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The 'Great Leader' behind nuclear-crazed North Korea built the country on a never seen before cult of personality.
Kim Jong-un may run the totalitarian state now but he is only carrying the torch of an extraordinary legacy left behind by his grandfather, Kim Il-sung.
The man who founded the mysterious nation, removed from the rest of the world, died on this day (July 8) in 1994 having reigned as supreme leader from 1948 to his final breath.
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The state was formed after World War II in 1945 when Japanese rule over Korea was lifted and the Soviet Union took over one half of the country and America the other.
Red Army-trained Kim Il-sung assumed socialist leadership, which remains at the core of his grandson's rule.
Kim Jong-un to this day continues with his family's nuclear obsession, even this year threatening anyone who dares to violate the isolated nation's interests.
Grandfather Kim Il-sung's reign started with a bloody war against the South costing a staggering two million lives before twice launching assassination attempts on his opposing number across the border.
His state was also behind the 1987 terror attack on a South Korean passenger flight which was blown up, killing 115 people.
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Kim Il-sung led the DPRK out of serious distrust of not just governments around the globe but also his own supporters and allies, Jonathan D. Pollack wrote in his 2012 book No Exit: North Korea, Nuclear Weapons and International Security.
Refusing to let his guard down and become attached to people, the so-called Great Leader led a life without real pals in his determined bid to arm the state for nuclear war.
With what he considered to be potential threats all around him in Asia, Kim Il-sung refused to take any chances and set about making his new nation a real force to be reckoned with.
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One of his crowning achievements in putting North Korea on the military powerhouse map, was the launch of a research nuclear reactor in Yongbyon in 1986.
It was seven years before Il-sung flaunted his strength to the world by test-firing a medium-range Rodong ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan.
Mr Pollack said: "I attribute North Korea’s decades-long pursuit of nuclear weapons primarily to Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il and the political- military system the two leaders sustained through a combination of highly militarized nationalism, unfettered power and internal control, and racial exclusivity."
He added: “The DPRK’s nuclear capabilities are part of the legacy that Kim Jong-il plan[ned] to bequeath to his son, much as his father mandated the building of a nuclear infrastructure that he then passed to Kim Jong-il.”
Kim Il-sung's eventual death rocked the nation as it entered a horrendous period of famine on a mass scale, leaving the public fearing they would die of starvation without the help of Kim Il-sung's rations under his son's rule.
Today, Kim Jong-un continues with the terrifying nuclear legacy, claiming North Korea will use nuclear weapons "at any time" if threatened.
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According to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim Jong-un told troops this year: “[We] will continue to take measures for further developing the nuclear forces of our state at the fastest possible speed.
“The fundamental mission of our nuclear forces is to deter a war, but our nukes can never be confined to the single mission of war deterrent even at a time when a situation we are not desirous of at all is created on this land.
“If any forces try to violate the fundamental interests of our state, our nuclear forces will have to decisively accomplish its unexpected second mission."
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