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During this period, North Korea also remained critical of the United States defense force's presence in the region, which it considered imperialism, seizing the American ship USS Pueblo (AGER-2) in 1968.He outlived Joseph Stalin by four decades, Mao Zedong by two, and remained in power during the terms of office of six South Korean presidents, ten U. presidents, and twenty-one Japanese prime ministers. Known as the Great Leader (Suryong), he was the focus of a personality cult which dominated domestic politics in North Korea.It had close political and economic relations with the Soviet Union.
Another view seems to be that his family settled in Manchuria, as many Koreans had at the time to escape famine.
Nonetheless, Kim's parents, especially Kim's mother Kang Ban Suk, played a role in the anti-Japanese struggle that was sweeping the peninsula.
In 1998, Kim Il-sung was given the title "Eternal President of the Republic".
North Korea under his reign was characterized, by U. based Freedom House and others, as a totalitarian state with widespread human rights abuses, including mass executions and prison camps.
It was in the spring of 1931 when I spent some three weeks in prison, having been arrested by the warlords in Guyushu, that the name Kim Il Sung appeared in the press for the first time.
Until that time most of my acquaintances had called me by my real name, Song Ju.where he rejected the feudal traditions of older-generation Koreans and became interested in Communist ideologies; his formal education ended when the police arrested and jailed him for his subversive activities.At seventeen Kim had become the youngest member of an underground Marxist organization with fewer than twenty members, led by Hŏ So, who belonged to the South Manchurian Communist Youth Association.At the 6th WPK Congress in 1980, his son Kim Jong-il, was elected as a Presidium member and chosen as his heir apparent to the supreme leadership.Kim Il-sung's birthday is a public holiday in North Korea and it is called the "Day of the Sun".However, historian Andrei Lankov has argued that this is unlikely to be true.Several witnesses knew Kim before and after his time in the Soviet Union, including his superior, Zhou Baozhong, who dismissed the claim of a "second" Kim in his diaries.According to the official version, Kim’s family participated in anti-Japanese activities and in 1920 they fled to Manchuria.Like most Korean families, they resented the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula, which began on 29 August 1910.The situation reversed in the 1980s, as a stable South Korea became an economic powerhouse fueled by Japanese and American investment, military aid and internal economic development while North Korea stagnated.Differences emerged between North Korea and the Soviet Union, central among them Kim Il-sung's philosophy of Juche, which focused on Korean patriotism and self-reliance.