So What IS Juche?

Juche; 주체/主體, pronounced [tɕutɕʰe] or joochay... Find out more about the Juche Ideology!

Juche; 주체/主體, pronounced [tɕutɕʰe] or joochay.

Juche is the official ideology of North Korea, and has been adopted since the 1950s. And there is no real direct translation, so it is often simply left untranslated. Roughly, however, juche translates to ‘self-reliance’. 

According to the Juche Idea, the man is the master of his own fate, or man is the master of his own destiny.  But that’s by far not all that’s to it.

The people are the masters of the revolution in each country. It is like putting a cart before the horse that foreigners carry out the revolution for them. The revolution can neither be exported nor imported. The basis of the Juche Idea is that man is the master of all things and the decisive factor in everything.

President Kim Il Sung

Juche is described as "Kim Il-sung's original, brilliant and revolutionary contribution to national and international thought”.

Juche was originally viewed as something of a variant of Marxism-Leninism developed by Kim Il-sung. It incorporates historical materialist ideas of Marxism–Leninism with a strong emphasis on the individual, the nation-state and its sovereignty. The North Koreans see Juche as a practice rooted firmly in the ideals of North Korean society, practising sustainability through lack of dependency on others and through agricultural independence.

Describing Juche as simply an idea of socialism or marxism isn’t quite sufficient, however. And the emphasis may be on self-reliance and independence, but North Korea is at the same time happy to accept and continues to accept input and help from the outside. Previously from the USSR and more recently from China and other countries. 

The Juche Tower

The Juche Tower, as the name suggests, is fully dedicated to the guiding principle of the DPRK: the Juche Idea.

The Juche Tower (주체사상탑|主體思想塔), also known as the Tower of the Juche Idea, is an iconic stone tower in Pyongyang, North Korea.

The Juche Tower is 150m high stone tower plus 20m high adorning glow-at-night torch and stands on the east bank of the Taedong River. It was built in 1982.

The letters on the front of the Juche Tower '주체' simply read ' Juche'.

Read more on the Juche Tower

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