Q:

How did Kim Jong-il come to power?

A:

Quick Answer

A&E's Biography explains that Kim Jong-il came to power as a direct result of his father, Kim il-sung, designating him as his successor. Kim Il-sung's power over his country and people was essentially absolute, and his word was therefore effectively law when it came to his son's ascendancy. The elder Kim helped ensure his son's rise to power by giving him many influential and powerful positions to solidify his control.

Know More
How did Kim Jong-il come to power?
Credit: AFP AFP Getty Images

Full Answer

After the Korean War, Kim Il-sung built a cult of personality around himself, making himself the unquestioned "Great Leader" of the country. He began grooming his son for leadership early on, putting him in control of the Propaganda and Agitation department of the Workers' Party. Between 1970 and 1980, Kim Jong-il occupied several positions of increasing power. By 1980, a personality cult began to form around him as the Great Leader's successor. He gained control of the Politburo, the Secretariat and the Military Commission, giving him control over much of the party's control apparatus. Once he gained control of the military, Kim Jong-il became the Supreme Commander of the Korean Peoples' Army, which ensured his ascendancy. Upon his father's death, Kim abolished the position of president, taking instead the titles of General Secretary of the Workers' Party and Chairman of the National Defense Commission.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do dictators come to power?

    A:

    Dictators come to power primarily during times of national weakness, such as economic downturns and during national emergencies. During national struggles, dictators emerge as powerful and confident leaders offering to provide fellow citizens with guidance and direction.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who is the father of political science?

    A:

    The Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle is known as "the father of political science." His works "The Politics" and "Nicomachean Ethics" among many others evaluated political systems on a philosophical basis.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Is Karl Marx the father of sociology?

    A:

    Karl Marx was highly influential in the founding of sociology and is regarded as the founder of the sociopolitical theory known as Marxism. His socialist work as a journalist got him exiled from the countries of Belgium and France.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a dictatorship?

    A:

    A dictatorship is a system of government in which a single person or party has complete political power; the dictator often maintains power by employing oppressive methods. Dictatorship is an old form of government with origins in ancient Rome. Dictators often ascend to power through democratic means but use their authority to subvert constitutional safeguards.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore