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This Happened

This Happened—December 28: The Original Strongman Of North Korea

After serving in World War II as a Korean-contingent major in the Soviet Army, Kim Il-Sung became the first premier of the newly formed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Years later, he would become the nation’s supreme ruler.

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How did Kim Il-Sung become the first president of North Korea?

After serving as the first premier of the DPR, he became chairman of the Korean Workers’ (Communist) Party. After defeating domestic opposition and beating out his competition for power within the Korean Workers’ Party, he became North Korea’s absolute ruler.

Was Kim Il-Sung popular with North Koreans?

Both documentaries and state propaganda portray Kim Il-Sung as fearfully loved by his people, but admiration for the ruler never extended beyond the country's borders. Kim Il-Sung's image is hung in public transportation hubs and is placed prominently near the border crossings between China and North Korea.

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LGBTQ Plus

Mayan And Out! Living Proudly As An Indigenous Gay Man

Being gay and indigenous can mean facing double discrimination, including from within the communities they belong to. But LGBTQ+ indigenous people in Guatemala are liberating their sexuality and reclaiming their cultural heritage.

Photo of the March of Dignity in Guatemala

The March of Dignity in Guatemala

Teresa Son and Emma Gómez

CANTEL — Enrique Salanic and Arcadio Salanic are two K'iché Mayan gay men from this western Guatemalan city

Fire is a powerful symbol for them. Associated with the sons and daughters of Tohil, the god who bestows fire in Mayan culture, it becomes the mirror and the passage that allows them to see and express their sexuality. It is a portal that connects people with their grandmothers and grandfathers, the cosmos and the energies that the earth transmits.

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