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.
Sign up to receive This Happened straight to your inbox each day!
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.
- Far Out, Far East: Meet North Korea's Biggest Booster In Taiwan ›
- Mustache, That Must-Have Facial Prop Of Any Strongman ›
- North Korea: What Kim Jong-Un Shares With Japan's Wartime Emperor ›