The Driwancybermuseum ‘s Chritsmas And New Year ExhibitIon










Welocome to

Driwancybermuseum Blog


(Museum Duniamaya Dr Iwan)

The Old Christmas And New Year Collections Exhibition

Dr Iwan suwandy and staf wishing You A Merry Cristmas 2011 and A Happy New Year 2012,specila for Old Pictures Colletors  from all Over The wolrd,special for you Driwancybermuseum blog making a amizing exhibition:


I hope all of the collectoras will enjoy to look this exhibition.


Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Christmas Card

Christmas Card Example

Christmas Cards—A Brief History

Christmas cards were partly inspired by Valentine’s Day cards and New Year’s cards, the oldest surviving of which was printed in 1466. Home-made cards were fashioned by children even during the reign of Queen Anne, but the popularized Christmas card as we know it wasn’t invented until the mid 1800s.

A Replica of a William Egley Christmas Card

A Replica of the
Egley Christmas Card

Who Created the First Christmas Card?

The First Egley Christmas Card

There is some debate over who was the “inventor” of the Christmas card. The oldest Christmas card created for general distribution probably was created by William Egley Jr.; a 16 year-old British youth. His 3 1/2-inch- by 5 1/2-inch, preserved in the British Museum, depicts four holiday scenes and a “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” greeting with blanks after the word “To” on the top and “From” at the bottom. Industrious kid! The date on his card is clearly 1842… or 1849. The last figure is obscure, so it’s difficult to say who was first.

In the year 1843, Sir Henry Cole commissioned John Calcott Horsley to paint a card showing the feeding and clothing of the poor. A center panel displayed a happy family embracing one another, sipping wine and enjoying the festivities. (So much for good intentions. The card drew criticism because showing a child enjoying a sip of wine was considered “fostering the moral corruption of children.”) “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You” was printed on that first Christmas card. Legend says Sir Henry Cole didn’t send any Christmas cards the following year, but the custom became popular anyway.

The First Horsely Christmas Card

A Replica of the first Christmas Card-- an original John Calcott Horsely

A Replica of the First Horsely Christmas Card

Others say the date of this story was in 1847. They agree that the first Christmas card was produced by Sir Henry Cole who worked for the British Postal Service, and an artist he hired named John Horsley. Cole was too busy to write his own greetings, so he hired Horsley to design a card for him. One thousand of these cards were printed and could be mailed for a penny a piece.

The criticism it drew may have contributed to its popularity. By the Christmas season of 1847, a number of people were giving out Christmas cards of their own. Had it not been for the controversy over Horsley’s card, many of these new card givers may never have considered it.

The “Fad” of the Christmas Card

The early Christmas card manufacturers believed Christmas cards to be a fad that would soon pass. They did not bother to document the cards they produced. However, the Christmas card was destined to become an integral part of the holiday season. By 1880 their manufacture was big business, creating previously unknown opportunities for artists, writers, printers, and engravers.

Three Factors that Contributed to the Success of the Christmas Card.

  1. U.S. postal changes spurred sales of Christmas cards. Until 1855, senders had the option of requiring the recipients to pay the postage on cards and letters, and most did. Also, except in a few of the larger cities, the recipient was required to go to the post office to pick up his or her mail. But in 1855, it became compulsory for the sender to pay the postage. In 1858, collection boxes began appearing in larger cities; therefore, the sender didn’t have to go to the post office, and by 1890 most of the post offices had free city delivery. At the start of the 20th century, the post office began free rural delivery. All these items helped speed the growth in Christmas cards.
  2. The invention of the steam press in the early 1800s made it less expensive to have cards printed.
  3. The design and features of the Christmas cards. Holiday cards designed by Kate Greenaway, the Victorian children’s writer and illustrator, and Frances Brundage and Ellen H. Clapsaddle, were favorites in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. Most were elaborate, decorated with fringe, silk and satin. Some were shaped liked fans and crescents; others were cut into the shapes of bells, birds, candles and even plum puddings. Some folded like maps or fitted together as puzzles; other squealed or squeaked. Pop-up Cards reveled tiny mangers or skaters with flying scarves gliding around a mirrored pond.

Christmas Cards in the United States

For more than 30 years, Americans had to import greeting cards from England.

A Replica of a Louis Prang Christmas Card

A Replica of a Louis Prang Christmas Card

The Louis Prang Christmas Card

In 1875, Louis Prang, a German immigrant to the U.S., opened a lithographic shop with $250 and published the first line of U.S. Christmas cards. His initial creations featured flowers and birds, unrelated to the Christmas scene. By 1881, Prang was producing more than five million Christmas cards each year. His Yuletide greetings began to feature snow scenes, fir trees, glowing fireplaces and children playing with toys. His painstaking craftsmanship and lithographic printing have made his cards a favorite of collectors today.

Prang received most of his recognition however from his Christmas card contests that he ran. Every year he would enlist of the help of well-known figures in the American art world to judge the entrants. Winners would receive cash prizes. He further involved the public by allowing them to vote for their favorite cards, as well. This “Public Prize” was conducted apart from the professional judges and the winners were also awarded cash prizes.

When the market was flooded with cheap Christmas cards in the 1890s, Prang abandoned his Christmas card business as a statement of disgust, and perhaps because his sales were dwindling.

Modern Christmas Cards

Holiday cards designed by Kate Greenaway, the Victorian children’s writer and illustrator, and Frances Brundage and Ellen H. Clapsaddle, were favorites in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. Most were elaborate , decorated with fringe, silk and satin. Some were shaped liked fans and crescents; others were cut into the shapes of bells, birds, candles and even plum puddings. Some folded like maps or fitted together as puzzles; other squealed or squeaked. Pop-up Cards reveled tiny mangers or skaters with flying scarves gliding around a mirrored pond.

Christmas Cards have changed since the days of Sir Henry and Louis Prang. They now sport comics, jokes and clever verses. But those that picture timeless and simple settings such as excited children around a Christmas tree, Nativity scenes, nature scenes and carolers singing in the snow are still in the highest demand today.

Today, over 2.6 billion Christmas cards are mailed annually (over $571 million dollars worth!). This amount is almost twice the volume of the $277 million dollars worth of Valentine cards mailed annually. With the popularity of digital cameras, computers, and the plethora of scrapbook suppliers, home-made Christmas cards are again becoming popular. Some simply mail a picture of their family and a short greeting, while others include a brief write-up, touching on events of the previous year. And, with so many computer users jumping online, electronic cards, or e-cards are also flooding the Internet.





First Known Christmas Card, 1843
© J.C. Horsley from description : Designed by J.C. Horsley


1878 christmas and new year party

112-year-old Christmas pudding found in cupboard

112-year-old Christmas plum pudding

What is probably the oldest Christmas plum pudding in the world, tinned 112 years ago in 1899, has been found at the back of a kitchen cupboard in Poole, Dorset and donated to the National Museum of the Royal Navy at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in Hampshire. It was donated by a woman who found it in her cupboard after her husband’s death. She knew nothing about it other than the date stamped on the can — 1900 — and that it had been in her husband’s family for years.

112-year-old Christmas plum pudding tin, back

The handsomely decorated tin marks it as “Peek, Frean & Co’s Teetotal Plum Pudding – London, High Class Ingredients Only.” Instructions on the bottom state “This pudding is ready for use but may be boiled for an hour if required hot.” Peek Frean was a cookies and confectionary company established in 1857. Within a few years they focused on making confections for export to distant locales like Australia and India, hence the sealed tins. The back of the container depicts children holding out plates, presumably to beg for more of that delicious teetotal plum pudding.

This particular pudding was also destined for faraway lands, South Africa specifically. It’s a teetoal pudding because it was a special issue, commissioned by Victorian philanthropist and superintendent of the Royal Naval Temperance Society Agnes “Aggie” Weston. She ordered 1000 tins of brandyless Christmas plum pudding to be sent to Royal Navy sailors fighting in the Boer War. There’s a message from her on the tin as well: “For the Naval Brigade, In the Front, With Miss Weston’s Best Christmas & New Year, 1900, Wishes.” As far as we know, this is the only surviving tin of the 1000


From the Middle East

New Year Greeting Card

The New Year Greeting Card was sent in 1900 from the city of Jerusalem by the Great Yeshiva Torath Chaim rabbis to my great grandfather. The Yeshiva building in the old city of Jerusalem is shown in the upper part of the card and the old city of Jerusalem is shown below.

Above the main greeting, “LESHANA TOVA“, there is a quote of blessing from Jerusalem and Zion. Another quote on the right and left sides is from the ancient Talmudic book called “Yerushalmi”, since it was a compilation of thoughts, commentaries and philosophies on Jewish topics generated by the rabbis that remained in the Land of Israel after the destruction of the second Jewish Holy Temple, approximately 2000 years ago.

