. Oddly enough, North Korea is a theocratic state based on the cult of a personality in its reverence of Kim Il-sung. The “Eternal President” mandates such a presence that even the North Korean calendar dates from 1912, the year of Kim Il-sung's birth.

Do the dead persist in the present? Although this appears as the title of a psychological study, it is in a fact the state in which North Korean politics find themselves. Kim Il-sung is technically ruling the country even after his death, not just in title but in the continuance of the Juche, or the official state ideology. The Juche is Kim Il-sung’s political thesis that states that the Korean masses are masters of the country’s development.

Kim Il-sung ran North Korea as a personal dictatorship for 46 years;everything he said in public was written down and still has the force of unalterable law. As of 2012, there is no presidential title in North Korea. Instead, the powers that the presidential office would hold are divided between three offices: the head of government, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, and the head of the military or “Supreme Leader,” currently held by Kim Jong-un. The latter Kim is also the leader of the Workers' Party, and the de facto head of state, with absolute control over the country.