100th anniversary of the birth of V.I.Lenin
Artist: Park Sang-Rak
Publisher: Korean Workers Party Press
Condition: Good, fold marks, creasing and small tears to margins
Communism first emerged in Korea during the early part of the twentieth century. A group of Koreans living in Russia are said to have founded the first Korean communist party, the Korean People's Socialist Party, on 28 June 1918 - followed by the birth of the Communist Party of Korea at a secret meeting in Seoul in 1925. In 1928 the party formed the Korean section of the Communist International but suffered early on from internal feuds, eventually splitting into various cells. Some went into exile in China where they were involved in the founding of the Chinese Communist Party and joined in the war of resistance against the Japanese from the 1930s.
The surrender of the Japanese in 1945 led to the division of Korea into the Soviet controlled zone in the North and the American-occupied anti-communist South, along the 38th Parallel. With a limited amount of communist cadres at the time in the North, the Soviets began to look to the returning exiled Korean communists and the Soviet Union's population of ethnic Koreans to fill their ranks. Kim Il-sung was one such party member who had recently returned to Korea after the liberation, having fought the Japanese in Manchuria in a partisan brigade of the Red Army. He was consequently installed by the Soviets in the leading role in the North.
In 1946 separate Korean Workers Parties were founded in the South and North, with Kim Il-sung proposing a Marxist-Leninist ideological foundation. The party was outlawed in the South, where there were still a large number of communist followers, and in 1947 these underground cells began to organise armed guerilla uprising. One such uprising, on Jeju Island in 1948, resulted in a forcible suppression and thousands of deaths. Large numbers of the southern communists fled to Pyongyang in the North. The parties eventually merged in 1949 with Kim Il-sung appointed as party chairman.
The Juche ideology was developed by Kim Il-sung in 1955. Originally seen as a version of Marxism-Leninism, it gradually evolved into a specifically Korean ideological doctrine with three fundamental principles outlined by Kim in 1965: political independence; economic self-sustenance; self-reliance in defence. During the Sino-Soviet Split of the 1950s and 1960s North Korea began to align itself with China and to move away from the Soviet Union. Maoist ideas and theories began to take precedence, and in 1972 Marxism-Leninism was officially replaced by Juche as the state ideology. The notion of 'Kimilsungism' was promoted from the 1970s as Kim grew in power, and the references to and celebration of Soviet achievements in posters - which had been commonplace in the 1950s and 1960s - gradually disappeared. In 2012 it was reported that the giant portraits of Lenin and Marx that once hung in Kim Il-sung Square had been removed.