It was, and still is, customary to decorate “New Year” and other good wishes cards (for weddings, Bar Mitzvah etc.) with quotes about Jerusalem.



Spread Cheer with Vintage Christmas Cards

Here you will find a wide assortment of beautiful vintage Christmas cards and Holiday greeting cards. These uniquely designed vintage greeting cards are sure to warm the hearts of all who receive them.

Victorian era stylings and art are all a big part of the ever-growing Steampunk sub-culture. So if you are a part of the Steampunk movement or know someone who is, these cards would be the perfect way of showing a partner, friend, or family member that you remembered them this Holiday season.

Victorian Christmas Cards
Victorian Era Angel Christmas Card This vintage Christmas card features an angel from the Victorian era. The angel is sitting on the moon and holding a star. A lit Christmas tree is shown, and a house is on the horizon.




Victorian Santa Claus Greeting Cards

Old Saint Nick Portrayed in the Victorian Artistic Style


Radio Santa Christmas Card card
Radio Santa Christmas Card

This vintage holiday card depicts Santa Claus listening to a vacuum tube type radio. This card design is circa early 1900′s.



Victorian Christmas Cards
Busy Santa Christmas Card

Old Saint Nick is hard at work stuffing stockings in this vintage Victorian era Christmas card design. The central image is of Santa delivering toys and is surrounded by a wood grain pattern decked with Holly.



Steampunk Christmas Cards
Santa with a Sack Christmas Card

Santa with a sack of toys over his shoulder. This card design is circa early 1900′s and features an early version of Saint Nicholas dressed in something other than the traditional red and white suit that we all know so well.



Victorian Christmas Cards
Old Fashion Santa Christmas Card
Here is an vintage card design from 1908. It features an old school Santa from way back. Send some old fashioned holiday cheer with this digitally restored vintage Victorian Christmas card.



Victorian Christmas card
Victorian Santa Claus Christmas Card
This card design is late Victorian circa early 1900′s and features Santa Claus with a staff and a wreath of holly on his hat. The candles on the Christmas tree are indicative of the era in which the original card was made.


The Top Five Reasons Why These Victorian Holiday Cards are the Best

A list of the top five reasons this page has the best selection of Victorian style Holiday greeting cards.Victorian Christmas Cards
Curious Cat Christmas Card
  • Beautiful original greeting cards evoke nostalgia as they depict scenes from a simpler time.
  • There are a wide variety of designs to choose from.
  • Holiday cards with a vintage look and feel.
  • Greeting cards that have memorable scenes.
  • Greeting cards suitable for Steampunk fashion sense.


Vintage Angel Cards


Holy Angel Christmas Card
Holy Angel Christmas Card

This vintage Victorian era card design features an angel in snow white robes holding sheet music next to a vase of holly. This card aged very well and the artwork is incredibly beautiful.



vintage Angel Christmas Card
Angel Snow Scene Christmas Card

This vintage Christmas card design features an angel in a tree hovering over a snow scene. The original card is ca early 1900′s. 



Victorian Era Angel Christmas Card card
Victorian Era Angel Christmas Card

This is a Vintage Victorian Christmas card design circa early 1900′s. It features an angel holding a star (Presumably the star of Bethlehem) while reclining on a crescent moon



Vintage Christmas Cards Featuring Kids


These cute old-time cards all feature children being children during the holiday season.

Boy with Phone Christmas Card card
Boy with Phone Christmas Card

This vintage Victorian era greeting card has a very simple design. It depicts a boy talking on an antique telephone from the original era of the card. It features a fill in the blank greeting mimicking a telephone call. The card is also decked with a bough of holly.




Chimney Children Christmas Card card
Chimney Children Christmas Card
This very cute vintage Victorian era greeting card features a boy in a Santa costume jumping into a chimney as a little girl watches on with a look of surprise on her face.




Full Stockings Christmas Card card
Full Stockings Christmas Card
This vintage Victorian era greeting card features a girl with a candle walking in front of a fireplace with stockings hung for Santa Claus.




Full Stockings Christmas Card card
Full Stockings Christmas CardMake a personalized note card online at zazzle
This vintage Victorian era greeting card has a very simple design. It depicts two children waking up to stocking filled with toys on Christmas morning.




Cute Girl in Red Dress Christmas Card card
Cute Girl in Red Dress Christmas Card

This early 1900′s vintage card design features an adorable little girl in a red dress dancing. The candles on the Christmas tree reflect the era of this card.





Season’s Greetings!

For this time of holidays and wintery weather, we offer a sampling of traditional images from the rich image source,

Children wearing festive hats standing by a Christmas tree
North Bennet Street Industrial School (Boston, Mass.), 1932

Christmas card

New Year’s Card for 1900

christmas card 1914 during WW I

Woman costumed as a Christmas tree,

Child with Christmas tree


The End @ Copyright Dr Iwan suwandy 2011

The USA Military Police Pictures Historic Collections


The USA Military Police Pictures Historic collections

LTC Rex Smith writes: Here are two photos that I came across that were taken in Iceland in either 1942 or 1943. They are of officers of, I believe, the 810th MP Company.  In August 1943, we took men to Iceland to form an MP Bn.  
LTC Luis Mark, then Captain, is indicated by the arrow. He landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day as PM with the 2nd Engineer Amphibious Brigade. I next ran into him in 1948 when he was assigned as Chief of CID, PM Office, First US Army, Fort Jay, New York. He attended the advance course at the MP School at Ft Gordon in 1951. From there, he went to Korea and died of heart attack a couple of months after arriving there. He was one hell of an officer, one of the best I ever served under. If he had lived, I am sure he would have made general.
LTC Luis Mark then Captain, is third from the right.  CPT Zukowsky is the first from the right; I think his name was Theodore. In November 1943, he went to England as the CO of the 449th MP Company, landed with the company on Utah Beach on D-Day with the First Engineer Amphibious Brigade.
The following pictures were provided by Sam Reinert, Commanding Officer of the 545th MP Company in Phouc Vinh, Vietnam, 1969 – 1970.  Sam is the founder of the 545th Military Police Company Association. 

CPT Dalton Lain (in front of his unit) CO, MP Platoon, Hqs Troop, 1st Cavalry Division, Camp Drake Japan 1945.
CPT Louis Mehl, CO 545th MP Co Commander on the right and LTC James H. Ashcraft,  second from right, 1st Cavalry Division Provost Marshal in the 545th MP Co Dayroom at Camp Drake Japan 1949. The others are the Army Chief of Staff, his aide, the 1st Cav Div CG and the 545th MP Co First Sergeant

Maj Max Phelps inspecting his 1st Cav MP’s at Camp Drake Japan (GEN Chase, 1st Cav CG – in breeches) walks along behind in 1948
LTC Norman A Mott who escorted Japanese POW’s to the Military Tribunals in Manila in 1945
545th MP Co Platoon Leader, S. Strange at Camp Crawford, Japan
Photo sent in by COL Dick Mosco.  Dick is 2d Row, third from the left.  Also in the Class were Second Lieutenants Jim George,Perry Elder,Doug Shannon and Travis Parker.
Advisory Team#14,USAMACV.The Team advised Army Of Vietnam Military Police in the operation of the Central EPW Camp on Phu Quoc Island. The Team was under the OPCON of the MACV PM(J15) and was the only pure Military Police Advisory unit in Vietnam. Dick Moscow’s tenure as the Team Commander and Senior Advisor to the Camp Commander was during the period 1967-68.The Team had four officers assigned.One Major and three Captains.The rest of the team were Military Police Non Commissioned Officers.Captain Mike Annast is the the first officer standing on the left,second row.Next to him is Captain Dave Stockman.Captain Mike O’laughlan is the first person kneeling on the right,first row.  Dick is standing, first on the right,second row. 
First row(Left to right): Lt. Swindell, LT. Buffaloe, LT. Dillion, CPT. Moore, LT. Harris, LT. Palzer, LT. Scott.

Second Row (L to R): CPT. Elder, LT. Briggs, LT. Cathron, LT. Valimony, LT. MacDonald, LT. Mosco.

