Juche philosophy, North Korea, Buddism


North Korean Juche philosophy has come to be considered a quasi-state religion. Since its inception in the mid-192os as a slogan encouraging selfsufficiency and anti-Japanese struggle, it has undergone a series of changes. First, the focus of animosity changed from the Japanese to the Americans during the Korean War. During the 1960s, it morphed into a more comprehensive nationalist ideology emphasizing political independence, economic autarky, and military self-defense. With the addition of the "political-social body" concept in 1986, it evolved yet again into a quasi-religious metaphysical worldview, asserting that the leader, party, and people were all organs of an immortal political organism. This new metaphysical element not only legitimated the rule of the Kim family and Korean Worker's Parry, but explained mankind's nature, purpose, and potential for a sort of salvation and eternal life. In chis paper, I will be focusing primarily on Juche as interpreted by the Kim Jong-Un administration (2ou-present), which includes all of these theological characteristics.