Juche Ideology


North Korea's Juche(literally self-reliance) Idea was improvised in the 1950s for thepurpose of cutting off the Soviet Union's influence, and as ameans to purge Kim Il-sung's political rivals. At that time, thede-Stalinization movements were raging in the Soviet Union afterthe death of Stalin, who had helped Kim Il-sung seize power, andalso criticism against Kim Il-sung was growing within North Koreafor the failure in the Korean War.

Now Juche Ideology is utilized by the ruling hierarchy inPyongyang as an ideological weapon to justify its dictatorshipand hereditary power succession plan on the domestic scene, as ameans to justify its closed-door system externally, and as anideological tool to achieve a Communist revolution in the South.

The North Korean Constitution stipulates in Article 3 that theNorth Korean government "shall make the Juche Ideology of theWorkers' Party the guiding principle for all its actions," andthe Workers' Party Charter also states in a preamble that "theWorkers' Party is guided only by Kim Il-sung's Juche Ideology andrevolutionary thoughts."

Juche Ideology in 1955-66 had been a mere political catchphrase to support political campaigns designed to prevent theinfluence of the de-Stalinization movement from infiltrating intoNorth Korea, to spur the people to harbor the spirit of self-reliance in coping with the economic difficulties after thesuspension of aid from the Soviet Union, and then to justifyPyongyang's stand to conduct equidistant diplomacy toward Beijingand Moscow, while the two allies were engaged in disputes. At thesame time, North Korea began to use the catch phrase to intensifythe personality cult of Kim Il-sung and to justify his monolithicleadership.

Entering the 1980s, North Korea put up the so-called "the fuehrer doctrine," explaining that "the Suryong (Leader) is an impeccable brain of the living body, the masses can be endowedwith their life in exchange for their loyalty to him, and theParty is the nerve of that living body." This formed the frameof today's Juche Ideology and enabled North Korea to begin anunreserved propaganda campaigns to justify the father-to-sonpower succession plan.

In the "Philosophical Principle of Juche Ideology," only theholders of loyalty to the Suryong are recognized as the self-reliant beings, and in the "Socio-Historical Principle of Juche," only the masses guided by the Party and the Suryong areconsidered as the masters of history; therefore, Juche Ideologyis none other than a sophistry to theorize the idea ofpersonality cult of the Suryong (Kim Il-sung, and Kim Jong-il).

The guiding principle of Juche Ideology, which emphasizesideological and political reindoctrination of the people beforeothers, must be blamed for making North Korean people lifeless, which finally brought about economicdevastation.

Again, the fuehrer doctrine, which isrepresented by the "Theory of the Immortal Socio-Political Body,"contends that "without the Suryong, which is the brain, and theParty, which is the nerve, the masses will remain dead bodiesbecause they are no more than arms and legs. Juche Ideology mustbe criticized because it is nothing but a theory of dictatorshipeven surpassing the fascist autocracy.

The personality cult has transformed North Korea into adictatorial state ruled by a divine right of one person, andoveremphasis on self-reliance has made North Korean society growto be a closed one.

Hwang Jang-yop, the architecture of Juche Ideology, whodefected from North Korea in February, 1997, and came to Korea to seek political asylum, confessed that Juche Ideology isthe "weapon of dictatorship" and that it has been used as a propaganda machine to deceive some leftist groups in the Republic of Korea.