Third Row (L to R): LT. Lange, LT. Oldemiski, CPT. Boswell, CPT. George, LT. Novac, LT. Nicolls.
Thanks to W.N. Lange, PhD, MAJ (Ret), MPC for identifying the complete class.
MP Officer Career Course  Class #5.1964-65.COL Karl Gustafson,School Commandent is in the first row, center.To his left is the Class Leader, Major Dave Anderson. Dick Mosco is in row five,5th from the right.
CPT Mike Tarman
Tay Ninh, RVN, 1969
709th MP BN Paris, France WW II 
Pictures of the Battalion Officers during 1945. LTC Harry Gustafson was the Battalion Commander Nov 1943 to 1946.
Assigned officers when the unit departed for England in 1944:  LTC Harry Gustafson, CO; MAJ David Sigourney, XO; CPT Donald McIntire, S2/S3; LT Alfred Levine, ADJ; LT Fred Deyesso, S4; CPT  Pierce, CO, Co A; CPT Ralph Philpott, CO, Co B; CPT  Shephard, CO, Co C; CPT Marchand, CO, Co D; W/O Murphy, Personnel Off; CPT D. Schorr, Surgeon; CPT H. Teague, Dentist; LT B.J. Wall; LT H.G. Orton; LT G. Dugas; LT Norman Applebaum; LT  C. Porcelli; LT Chas Echols; LT Geo Moore; LT Fred Vigil; LT Geo Morehouse; LT  Cushman; LT Geo McCombs; LT F.A. Mac Donald; and LT Robert Collier.
BG David P Schorr, Jr. Provost Marshal EUSA, cuts cake at the 18th Anniversary 728th MP Bn at Co B.  L to R: LTC Thomas R Smith, Jr. Bn CO; General Schorr; CPT Charles A Heck, CO Co B; and 1Lt Eddie M Nix, Plt Ldr, Korea 1959.
SSG Charles A Heck – 1945
Some of the first Officers to be assigned to the 518th Military Police Battalion upon its activation. Photographed in the summer of 1941. They are (Left to Righ) Lt Martin Davy; Lt Bill Campbell; Lt Ed Lambert; Major H.H. Harris; Lt Bernie Schlinger; Lt Sid Marcus; Lt Mel Pollack; Lt Ralph Gramazio; Lt Stan Evans; Lt Bob Sullivan; Lt John Stouell; Lt Tom Whitford; and Lt Claude Lindsey.(Source of information is from the Military Police Journal and the Article written by Colonel Robert E. Sullivan, History of U.S. Army Military Police Battalions – The 518th MP BN). 

Customs liaison meeting, Saigon, Vietnam  March 1971 between MP customs officials and ROK PMO, to discuss mutual cooperation.
LtoR : CPT Oh Sae Chan  ROK F-V, CPT William D. Houck, CO Saigon Customs Detachment, LTC Clyde Murphy, CO Joint Customs Group Vietnam, COL Lee Jung Hyen ROK F-V, MAJ David Lynch, XO Joint Customs Group Vietnam, LTC Lee Jung Hyung ROK F-V.

Stand down of 173rd Airborne  Brigade, Charang Valley, Vietnam. July 1971

Left photo L to R:  CPT Bill Houck, CPT Jones, CPT Roger Holland

Right photo L to R:  CPT William D. Houck, CPT Roger Holland

June 1971, MAJ Fouad Aide, MP Advisor, Central EPW Camp on Phu Quoc Island.

CSM Gordon Larum, CPT Hensley, MSG McCurdy, and COL Timmerberg, Fall of 1971, 89th MP Gp
BG Timmerberg, COL Hiram Daniels, CSM Larum, getting 89th MP Gp Crests, July 1971
CSM Larum, COL Proudfoot taking command 89th MP Gp, BG Timmerberg
BG Wallace Wittwer, USAREUR PM, being greeted upon his arrival at Stuttgart by LTC Tom Briggs, Area PM and Cdr 31st MP Det, 1972.
BG Wittwer, USAREUR PM; LTC Tom Briggs, Cdr 31st MP Det, and LTC Robert Tambling, Cdr 385th MP Bn.
L to R: LTC Killough, Cdr, 508th MP Bn, inspecting 508th MP BN Highway Patrol Unit. Unk Officer in middle, CPT Van Gemert, Cdr, CO C, 508th MP BN, Stettin Kaserne,Munich, 1951-52.
Approximately April 1967, Valley A Binh Dinh Prov, RVN

(then) BG Harley Moore arrives at Hq 504 A MP. BN, greeted by (then) MAJ William A. Hewitt,acting CO.
                                                   Photo from LTC Bill Hewitt
March, 1954
Eniwetok, Marshal Islands,  JTF Castle

Shown:  Members of MP Detachment.
2nd. row, standing, left, Corporal (P) William A. Hewitt (now, LTC, retired).
2nd. row, standing, L to R, 3rd right LTC John Gibson(MPC);  6th right at end of row (hand raised) then 1st LT Archie O. Patterson (MPC)

Photo from LTC Bill Hewitt
Members of 92nd MP Bn, Saigon VN, following promotion ceremony on March 16, 1967.  From left to right:  1LT John Hannon (Oklahoma City, OK), Sgt Richard Sparrow (Indianapolis, IN), Sgt Angel Colon (Gartegena, PR), LTC John P “Jack” Hill (Sarasota, FL), Sgt Thomas Markowski (New York, NY), Sgt Richard W Johnson (Long Beach, CA0, and CPT David L Lemon (Abilene, TX) 
                                                                                                                                                      Photo from LTC John Hannon
l to r – 1Lt R.C. Purdy; 1Lt Giddion Cox; 1Lt Robert Baumfalk; 1Lt W.R. Cathy;  Cpt John Liddle; 1Lt Carl Knowles (XO); and 1SG Gordon Larum, 7th MP Co Staff  Korea 1952      Photo from Dick Burch

After seeing the above two photos, COL Charles (Dave) Childers sent RMPO the following email:

“I was looking at the online site this morning and noticed the photos of BG Wittwer and LTC Briggs and it sure brought back old memories. I was Tom Briggs driver in the fall on 1972, and if I’m not mistaken, I took him to meet BG Wittwer that day – if not on the day of that visit, then one of his later trips that same year. Talking about being scared – I’d been in the Army for six months, was a newly minted PFC, driving a brigadier general!  After Tom left Europe in early 1973, I was Dale Friend’s driver for almost a year at the 385th MP Battalion. Both were fantastic officers who greatly influenced my life.  Attached is a photo of me leaning on the fender of Tom’s very famous black 1971 Ford sedan in Stuttgart. Dale talked me into re-enlisting and Tom helped me in my selection for OCS. I’m deeply indebted to both.”

<!– –><!– –>





A Type 89B tank and infantry crossing a bridge in China 1940

(Courtesy of Peter H)


Tanks from 1st Tank Battalion in the Battle of Hsuchou

(Courtesy of Peter H)


Type 89 tank in Manilla

(Courtesy of Magnus)


Type 89 Medium Tank of the 2nd Independent Tank Company in Shanghai 1932

(Courtesy of Peter H)


A destroyed Type 89 tank sinking into the sand on Guadalcanal

(Courtesy of Peter H)


Type 92 tank

(Courtesy of Magnus)


Type 92 tanks in Indochina 1945

(Courtesy of Magnus)


Type 94 tank in Malaya Dec 1941

(Courtesy of Magnus)


Type 94 tanks crossing a bridge in Singapore 1942

(Courtesy of Magnus)


Two knocked out Type 95 tanks

(Courtesy of Magnus)


Type 97 tank in Singapore

(Courtesy of Magnus)


Type 97 tank in the jungles of Burma

(Courtesy of PJ)


Renault tank in Manchuria 1931



Breaking News :”Kim Jong Il Dead?” and North Korea Historic Collections

KIM JONG ILL BREAKING NEWS AND NORTH KOREA HISTORIC COLLECTIONS–300×300.jpg&#8221; alt=”<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
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2 days ago
  at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang


 a glass coffin a memorial palace in Pyongyang


Kim Jong-il dies aged 69: December 19 as it happened

World leaders call for reform after Kim Jong-il, the leader of North Korea, dies of a heart attack on a train in Pyongyang.

North koreans cry and scream in a display of mourning for their leader Kim Jong II

North Koreans cry and scream in a display of mourning for their leader Kim Jong-
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has died, Pyongyang announced.

A nation in tears:

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea announced the death of supreme leader Kim Jong Il and urged its people to rally behind his young son and heir-apparent Monday, while the world watched warily for signs of instability in a nation pursuing nuclear weapons.

South Korea, anxious about the untested, 20-something Kim Jong Un after his father’s 17-year rule, put its military on high alert against the North’s 1.2 million-strong armed forces. President Barack Obama agreed by phone with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to closely monitor developments.

People on the streets of the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, wailed in grief, some kneeling on the ground or bowing repeatedly as they learned the news that their “dear general” had died of heart failure Saturday at age 69 while carrying out official duties on a train trip.

