Hymn For Kim Jong Un Becomes North Korea's Anthem
North Korean Supreme Leader Distinguishes His Reign
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is making a significant move to establish his own identity and solidify loyalty by replacing the hymn dedicated to his father, Kim Jong Il. The new anthem, titled the "Hymn of General Kim Jong Un," will now be mandatory for all social events, according to residents who spoke to Radio Free Asia.
Kim's efforts to distinguish himself come as he presses forward forming strong military ties with Vladimir Putin, and advancing his weapons modernization program.
Since 1997, the "Hymn of General Kim Jong Il" has been in use, replacing the original hymn dedicated to Kim Jong Un's grandfather, Kim Il Sung, who is considered the founder of the three-generation Kim dynasty. However, with this recent change, Kim Jong Un is breaking away from his predecessors' shadows and asserting his presence.
A former high-ranking North Korean official, who settled in South Korea in 2019 and spoke on condition of anonymity for safety reasons, explained the significance of this move. "Kim Jong Un has been in power for over 10 years, and it is time to move away from living under the shadows of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il," the official said. "While they are the origin of revolutionary ideology, it is now Kim Jong Un's responsibility to uphold their legacy."
The decision to replace the hymn is an attempt to consolidate loyalty around Kim Jong Un and emphasize his authority as the current leader. This move comes as he "ascended to the throne" following the death of his father in 2011, at the age of 27.
Initially, Kim Jong Un had events start with songs dedicated to his ancestors to establish his political base and legitimize his succession. However, after a decade in power, he now seeks to establish his legacy.
Residents from the northeastern province of North Hamgyong confirmed that orders to change the songs were issued this month. "Kim Jong Un ascended to the throne in a hereditary succession as a 27-year-old following the death of his father in 2011," one resident said. "He had us starting events with songs about his ancestors even after 10 years in power because, at first, he had no political base and wanted to emphasize the legitimacy of his succession."
This move is seen as a strategic step to highlight Kim Jong Un's leadership and break free from the shadows of his grandfather and father. By replacing the hymn dedicated to his father, he aims to establish his own identity and solidify loyalty among the people of North Korea.
It remains to be seen how this change will be received by the North Korean population, but it is clear that Kim Jong Un is making a deliberate effort to separate himself from his predecessors and pave the way for his leadership and legacy.