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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 14, 1975

GDR AMBASSADOR PYONGYANG TO MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, BERLIN

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Excerpt from East German ambassador's message which mentions the increasing profile of Kim Il Sung's first wife and her oldest son, Kim Jong Il, in North Korean propaganda.
    "GDR Ambassador Pyongyang to Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Berlin," April 14, 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Political Archive of the Foreign Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (PA AA, MfAA), C 6862. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Bernd Schaefer. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113929
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    http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113929

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In Pyongyang a large exhibit was opened on “The Groups of the Three Revolutions”. It provides a comprehensive overview of activities by these groups over the last year. … A peculiarity is worth mentioning: For the first time, the chronology of Kim Il Sung’s family strongly highlights his first wife and his oldest son. Some large paintings show Kim Il Sung with his son. Other widely enlarged photos show his son instructing propagandists and film producers. He already displays the pose usually reserved for Kim Il Sung in his talks with DPRK citizens. This visual observation confirms in fact our assumption we have made earlier: Kim Il Sung’s eldest son is systematically groomed to become his successor.