North Koreans mourn the death of Kim Jong Il… as West fears show of strength from nuclear state’s new leader

  • Kim Jong Il died on a train on Saturday morning of heart attack
  • Came into power in 1994, succeeding his father, Kim Il Sung
  • Third son, Kim Jong Un, unveiled as successor in September 2010
  • His uncle Jang Song Thaek expected to rule behind the scenes as he trains on the job
  • South Korean and Japanese militaries on ‘high alert’
  • North Korea today test-fires short-range missile on eastern coast
  • Fears of behind-the-scenes power struggle which could destabilise region
  • Funeral planned for December 28 in capital of Pyongyang
Kim Jong Il, N. Korea's 'Dear Leader' Dictator, Dead

Kim Jong Il, N. Korea’s ‘Dear Leader’ Dictator, Dead

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) — Kim Jong Il, the second-generation North Korean dictator who defied global condemnation to build nuclear weapons while his people starved, has died, state media reported. A government statement called on North Koreans to “loyally follow” his son, Kim Jong Un. Rishaad Salamat reports on Bloomberg Television’s “Asia Edge.” (Source: Bloomberg) (/Bloomberg) Correction: Clarification:


North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is dead, according to state television from Pyongyang. There are currently no independent reports confirming his death.

“Our great leader Comrade Kim Jong-il passed away at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 17,” Korean Central TV reported.

North Korea’s state-run television announced Kim died on Saturday of “physical and mental overwork,” the BBC reported. The AFP said his death was from a heart attack. He reportedly died while traveling.

The world’s only inherited communist ruler, Kim was reported to have been battling health issues that left him further isolated from the outside world.


August ,24th.2011

Kim jong il is dead 2011

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Il peers out of a car window after a meeting with Russian officials on August 24, 2011.


North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has been dead for years and replaced by a number of look-alikes, a Japanese academic claims.

One of Kim Jong Il’s doubles in 2008 (left) and the real Kim in 2003

and the information in 2009

Dead body of North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il turns 67


PYONGYANG — Droves of jubilant North Koreans took to the streets nationwide today to celebrate the 67th birthday of North Korean dictator and Great Leader Kim Jong-Il’s dead body.

“We are overjoyed to see the magnificence of our Dear Leader,” emaciated peasant Gwok Shi-Mon said. “He may not be as sprightly as he once was, but his strength and wisdom still show through that glass, coffin-like box in which he sleeps every night.”

Although North Korea denies that Kim, who apparently died last year, is dead, South Korean and U.S. sources said the Kim Jong-Il encased in glass in the rotunda of the reclusive country’s capitol building is indeed the leader’s dead, embalmed body.

“He’s not been seen in public in months,” South Korean Gen. Kai Vi-Tam said from Seoul. “The footage the state-run news agency plays of him is the same every time. It’s of Kim drinking a can of Tab while standing on a balcony waving to an adoring throng of people. At one point Kim picks up a copy of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ album, and then kills a low-level soldier for accidentally scratching the record while putting the needle on it so the crowd could dance to ‘Beat it’”

Even though Kim lay motionless as hundreds of thousands of North Koreans filed past him, laying crudely wrapped birthday presents in front of the glass box as they passed, His people said they took great comfort in knowing the Dear Leader is close by.

“I could tell the Great Leader was thinking about me as I placed a festively wrapped package of my last pack of cigarettes by his feet,” steel worker Xi Hun-Don said. “I would yank out my own eyeballs with an ax should the Dear Leader deem my cigarettes worthy enough to smoke. That would be a birthday present to me

North Korea expert Professor Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor of international relations, says Kim died of diabetes in 2003 and has been substituted by up to four body doubles ever since.

Driven by a fear of assassination, Kim allegedly trained his doppelgangers — one of whom underwent plastic surgery — to attend public appearances.

“Scholars don’t trust my reasoning but intelligence people see the possibility that it will turn out to be accurate,” Fox News reported Professor Shigemura as saying.

“I have identified and pinned down every source.”

Kim, 66, has not appeared in public for three weeks amid rumours he is seriously unwell and look Kim in 2004

While Seoul intelligence officials have said they believe he has diabetes and heart problems, they do not think he is near death.

But Professor Shigemura, from Tokyo’s respected Waseda University, believes that Kim actually died sometime during a 42-day absence from public in September 2003.

He claims that whenever anyone is granted a face-to-face meeting with today’s Kim, a senior official is always by his side “like a puppet master”.

Professor Shigemura’s claims, outlined in his book The True Character of Kim Jong-il, have been disputed by North Korean officials.

November 10 2008

Pyongyang, North Korea – With reports of a severe illness having debilitated the North Korean leader, the spin machine in the isolated nation has been working in overdrive. From constant denials to apparently doctored photographs, the government has been doing everything it can to show the world that the ‘Dear Leader’ is alive and well. Now, Kim has appeared on national television to prove he is alive and well, and made a shocking change in the political and social climate of the entire jong-il hip hop master

“We have long been an isolated country, we have long been at odds with our neighbours and the rest of the world but that all changes today,” said Kim in a speech. “I have taken time in isolation and come to the conclusion that the best way for the Korean people to move forward is through music. North Korea will eschew communism and become a hip-hop nation effective immediately. Bling will be issued to every resident starting tomorrow.”

While few details have been released on how the new government will be organized, one immediate change will be the national anthem. Replacing the decades old anthem will be Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Looking for the Perfect Beat’ (here) and will play in all government offices and schools starting Monday. A redesign of the flag is also on tap, as well as a top down renovation of the schooling system.

“Children will be taught the way of Hip-Hop. Not only the grand history, but also the culture,” continued Kim. “Children must be taught the path, and through the path they will find freedom. It will take a nation of millions to hold us back from our destiny.”

Kim, long an admirer of western culture, has been rumoured to be a lifelong hip-hop fan which in part stemmed from his love of Basketball. In 2000 Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright presented the leader with a basketball signed by Michael Jordan at the conclusion of a summit between the US and North Korea. He also reportedly uses pure silver chopsticks and has a massive fleet of Mercedes Benz S500’s at his disposal, putting him in line with the upper end of American hip-hop culture.

“From what I’ve heard he’s an old school guy. Grandmaster Flash, Bambaataa, Fab Five Freddy, those kinds of guys, apparently though he’s always got Wu-Tang Clan playing on his iPod. Supposedly his guilty pleasure is Lil Wayne and he shuts it off every time someone walks into the room,” said Scrape TV North Korean analyst Lee Joo-Chan. “That’s great and all but I don’t see how you can translate your hobby and musical taste into a political system. George Bush made a diligent effort in turning the US into a nation of country bumpkins but failed. It’s an interesting experiment but one that may be doomed to failure.”

Many are looking to Kim to implement the changes much like his father, Kim Il-sung, did when the North was driven into communism. While the younger Kim has been looked at as more of an eccentric rather than formidable leader, some believe that he may still have some of the drive and smarts that his father had.wu tang north korea logo

“He is a little funny in the head, everyone knows that, but he’s got the same blood coursing through his veins and that may serve him well in the transition,” continued Lee. “But we need to see details. In a nation where millions of people are starving do they really need to be putting money into breakdancing lessons? Military service or turntable lessons? I don’t see how hip-hop culture lends itself to Socialism so it’s going to be a hard time getting people to see their country in a new way. More power to him, but it’s going to be tough. Word.”

September 9 2008

Pyongyang, North Korea –Rumours are abound that Kim Jong-il, notorious dictator of South Korea has either died, fallen severely ill, or even passed away years ago and has been replaced by lookalikes ever since. His failure to appear at ceremonies marking the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of North Korea has caused even more of a stir in the intelligence community.

kim jong-il smilingTalk that Kim had died many years ago started to surface in August after an article published in the Japanese newspaper Shukan Gendai. Circumstantial evidence seemed to back up the claim, though no hard evidence was presented. The latest talk of a possible stroke would seem to put a damper on the theory, but would likely result in the same outcome.

“If Kim did in fact die five years ago and was replaced by lookalikes, it would hardly be surprising,” said Scrape TV North Korean analyst Lee Joo-Chan. “If that is untrue and he has just recently become ill or died, it’s likely the regime would implement this procedure in order to cover it up. Whether the original story spawned the idea or vice-versa is an intellectual debate. I have little doubt that they would cover up his death whenever it happens. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s around in one form or another for many years to come.”

North Korea is of course extremely closed and isolated from the rest of the world, so uncovering reliable information concerning any goings-on in the country is extremely difficult. That process is even more complicated when it comes to information about the “Dear Leader” whose face is plastered across the country and is revered in some ways close to a God.   

“Kim is more than a leader, he has positioned himself as the life blood of the people and it would be incumbent on the government to maintain his existence whether it was fact or not. Kim has thrived on misinformation for many years and this would be no different,” continued Lee. “I think the more interesting talk would be how many people in the country could emulate him. The bouffant hairdo is hard to come by these days and even in North Korea I can’t imagine a whole lot of people lining up to double for a pudgy delusional midget. Of course they may not have a choice.”kim jong-il puppet

The other option of course would be using stock footage of the dictator for public appearances and limit meetings with foreign dignitaries. There is at least one instance of footage being used in place of a live appearance, wherein footage from the movie ‘Team America: World Police’ was accidently broadcast across the country. That film features a literal puppet of Kim. The footage was quickly pulled and seems to have had no ill effects on the leader’s reputation.

“Kim is a very unique person to say the least, and I think it would be very difficult to replace him,” concluded Lee. “Of course with the way North Korea is run, fooling the people wouldn’t be an issue. I hope the South Park guys kept their puppets, they may come in handy again.”   

Neither Matt Stone, Trey Parker, nor the North Korean government had any comment


DPRK border guard shoots 3 Chinese

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

UPDATE 2: According to the Daily NK:

The recent shooting of four Chinese smugglers on the border between North Korea and China by a North Korean border guard was due to a quarrel between the Chinese smugglers and North Korean border guards about an antiques smuggling ring, according to a local trader.

The North Korean border guard shot the four smugglers on June 4th; three were killed and one was wounded. Afterwards, the North Korean authorities apparently issued an apology for the accident to the Dandong municipal government and paid compensation to the victims’ families.

The trader, Kim, who lives in Dandong, reported the details of the shooting accident to The Daily NK earlier this week. The spot where the accident happened was on a boat around Hwanggeumpyeong on Shin Island at the mouth of the Yalu River, he explained, where the facilities of the Shinuiju Shoe Factory are located.

According to Kim, although it was reported in some quarters that the North Korean border guard did not know who was on the boat and fired at it in the dark, in fact, both sides already had close relations.

They were well acquainted with each other thanks to smuggling, Kim said; the North Korean guard had apparently passed several antiques which he had obtained in the North to the Chinese smugglers. However, the Chinese smugglers did not pay for them and severed contacts with him.

The antiques the North Korean guard had procured included rare pieces of white Chosun dynasty china, he said.

After the Chinese smugglers disappeared, the guard tried to find them for a while, but then encountered them by chance while on his patrols.

The guard chased and eventually caught them, then they argued, but the smugglers refused to pay money for the antiques, claiming they were all imitations.

After a while, the smugglers said they would give other goods of equivalent value instead of money and then tried to leave, at which point the guard apparently shot them.

Kim also reported the details of the North’s official response. After the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement heavily critical of the shooting, the North sent a delegate to Dandong on the 15th to apologize, he explained.

In a meeting with Dandong governmental officials, the North’s delegate reportedly said it happened accidentally, and expressed the North’s sincere apologies for the accident.

The delegate apparently added that the North would restrict shooting towards the Chinese side and suggested that both sides should strengthen their mutual regulations on smuggling. He also paid $3,000 for each death as per the stipulations of a treaty between the two countries.

Kim said, “I thought the compensation was too low, so I asked once again, but their answer was that it is stipulated by the treaty.”

He added, “They promised the Chinese side that the border guard who shot the Chinese would be severely punished on suspicion of smuggling antiques and killing citizens of an allied country.”

UPDATE 1:  According to Reuters:

The isolated North made the effort to soothe China, its sole major economic and political supporter, after North Korean border guards last week shot at the Chinese nationals crossing the river border near the northeast Chinese city of Dandong.

Three were killed and a fourth was wounded.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said both countries were now “further investigating and handling the case”. He provided no other details.

On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry made a rare public complaint about its neighbor and now North Korea appears to be seeking to placate Beijing.

North Korean border authorities said an initial investigation showed the incident was an “accident”, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.

“The North Korean side expressed its grief over the Chinese deaths, and offered condolences to the families of the dead and to the injured, and will severely punish the perpetrators,” said the report.

“The North Korean border security authorities will further investigate this incident and prevent such incidents from recurring.”

ORIGINAL POST: According to the Associated Press:

A North Korean border guard shot and killed three Chinese citizens and wounded a fourth on the countries’ border last week, China said Tuesday after lodging a formal diplomatic protest.

The guard shot the four residents of the northeastern border town of Dandong last Friday, apparently on suspicion they were crossing the border for illegal trade, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

“On the morning of June 4, some residents of Dandong, in Liaoning province, were shot by a DPRK border guard on suspicion of crossing the border for trade activities, leaving three dead and one injured,” he said at a regularly scheduled news conference. He used the acronym for North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“China attaches great importance to that and has immediately raised a solemn representation with the DPRK. Now the case is under investigation,” he said.

Dandong is a major shipping point and rail link for goods going into and out of North Korea from China.

Qin did not give any further information. There have been some reports in South Korean media on the incident, though North Korea has not acknowledged the shootings.

And how did the South Koreans react?  According to the Los Angeles Times:

The irony of China’s protest over last week’s shooting was not lost on South Korea.

“This time it is their citizens who are killed, and they show they are not so naive after all about North Korea,” said Kim Tae Jin, a North Korean defector and human rights activist in Seoul. However, he applauded China’s protest of the shooting. China needs to show North Korean leader Kim Jong Il “that he can’t get away with whatever he wants,” Kim said.

China’s public protest is unusual in that relations between China and North Korea are normally shrouded in secrecy, to be discussed only in the politburos of the longtime communist allies.

“It is rare for China to publicly complain. Usually there is a private apology or money paid,” said Kim Heung Gwang, a former North Korean college professor and head of Seoul-based North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity.

The stretch of the Yalu just south of Dandong is frequently trafficked by smugglers, some of them bringing North Korean-made drugs into China or banned Chinese products, such as DVDs or cellphones, into North Korea.

The North Korean government is especially strict about the export of copper, which has been looted from factories, electrical and telecommunications facilities by Northerners desperate for money. But the North’s border guards do not normally shoot to kill — at least not when the smugglers are Chinese.

“Only their own people,” said Kim.

Read the full stories here:
China says NKorean border guard killed 3 Chinese
Associated Press
Tini Tran

China makes rare public protest against North Korea over killing of 3
Los Angeles Times
Barbara Demick

North Korea seeks to soothe China over border shootings


College Students Turn to Middlemen in Pyongyang

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Daily NK
Yoon Il Geun

An inside source told the Daily NK recently that about 20 to 30% of business agents in Pyongyang are university students.

Since the late 90s, college students started working as agents between artifacts buyers and sellers.

Pyongyang middlemen usually connect local merchants in border area and retailers in Pyongyang. Besides trading foreign goods, they also took part in artifact business around Kaesung, which was the capital of Koryo dynasty from 10th century to late 14th, and thus full of ancient artifacts.

College students lack funds, so their only way to earn money is to be agent.

The insider said “Pyongyang’s college students are the smartest and known for their business skills. Among them, students from Kim Chaek University of Technology are best. It is reasonable to assume at least two out of ten students have become working as trading agents since the March of Tribulation in 1990s.”

“Students are perceived as trustworthy because they are from middle class families. And those who are from local provinces and studying in Pyongyang have advantages.”

Most of these business-practicing students are former army veterans, especially those who are interested in earning money rather than studying. A few poor students who have not enlisted do business.

According to the source, these students rarely attend classes and bribe school college administrators in order to graduate. During “farming supporting period” every spring and autumn (every college student is mandatory to work at farms twice a year), business-students are exempt while buying food for those who participate.

A defector from Pyongyang said “There is little to learn at universities and society is changed to capitalist, so there is no shame for doing business among college students. The other reason might be influx of army veterans into colleges.”


Drain of Antiques from Chosun Central Historical Museum

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Daily NK
Kim Min Se

Recently, a report was issued that Pyongyang’s Chosun Central Historical Museum made a request to a Japanese broadcaster to buy a rare cultural artifact, a bamboo chest with an engraved drawing for $700,000, causing a shock to the domestic historical world.

On June 10th, Japan’s TBS broadcasted a program called, “Special Report – Why was it sold? North Korea’s Historical Treasure,” but its contents were divulged belatedly, so was reported domestically only recently.

The program contained in detail TBS’ freelancer cameraman Gatanoda’s visit to North Korea and his direct exchange of cultural assets with a person who asserted himself as the “Chosun Central Historical Museum’s Vice-Curator.”

The North Korean government’s officials’ chronic corruption and drain of nationally propagated cultural assets due to careless maintenance of the state is well-known. However, the spread of news of the Central Historical Museum’s Vice-Curator directly stepping forward like this time and attempting sales with a foreigner is at its first.

Due to this event, the shock received by South Korean experts on history has been huge. When this event was reported on the 31st of September, domestic cultural experts said, “If they are going to insist on selling to foreigners, they should make a long-term loan to our National Central Museum and receive rental fees instead.”

“There is the possibility of selling fakes.”

However, criticisms on whether such occurrences are actually possible are not negligible. In particular, most of the “bridgeheads” for the outflow of North Korean cultural assets, businessmen in Dandong, China cannot be trusted. In Dandong, 100~150 curio dealers have formed large-sized businesses and are selling North Korean cultural assets to South Korean dealers.

