Ideology and Anti-Factionalism: A Survey of North Korean Workers’ Party Publishing Output in 1958

In May 2010, the US Central Intelligence Agency released a file which it had had in its files for many decades: Korean Books (in Korean), No. 1, Catalogue of Books by Korean Worker’s Party Publishing House.  While in most other contexts such a text would be open-source, finding the book (along with a hell of a lot of extremely interesting materials) during today’s foray into the … Continue reading Ideology and Anti-Factionalism: A Survey of North Korean Workers’ Party Publishing Output in 1958

Did Kim Jong Il Visit East Germany in 1960?

Kim Jong Il biographers appear to be conflicted about the young man’s whereabouts in the year 1960.  Was the nineteen-year-old future leader traveling around the German Democratic Republic, or was he getting things rolling at the university in Pyongyang which still bears his father’s name?  Or perhaps both?  His official biography, in any case, has him firmly at Kim Il Sung University. I don’t have … Continue reading Did Kim Jong Il Visit East Germany in 1960?

Kim Il Song//North Koreans in Berlin

Yesterday I ordered and got into my hands a pile of letters from Kim Il Song to the East German leaders from 1955-56. The man has a quirky signature, and his typewriter is epic, leaving little corona of ink around each hangul.  It was nice to finally find the great anti-Japanese guerrilla himself on paper. North Koreans arriving in Berlin, 1952 Finally, on North Korea’s … Continue reading Kim Il Song//North Koreans in Berlin