"We are of a single nation, of the same blood, but forcibly divided." - attributed to Kim Il-sung
A tyrannical lineage secured by nepotism. An entire nation indoctrinated by chilling, mind-boggling propaganda, molded by fear and forced ignorance. Mass purges doled out seemingly on whims, without fair trials. Unparalleled paranoia and cold-blooded assassinations left and right, seemingly around every curve and corner. An impoverished sphere of barren wastelands inhabited by malnourished masses, orbiting a world glittering with the gross opulence and superfluous riches of the elite.
These sound like the elements of a particularly perilous period of autocracy enforced by some mad monarch of a bygone era, or perhaps a generic blurb for a far-fetched thriller set in a dystopian future. Alas, in certain areas of the world, even to this day, these horrifically archaic conditions are anything but fiction. Despite the leaps and bounds in societal progress that most of modern civilization has made, a number of nations have barely budged, powerless to even bend their knees.
While some are merely held back by the looming hurdle of a failing economy, the far less fortunate are impeded by impossibly dense, impenetrable walls on all four corners fencing them in, erected by the dangerously ambitious, self-serving overlords who claimed to have the people's best interests at heart. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, better known colloquially to the rest of the world simply as North Korea, is infamous for being one of the latter.
To say that the so-called "Supreme Commanders" of North Korea have been sticklers for submission would trivialize the more-than-troubling state of affairs that has plagued this precarious place for decades. The fearsome Kim regime, though relatively fresh in comparison to powerful dynasties that lasted for centuries, has become one of history's most controversial bloodlines, not without cause.
Kim Il-sung: The Controversial Life and Legacy of North Korea's First Supreme Leader analyzes the known and unknown about one of the most important leaders of the 20th century.