In Dandong, Chae Jung In (pseudonym), who has been selling North Korean cultural assets for 10 years, in a recent phone conversation with DailyNK, retorted, “Think about this how they dare sell the national assets from the Museum?”

He said, “If North Korea is in a dire situation as in the late 90s, I can understand, but there is no way that it is secretly dealing cultural assets with foreigners. Those who know the North Korean situation well will never believe that, considering people can be put to death for secret sales if the treasures are rare.”

He carefully proposed the possibility that the bamboo chest reported this time is a fake, “In the late 90s, I did hear that there were cases of the North Korean museum out flowing fake cultural assets.”

Also, another curio dealer, Lee Myung Hee, said, “A year ago, the North Korean museum, introduced a Japanese person after receiving the request to sell a saber used by the Japanese Lord of the Heaven, but it was revealed as a fake, so they lost face.”

Mr. Lee hinted the possibility of “frauds,” saying, “The tendency of the North Korean people, when conducting such business, is not to directly deal with South Korean or Japanese people.” The reason for this is that, “They can be mistaken for South Korean spies and can be executed.”

Ms. Lee is a veteran who has been selling North Korean cultural assets since the beginning of the 90s. At one time, she entered Kaesung with Chinese identity in order to acquire highly-treasured antiques, but was arrested under the charge of espionage, stayed in a North Korean prison for a year, and came out as a “living witness of North Korean cultural asset drainage.”

One treasure that the North Korean Central Historical Museum surreptitiously tried to sell is a 3rd-century bamboo chest unearthed in Pyongyang by the North Korean Historical Remains Research Committee in 1931 and Japan’s TBS reported at the time that it was a valuable relic deemed as a “top-class world asset.”


If Have a Gift for Kim Jong Il, Safe Passage through the North Korean Customs

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Daily NK
Kim Min Se

The news of one Chinese trader resolving all issues with the “certification of gifts,” while passing through a high-level North Korean customs’ confiscation of goods and demand of open bribes, has received recent spotlight.

In the latter half of the 90s, a businessman who has been exporting and importing North Korean cultural and daily necessities while coming and going from North Korea met a reporter on the 30th in Dandong and relayed this anecdote, “I have returned to China after having received “honored” treatment from all customs officials under the Shinuiju customs director. That is the first time I received such treatment in the 10 years I have been conducting the trade business.”

The story of the businessman has also apparently become noteworthy news in the Dandong customs office in China.

The businessman is supposed to have earned huge gains by handling North Korean porcelain since the latter half of the 90s. Thus, for long-term gains, he supported the arts and culture projects for the idolization of the Kim father and son in North Korea under his company’s name.

Subsequently, a North Korean writers’ company recently invited him and showed him several sights in North Korea and relayed a gift (edibles) under Kim Jong Il’s name afterwards.

The businessman, after eating the goods he received as gifts in the hotel he was staying in at the time, left with the “certification of gift” in his bag as his souvenir.

He said, “At the time, in Chosun (North Korea), I acquired quite a bit of North Korean silk for gift-giving to close acquaintances, such porcelain and paintings of famous artists. However, the cargo was heavier than expected, almost one carload (2.5 tons trucks). From Pyongyang to Shinuiju, I arrived without much mishap because transportation was provided, but passing through customs was not an easy feat.”

“The North Korean customs unpackaged all goods, so they started going through my stuff as soon as I arrived. Also, they started going through the bag I was carrying and the eyes of the inspector became fixed as the goods were taken out one by one. He had seen the “gift certification” inside a red case.”

Further, he added, “The customs officer verified the name of the certification and my passport and quickly went into an office with the ‘certification.’ Shortly after, the customs director came out and ushered me into a reception area and asked about the context for my receipt of the gift.”

At the time, the customs director had said, “You are a distinguished person who has done a huge work for our country. We did not recognize that. Please let us know if there is anything you are uncomfortable with. Whatever it is, we will help you.”

Then, he is supposed to have ordered the lower level officers, “Using the customs car, make sure that this person’s luggage arrives safely in China without any damage.”

He said that a single piece of Kim Jong Il’s “gift certification” carrying so much weight was beyond the expectations of not only himself but the Chinese customs personnel.

Another related source of the Dandong customs office said, “We were surprised that a single piece of the “gift certification” could wield such power. This event became a famous anecdote within the Dandong customs office.”

Monday, July 9th, 2007


Using numerous maps, articles, and interviews I have mapped out North Korea by “industry” (or topic) on Google Earth. This is the most authoritative map of North Korea that exists publicly today.

Agriculture, aviation, cultural, manufacturing, railroad, energy, politics, sports, military, religion, leisure, national parks…they are all here, and will captivate anyone interested in North Korea for hours.

Naturally, I cannot vouch for the authenticity of many locations since I have not seen or been to them, but great efforts have been made to check for authenticity. In many cases, I have posted sources, though not for all. This is a thorough compilation of lots of material, but I will leave it up to the reader to make up their own minds on the more “controversial” locations. In time, I hope to expand this further by adding canal and road networks.

I hope this post will launch a new interest in North Korea. There is still plenty more to learn, and I look forward to hearing about improvements that can be made.


Golden Buddha Stolen From Haeju Museum, North Korea

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Daily NK
Kwon Jeong Hyun

National Safety Agency rounds up an arrest

On the 11th, robbers raided the Haeju Historical Museum in Haejoo, North Hwanghae, stealing golden statues of Buddha and ancient Korean pottery worth a large amount, an inside source disclosed.

The source said, “On the night of 11th, golden statues of Buddha and ancient Korean pottery were stolen from Haeju Museum. The exact identity of which Buddha statues and rare artifacts were stolen has not been revealed, however, it appears the goods were rather important considering a special order was given to the border guards and the National Safety Agency has become involved.”

Haeju Historical Museum opened in 1949 and has maintained its heritage for 60 years. The museum displays a collection of ancient Korean pottery from the area and a variety of golden Buddha statues. This museum falls under the same category as the top 5 museums located in North Korea including the Central Historical Museum in Pyongyang and Kaesong Museum, Sariwon Museum and Chongjin Museum.

“If the thief escaped Hwanghae on the day of the raid, then he will be difficult to catch. However, if that is not the case, there is a high chance that the thief will be caught within the next couple of days,” said the source.

He said, “An order has already been made to strictly control the smuggling routes around the border of Shinuiju.” He added, “Stealing historical artifacts and exporting them out of the country is a crime punished with death.”

Following the food crisis in the 90s and early 2000, there were many cases where military officials, security agents and the elite frequently stole historical artifacts. The whole city was affected especially if there were many people living in the area who had inherited historical artifacts from ancestors.

However, for the past 3~4 years, there was a decrease in stolen articles as the number of ancient artifacts had been depleted and furthermore because authorities immediately punished those who stole and sold the goods overseas with capital punishment.

However, as this case shows, stealing a number of articles from museums has continued. In particular, imitations of artifacts have been sold outside the country, and North Korean authorities are facing complaints from foreign buyers. Consequently, there have been cases where affiliated persons have also been executed.

A defector who has experience in selling antiques said, “In 1993, a picture of a Great Monk Seosan was sold in Hong Kong but then returned to North Korea after it was discovered to be a fake. Parties concerned were punished.”

He said, “Precious artifacts are either sent to Pyongyang to be exhibited at the Central Historical Museum or stored separately. A curator affiliated to Mansudae Art Institution then makes a copy and sends it to either the country or, in most cases, puts it on display in Pyongyang.”

He said, “Even if the Japanese buy $10,000 worth of Nihontou (Japanese swords) with the carved seal of a Japanese Emperor, there are still many people who want to possess artifacts from the Chosun Revolutionary Museum. Even I went around until my feet were worn out carrying antiques to make money. However, most of these goods were imitations copied by Mansudae Art Institution.”

Last year, there was one case where a group of 22 people were caught stealing tombstones off royal tombs. Though it is difficult to transport these tombstones, since they weigh a minimum of 500kg and as much as 2-3tons, once they are secretly transported to China, the tombstones sell at a very high price.

The moment North Korean authorities discovered the case, Chinese authorities were contacted and a cooperative investigation begun. The tombstones were redeemed from a storage area in Dandung. At the time, the Chinese dealers were given a heavy fine and the organizer of the North Korean exports, a national security agent, was known to have committed suicide.


Digging up the Past

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Korea Times
Andrei Lankov

Since the mid-1990s antique dealers in Seoul have uncovered a new source of quality items: North Korea. Indeed, around that time, antiques secretly excavated in North Korea began to arrive in Seoul in ever increasing quantities.

By the late 1980s, the antique trade in South Korea was going through hard times. Most of the important sources had been used up, and the state had established a fairly efficient control over excavations. Supply was shrinking, and prices kept growing. This was just when the antique items from North Korea hit the market.

This was a result of three important transformations. First, the famine and near collapse of the state bureaucracy in the North meant that many people were ready to do whatever it took to earn some money, and that officials, if given sufficient bribes, would not interfere much, if at all.

Second, the same combination of corruption and collapsing border controls essentially opened the Chinese border with North Korea.

Third, the adjacent areas of China became popular with Korean tourists who frequented the areas, and were on occasion ready to do some small and profitable, if illegal, business.

The major attractions are the Goryeo-era tombs which have been intensively excavated in the last decade (the major centers of the Goryeo Kingdom were located in what is now North Korea). These illegal diggings produced a flood of Goryeo items on the Seoul antique markets. Actually, the amount of antiques that have appeared makes archaeologists wonder about the scale of damage inflicted on the Goryeo sites in recent years. If rumors are to be believed, tomb raiding usually involves North Korean officials, people whose job would be to protect the historical site.

Apart from Goryeo “grave goods,’’ smuggled items include Buddhist images of all kinds, old books, furniture and stoneware. Some of these items originate from the Unified Silla Kingdom (7-10th century) while others are relatively new and can be dated to the early 20th century.

In most cases, the items are “mined’’ on the spot, but there have been a number of confirmed or nearly confirmed instances of books and other works which clearly have been stolen from museums and libraries in the North.

Then the items are transported to the border and smuggled into China. This might require bribing customs and immigration officials, but for a few hundred dollars one can purchase an uncontrolled passage (and, as a merchant told a South Korean journalist in an interview, well-paid custom officials can even help to move heavier items across the border).

The border city of Dandong plays the role of the major illegal market for the smuggled North Korean antique items. In China, some antiques go to the local buyers, but far more frequently the items are smuggled again, this time to Seoul, to appear in the antique shops in the Korean capital.

Some items are bought by rich collectors, while others end up in private museums. However, the Kookmin Ilbo journalists, who investigated the trade in 2005, discovered that museums are very secretive about such acquisitions, being uneasy about the legal implications of provenance, and the likely influence on relations between the two Koreas.

A major role in the business networks is done by two ethnic groups: the Joseonjok, or ethnic Koreans in China, and the hwagyo (huaqiao), the ethnic Chinese in Korea. Members of both groups have ample opportunities for legal cross-border travel, have money and connections, and are fluent in both languages.

They transport the booty, and also provide the North Korean diggers (not exactly experts in Goryeo celadon or early Joseon books) with instructions regarding the most preferable items at any given moment.

This is a risky business, and in the late 1990s the North Korean authorities attempted a number of crackdowns, with few high-level officials arrested for involvement in antique smuggling. However, people take risks.

A good piece of Goryeo-era ware would easily sell for tens of thousands of dollars in Seoul. Only a fraction of this money will go to the grave robbers, of course, with intermediaries and bribe-taking officials along the route pocketing the lion’s share of the profit.

Still, we can presume that a good piece would bring a successful digger a few hundred dollars. In a country where the average salary has fluctuated between one and five dollars a month, this is still a fortune, even for a minor official, and the more high-ranking policemen and security guys are making good living out of this.

It is somewhat difficult to judge these people too harshly, especially those who are driven to tomb raiding by the real threat of starvation, but there is no doubt that extensive and chaotic diggings are wiping out an important historical heritage. When archeologists arrive at the sites, sooner or later as they will, they will have to deal with the havoc produced by the illegal diggers, and many important traces of the past will be lost forever.

In tandem with the antiques, the forgery industry has also developed, with North Korean artisans learning the techniques used by South Korean experts. They know how to make a vase of a bottle from a few small pieces, how to imitate the old patterns on the ceramics, as well as many other tricks of an experienced forger. It seems that the North Korean forgers enjoy some competitive advantages over their South Korean colleagues. At any rate, the boom is not yet over.


N Korea makes World Heritage List

Thursday, July 1st, 2004


A complex of ancient tombs across North Korea and China has been recognised by the UN’s World Heritage List.

Two sites from the Koguryo dynasty – one in each country – are recognised for their special cultural value. It is North Korea’s first entry on the list.

The UN’s cultural body, Unesco, says it is trying to balance the bias towards Western sites on the list so far.

Forty-eight sites are being considered for the list by the World Heritage Committee at a meeting in China.

Political agenda

The annual meeting, where the sites are being discussed, is taking place Suzhou and will last until 7 July.

An official said the final choice should be limited to 30, but political considerations may mean it exceeds that


DPRK employment at Kaesong continues to grow

According to the Daily NK:

According to records released today by the Ministry of Unification, there were a total of 48,242 workers in the Kaesong Industrial Complex at the end of September, up from 6013 when the project was launched in 2005.

Following the recent resumption of construction at the complex, the number of workers is now expected to grow further.

Revealing the data, an official with the Ministry of Unification commented, “Labor has been provided sufficient for Kaesong Complex enterprises to overcome labor shortages. If conditions get better allowing workers from further away to get employed, it looks like numbers will increase even more.”

The more than 48,000 North Korean workers in the Kaesong Complex bring in $50 million annually for the North Korean government.

As word of the good working environment that the Kaesong Industrial Complex offers spreads, the area is reportedly attracting internal migrants.

“The good reputation of Kaesong among workers has spread to Shinuiji, so they are moving to the area. But accommodation problems have to be solved before any can be hired,” the official explained.

The educational backgrounds of the workers include 81.8% with a high school diploma, 9.5% college graduates and 8.7% from professional schools.

Their base pay plus bonuses and incentives add up to roughly $100 dollars per person, though much of this is lost in payments to the North Korean state.

Here and here are recent post on road construction in Kaesong.

Here are previous posts on the Kaesong Industrial Zone.

Read the full story here:
Kaesong Still Growing
Daily NK
Kim Yong Hun


Posted in Kaesong industrial park, Labor conditions/wages, Special administrative regions | 0 Comments

DPRK in 2012 fundraising spree

Monday, October 31st, 2011

According to the Daily NK:

North Korea is pushing every angle to try and obtain more foreign currency to bolster its coughers and fund its 2012 festivities.

According to North Korean sources, apart from the standard blanket expropriation of a large proportion of the $200-1500 per month incomes of laborers based abroad, in recent times the authorities have also started to move in on the reserves of ordinary citizens inside North Korea’s borders.

Various enterprises and organizations are said to be in fierce competition to get hold of whatever foreign currency and gold is held by the people. Trade banks have also apparently responded to the situation by offering to exchange foreign currency at the black market rate of 2,800 won per U.S. dollar, instead of the laughable official exchange rate.

Elsewhere, mobile phone sales are helping the regime to dredge currency from the people. The North Korean Ministry of Communications is reportedly making impressive profits by monopolizing the importation of phones made by Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei, buying them for $80 per handset and reselling them for $300. Based on known prices, connection fees and a service take-up of 700,000 people so far, the authorities have presumably managed to earn $250m through this practice alone.

Overseas Koreans also say they are being pushed to add to the funding drive. Ethnic Koreans in the United States have claimed that North Korea has offered them the chance to reunite with long lost family members in the North for a cost of several thousand dollars per person, including brokerage and security fees, although this has been apparently going on for a number of years.

Over in Japan, meanwhile, it was also revealed by weekly publication AERA that North Korea has sent letters to elderly members of the Chongryon inviting them to return to North Korea with the promise of being able to live well on their pensions. It is suspected that the North hopes to be able to withhold news of their eventual passing so as to keep receiving the pensions in the medium term.

Finally, the workers and businesses at the Kaeseong Industrial Complex have also become a target of the fund raising drive. North Korean management in the Complex requested back in August that South Korean businesses stop offering ‘Choco-pies’ (a South Korean snack) to North Korean workers and give them cash instead.

However, the overall results are unlikely to be positive. The planned illusion of plenty may be briefly achieved next year, but the majority of experts agree that the North Korean regime is now distorting the economy more and more by focusing on events idolizing the Kim family at the expense of other issues that will inevitably come back to haunt the regime later.


On the DPRK and Libya in 2011

Pictured above: (L) Kim Il-Sung and Muammar Gaddafi attend a Mass Games performance in Kim Il-Sung Stadium, (R) Muammar Gaddafi gives an award to Kim Il-Sung

Pictured above (Google Earth): DPRK-Libya Friendship Farm at Jangchon-dong (장천동: 38.987331°, 125.842014°).  More background here.

UPDATE 26 (2011-10-26): Yonhap offers more details on the North Koreans who remain in Libya:

North Korea has banned its citizens in Libya from returning home in an apparent attempt to prevent the popular uprisings in the Arab world from reaching the isolated regime, a source said Wednesday.

About 200 North Koreans have been left in limbo in the war-torn country as Pyongyang ordered them not to return home, the source familiar with the issue said.

The North Korean doctors, nurses and construction workers were sent to the African nation to earn hard currency for their impoverished communist country.

