Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
Kim il Sung 김일성
Supreme Leader of North Korea

PacificWrecks.comKim il Sung 김일성 was born on April 15, 1912 named Kim Sŏng-ju to parents Kim Hyŏng-jik and Kang Pan-sŏk in Namni (Mangyungbong) near Pyongyang in the Korean Empire a protectorate of Japan. An early biography claims he was born in his mother's hometown of Chingjong and grew up in Mangyungbong.

His first wife was Kim Jong Suk and the couple had two sons: Kim Jong-il future leader of North Korea and Kim Man-il (Shaura Kim) died accidentally in 1947. She passed away during childbirth of a stillborn daughter.

Guerrilla  Actions
In 1935, Kim took the name Kim Il sung (Kim Il-sung) meaning "Kim become the sun". In 1937 at age 24, he became the Commanding Officer (C. O.) of the 6th Division known as the "Kim Il-sung's Division". On June 4, 1937 he led an attack against Poch’onbo and for a few hours liberated the town. Afterwards the raid was considered a great success and saw his fame rise. The Japanese regarded him as an effective and popular Korean guerrilla leader.

Later, Kim was appointed as the commander of the 2nd operational region for the 1st Army. In pursuit by Japanese Army troops, Kim and his surviving force crossed the Amur River crossing into the Soviet Union (USSR) that was neutral. Afterwards, sent to Vyatskoye near Khabarovsk and was trained by Soviet forces to operate as a communist guerrilla force. During August 1942, Kim and his Army were assigned to a special unit in the Red Army and was promoted to the rank of Major. On August 25, 1945 the Red Army occupied Pyongyang and Stalin instructed Minister of Internal Affairs Lavrentiy Beria to select a Korean Communist leader for North Korea and after several meetings with Kim recommended him.

PacificWrecks.comOn October 10, 1945 the Conference of Korean Communist Party Members and Enthusiasts in the Five Northwestern Provinces held their first meeting in a public hall (Party Founding Museum) in Pyongyang. The Central Organizing Committee of the Communist Party of North Korea (North Korea Bureau of the Communist Party of Korea) is formed. Since then, October 10th is celebrated as "Party Foundation Day". On October 13, 1945 the Conference of Korean Communist Party Members and Enthusiasts in the Five Northwestern Provinces meeting results in the establishment of the North Korea Bureau of the Communist Party of Korea with Kim Il-sung emerging as the leader in Pyongyang. On October 14, 1945 he spoke at a rally in Pyongyang saluted by Red Army General Ivan Chistiakov, commander of Soviet forces in Korea and Major-General Nikolai Lebedev.

In 1952 married Kim Song-ae and it is believed the couple had three children: Kim Yŏng-il, Kim Kyŏng-il and Kim Pyong-il. Reportedly, he fathered other children including Kim Hyŏn-nam born in 1972.

Kim il Sung passed away on July 8, 1994 at age 82 at his Hyangsan Residence. He lays in state in the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang. In North Korea there are more than 500 statues of Kim Il Sung as monuments including large statues at Kim Il-sung University, Kim Il-sung Stadium, Mansudae Grand Monument atop Mansudae Hill, Kim Il-sung Bridge and the Immortal Statue of Kim Il-sung. Kim's official portrait is displayed in every public building, train station, airports and border crossings. In North Korea, Kim Il-sung's birthday known as "Day of the Sun" is celebrated as a public holiday.

Korean leaders in 1945

Contribute Information
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram