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Juche [Korean: 주체/主體, lit. 'subject'; usually left untranslated or translated as "self-reliance"] is the official ideology of the DPRK.[1]

Kim Il-sung developed the ideology, with his On the Juche idea which was originally viewed as a variant of Marxism–Leninism until it became distinctly Korean in character. It incorporates the historical materialist ideas of Marxism–Leninism and strongly emphasizes the relationship between the individual, the nation state and its sovereignty.


The Juche idea holds that the popular masses are the driving force of history, and that humanity's goal is striving for independence from social subjugation and natural restrictions. In the context of Juche, the popular masses are not determined by their class background, only by their ideological basis.[2]

It focuses on popular sovereignty and self-reliance to advance revolution in the conditions of the Korean people. This theoretical premise forms the core strategic goal of the Juche idea in upholding the sovereignty and independence of the DPRK from imperialist aggression, a position held as a consequence of the actions perpetrated by the United States.

In general, the Juche idea upholds political and economical self-reliance and achieving a rich material and cultural life for the people through revolutionary leadership strengthened by a relationship with the masses.[2]


  1. Paul French (2014). North Korea: state of paranoia. Zed Books. ISBN 978-1-78032-947-5
  2. 2.0 2.1 DPRK Foreign Languages Publishing House (2014). Juche Idea: answers to 100 questions[PDF]