The Last Hard-Liner: Kim Il Sung (1912-1994)

Dragons are created in great rivers and sprawling lakes, storm clouds and typhoons. Only such sources are expected to produce their imperious demeanor and withering hauteur. And yet every so often, out of an ordinary wellspring, a dragon claws its way into the world.

Kim Il Sung was a nobody when he arrived at the port of Wonsan on Sept. 19, 1945, at the end of World War II and the beginning of chaos on the Korean peninsula. He had lived the previous five years in obscurity in the Soviet Union and returned to his native land dressed in the uniform...

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