Posted on 1/22/2018, 12:50:36 PM by GoldenState_Rose
Born in 1912, Kim Il Sung went to the Soviet Far East in the 1930s to train with Stalin’s military during the war against Japan, which had occupied the Korean peninsula since 1910. The North makes much of Kim, the heroic soldier. But whether he actually fought against the Japanese is a matter of debate. What’s clear is that Stalin believed Kim was trustworthy, and after the Soviet invasion of the peninsula in 1945, installed him as the Communist leader in the North.
A virtual unknown in his country, he seized power with considerable help from the Soviet Union and China. Kim’s life-long goal was to unite the Koreas by force — a bloody ambition that never succeeded.
For 46 years he had endured, presiding over the world’s strangest, most isolated society with equal parts ruthlessness and cunning. The consummate dictator, he had long since outlasted the men with whom he had come of age, men now consigned to history’s ash heap: Stalin, who installed him, and Mao, his ally in one of the 20th century’s bloodiest wars. The cold war had ended, and even his old friend Deng Xiaoping of China became a capitalist. And still there he was, his economy collapsing all about him, refusing to let the world treat him as some kind of crazy uncle in the attic. Kim Il Sung demanded that the world deal with him on his terms.
And with a nuclear shell game that may have been his regime’s only shot at salvation, that’s what he made it do. In the last month he used the nuclear card to get former president Jimmy Carter to come to North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, and pronounce him vigorous and ready to do business — if Washington would stop its nasty talk about sanctions.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsweek.com …