Eternal Life Monument


Following the death of the Great Leader, Kim Il-sung, in 1994 and his subsequent elevation to the role of Eternal President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea his son and successor, Kim Jong-il decreed that eternal life monuments (Yeong Saeng) be erected throughout North Korea. These monuments, found in all cities and towns and in workplaces, at sports centres and anywhere people congregate, are thought to number around 3,000 thousand and had the single purpose of reminding the people that Kim Il-sung is with them for ever. When built they were typically inscribed with the words, “Great Leader Comrade Kim Il-sung is with us for eternity”. Continue reading “Eternal Life Monument”

1905 – Bloody Sunday Monument


On Sunday, 9th January 1905 (Bloody Sunday) hundreds of workers protesting against oppressive labour practices and seeking improved living conditions were killed by the Tsar’s guard in St Petersburg. This heavy handed response by Tsar Nicholas II set off the failed 1905 Revolution. Some say it also spurred on the successful 1917 Revolution, which saw the Bolsheviks seizing power from the Tsar and the creation of the communist Soviet Union. Continue reading “1905 – Bloody Sunday Monument”

Latvian Riflemen Monument


Ever since my first (and indeed only) visit to the former Soviet Union about 30 years ago I have had a fascination and liking for the brutalist style monuments and sculptures found there and in other countries of generally socialist leaning. Sadly – with one significant exception, that being North Korea – this style of art is no longer produced, and that which was produced is often decaying, has been moved to monument graveyards or has be deliberately destroyed because of the political nature there-of. My liking for the art form is purely related to its grand and bold scale, its gravitas as it were, rather than the brash and perfunctory political statements it so often makes. Continue reading “Latvian Riflemen Monument”

Kim Il-sung Watching from on High

Kim Il-sung from the Folk Custom Hotel

No city in North Korea is complete without its bronze statue of the Great Leader, Kim Il-Sung, placed on the top of a hill for everybody to see. So naturally there is one here in Kaesong, on Mount Janam at the end of the grand boulevard that is Tongil Street. Kim Il-sung did not share the same modesty of his son who banned statues, etc of him being erected while he was alive. This statue of Kim Il-sung was erected in 1968. Continue reading “Kim Il-sung Watching from on High”

The Tower of the Juche Idea

Tower of Juche Idea from Kim Il-sung Square

By the end of the Korean War (1953) Kim Il-sung had had enough of foreign imperialist intervention in the affairs of Korea. He had, with more than a little help from the Soviet Union, something, which now seems to have been forgotten about, managed to stem Japanese Imperialism and remove them from Korea in 1945. In 1953 he had defeated the United States in the Fatherland Liberation War (to outsiders the Korean War) though the US continued to occupy the southern part of the country as it does to this day. Continue reading “The Tower of the Juche Idea”

Monument to the Foundation of the Workers’ Party


Having been entertained at the Mass Dance held in honour of 102nd anniversary of Kim Il-sung’s birthday it was time to move across the square and visit what was the backdrop to the dancing – the Monument to the Foundation of the Workers’ Party. I had attempted to walk the hundred metres or so to the monument earlier, unaccompanied by a guide, and was asked to return to the group as the open monument was ‘not open’.

When we arrived as a group, a few minutes later, it was ‘open’. Continue reading “Monument to the Foundation of the Workers’ Party”

Monument to Victorious Fatherland Liberation War

Victory Sculpture

This is the fourth of a series of five reviews on the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum Complex. If you have not already done so, please read my Introductory Complex review before continuing.

Prior to the addition of the Museum, the military hardware displays and the USS Pueblo in 2012 this site was dedicated to the Monument to Victorious Fatherland Liberation War which encompasses all the monuments you see, including the grand entrance to the whole complex. Continue reading “Monument to Victorious Fatherland Liberation War”