North Korea: The Foundations for Military Strength -- Update 1995
December 1995

Chuche Ideology

Depending on the context, the political term chuche is used by North Koreans to mean national identity, self-reliance, national pride, or national assertiveness. Introduced in December 1955, chuche is used to justify major policy initiatives, including eliminating factional enemies, widening diplomatic activities, neutralizing attempts by China or Russia to exert influence over Korea, questioning the legitimacy of the South Korean government, and relentlessly attacking US imperialism. In short, Presidnet Kim Il-song created a Korean counterpart to Marxist-Leninist ideology to suit his specific realities. It is applied to all aspects of North Korean life, and its integration into the wider social fabric of the country approaches that of a religion.