Following the recent April 15th ‘Day of the Sun’ celebrations in North Korea, we’re going to take a look at some of the many other things named after DPRK founder Kim Il-sung. It’s estimated that there are over 480 things named after Kim Il-sung in over 100 countries, with some obviously being more impressive than others!
7) International Kim Il-sung Prize
You may have heard of the International Lenin Prize, sure. But have you heard of the International Kim Il-sung Prize? This prize is awarded to people who further the cause of the Juche Idea (North Korea’s state ideology). Alumni include such luminaries as King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.
6) Kim Il-sung University
The top university in Pyongyang – and, indeed, North Korea – opened its doors in 1946, before the DPRK was even formally founded, and has always carried the name of the country’s founder. For North Koreans, getting into this university is a big deal indeed.
5) Kim Il-sung Street – Maputo – Mozambique
Whilst the role of the USSR is well known in the liberation of Africa, the exploits of fellow communist nations Cuba and North Korea are much less well known. One African nation that has lauded Kim Il-sung is Mozambique, which has a street named after him in Maputo.
4) Kim Il-sung City
One of the wackier ideas, but it has been suggested that post reunification, Seoul could be renamed in honour of the DPRK founder. Did they get the idea from Ho Chi Minh City, which most people still call Saigon? Would the South Koreans be up for renaming their capital city after the founder of a government whose ideology is diametrically opposed to their own? Who knows?
3) Kim Il-sung Street – Phnom Penh – Cambodia
Proving that Kim Il-sung Boulevard is perhaps the Martin Luther King Boulevard of the developing world, Cambodia also has a thoroughfare named for the Eternal President. King Sihanouk was, despite his royal lineage, a firm friend of North Korea – and, indeed, its leader – and even owned a house in Pyongyang. Truth really is stranger than fiction!
2) Kim Il-sung Park – Damascus – Syria
Perhaps most impressive about this park is that it wasn’t built in some bygone Soviet era, but in 2015 at the height of the Syrian Civil War, throughout which the DPRK and Syria remained firm friends. Despite the raging civil war, the park itself is actually quite nice!
Not many people get flowers created in their name, but the Eternal President did. This flower was presented to him in 1965 and named for him in 1977. Another fun fact: I purchased a bulb in 2014 and there is now a small part of North Korea alive and well in the Medway Towns.
Got the urge to see just so many things named after Kim Il Sung yourself? Visit North Korea on one of our tours!