North Korea has also taken similar steps for its officials in Libya, Egypt and other countries, said the source.

UPDATE 5 (2011-8-30): According to the Korea Times:

North Korea has not yet officially recognized the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) in Libya as the North African nation’s legitimate governing authority, said an official at the North Korean Embassy in Tripoli, Monday.

Asked whether Pyongyang has granted recognition to Libya’s NTC, the official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency, “Not yet … (we’ll have to) wait and see.” The official, who wished to remain unidentified, was speaking to reporters at the North Korean Embassy in Tripoli.

The official also confirmed reports that some 200 North Koreans are currently working in Libya as doctors, nurses and construction workers. With regard to their safety, the official said some have returned home, although others have not been able to leave due to difficulties in transit.

“We will deal with them depending on the circumstances,” the official was quoted as saying.

The North Korean Embassy building has not been looted or damaged in the six-month-long conflict, the official added. In the past week, the South Korean Embassy building and ambassador’s residence in Tripoli were attacked by armed robbers, although no one was hurt in either incident.

Pyongyang has yet to send a new ambassador to Tripoli, after the previous envoy returned to North Korea upon completing his term, the official said.

Between the two Koreas, Pyongyang was the first to establish diplomatic relations with Tripoli in 1974.

“We hope for peace and stability (in Libya),” the official said, adding that future relations between the nations will depend on the North African nation’s stability.

Some 50 to 60 countries, including South Korea, have recognized the NTC since its formation by rebel forces against the regime of Moammar Gadhafi in February.

UPDATE 4 (2011-5-16): According to the Daily NK, NATO denies hitting the embassy:

“It has been alleged that NATO attacked the embassy; this is simply not true,” NATO said in a statement released on Friday, “While we are aware of media reports that there was damage to the North Korean embassy, we have no knowledge of possible collateral damage.”

The statement came following one released Thursday by the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stating North Korean claims that it had incurred damage as a result of a “barbaric, indiscriminate air raid” by NATO.

It described how a bomb exploded in the vicinity of the embassy during the night of May 9th, releasing shrapnel that penetrated the ceiling of the building and broke car windows.

While NATO conceded that it was targeting a bunker in central Tripoli that night, it said that “the embassy was located some 500 meters from the target we struck.”

“Our strikes are precise and while the possibility of collateral damage will always exist, we go to great lengths to reduce such possibilities,” it went on.

Earlier, Libya national television also reported that the North Korean embassy in Tripoli had been damaged during an air raid.

UPDATE 3 (2011-5-12): Libya and China’s Xinhua are reporting that NATO damaged the DPRK embassy in Tripoli. KCNA has not said anything as of now.  According to Xinhua:

Libya’s state television said on Thursday a NATO air strike damaged the DPRK embassy in the capital Tripoli without giving more details.

Earlier reports indicated that the staff of the embassy has been unable to return home during the uprising.

Here is video footage of the embassy.

UPDATE 2 (2011-5-8): North Korea exported nuclear materials to Libya (Korea Herald and VOA):

The nuclear materials found in Libya in 2004 were highly likely to have been produced by North Korea, U.S.-funded broadcaster Voice of America said Saturday, citing an interview with a former senior official of the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

In the interview, Olli Heinonen, the former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said uranium hexafluoride, or UF6 ― used in uranium enrichment in Libya ― was very likely to have been made by the communist state.

Heinonen made the allegations based on North Korea’s purchase of parts to develop nuclear capabilities, information provided by Pakistan and other pieces of evidence.

To the question of whether there is any connection between the North and Syria with regard to nuclear technology developments, he said that that should be further investigated. He added that a nuclear reactor in Syria, which Israel destroyed, was very similar to North Korean reactors, indicating the possible connection between the two states.

The former deputy director general also said there was a good chance that North Korea has uranium enrichment facilities in areas other than the Yongbyon nuclear complex, stressing that IAEA inspectors should visit those facilities, provided they are allowed to do so.

Touching on the possibility of the North abandoning its nuclear programs, Heinonen said that the North could renounce them if the abandonment would lead to its economic development and security assurance.

The six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the North have been suspended since 2008. China, the host of the multilateral talks, has been seeking to establish a mood for the dialogue while the South is apparently reluctant to see the resumption of the talks immediately as inter-Korean issues, including two deadly attacks last year, have yet to be addressed.

UPDATE 1 (2011-4-10): The DPRK has apparently ordered many of its citizens to remain in Libya and other Arab nations.  According to Yonhap:

North Korea has ordered its people in Libya not to return home, apparently out of fear that they will spread news of the anti-government uprisings in the African nation, a source said Sunday.

In a letter sent to the North Korean embassy in Libya, Pyongyang ordered its people to “follow the measures of the Libyan government” and not return home, said the source familiar with North Korea affairs.

The move sharply contrasts with other countries’ efforts to evacuate their people from strife-torn Libya and demonstrates the Pyongyang regime’s fear of possible revolts triggered by the African nation’s pro-democracy protests of the past few months, according to the source.

More than 200 North Koreans are believed to be living in Libya to earn foreign cash while working as doctors, nurses and construction workers.

Between the two Koreas, Pyongyang was first to establish diplomatic relations with Tripoli in 1974, followed by a cooperation pact signed by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi during his visit to the North in 1982.

North Koreans in Middle Eastern nations such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates also appear unlikely to be able to return home while anti-government protests continue in the region.

Sources say the North Korean government in recent months has tightened control over the flow of information by strictly monitoring the use of computers, mobile phones, USB memory sticks and other IT equipment.

ORIGINAL POST (2011-3-29): Andrei Lankov writes in the Korea Times about the effects NATO military intervention in Libya might have on the DPRK’s medium-term international relations strategies. According to his article:

Kim Jong-il right now may feel very happy about his wisdom which he demonstrated by stubbornly rejecting denuclearization proposals. Colonel Gadhafi in 2003 did exactly what Kim said he would never do ― Gadhafi agreed to swap his nuclear weapons program for better relations with the West and economic rewards. As we see, it did not help the eccentric strongman. Once his subjects rose in rebellion, the West intervened and chose its military might to assist the rebels.

In private conversations, North Korean officials often say: “Had Sadam had nukes he would still be in his palace right now.” From now on, they probably will add: “And had Gadhafi not surrendered his nukes, nobody would have intervened when he was exterminating the rebels.”

But what is the likely overall impact of such thinking on the North Korean actions? If anything, it increases the already high probability of another nuclear test and/or missile launch. The preparations for such undertakings have been underway for some time. Now, North Korean leaders might believe that this is a good time to show off their steadily growing nuclear and missile capabilities. This is a way to send a message to the Obama administration, and the message will read like this: “Mr. President, we are dangerous and its better not to get involved with us even if we do something which is not to your or anybody’s liking”.

At the same time, it’s now less likely that North Korea will attempt a major provocation aimed at South Korea. Until recently, one could be almost certain that in the near future (in April or May, perhaps), the North would repeat what they did with frigate Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island. Now they will probably think twice before making another attack.

While the attacks on Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island are usually described as “provocations” this is essentially a misnomer. “Provocation” describes an act whose goal is to elicit an irrational and/or excessive reaction from the target of the incident. It was clearly not the case with the Cheonan or Yeonpyeong attack. The North attacked under the assumption that the South would not react in a meaningful way and would be incapable of inflicting any serious damage on assets valuable to the North Korean leadership (the lives of rank-and-file soldiers do not belong to this category).

North Koreans are aware that currently the South Korean public and government are in an unusually bellicose mood. They therefore expect a massive retaliation to follow in the event of another attack. Until recently the North Korean leadership probably anticipated that the South Korean retaliation would be limited, since neither the South nor its major ally, the United States, would do anything which might lead to an escalation of an exchange of fire on the border to a full scale war.

Therefore from Pyongyang’s point of view, another military operation made perfect sense. It would be a good way to demonstrate that North Korea is not going to be quiet when ignored. They wanted to show that for Seoul and Washington, it’s essentially cheaper to pay some protection money to Pyongyang (in the shape of aid and concessions) than to deal with the ever-present possibility of a North Korean attack and related sense of tensions and instability.

However, the recent developments in Libya might have changed the equation ― for a while, at least. Libya shows that under certain circumstances the U.S. and its major allies may indeed choose to launch a large-scale military operation. The assumption that Seoul and Washington will avoid escalation seems still to be true, but Pyongyang may have started to have grave doubts about this.

So it is quite possible that the coming spring will be quieter than the present author (and many of his colleagues) have until recently expected. This does not mean that North Korea has turned into a pacifist state, but from the vantage point of Pyongyang it makes sense to postpone their operations against the South and wait for the dust to settle. And of course, by being quiet for a while they can save resources which will be needed to better prepare the next missile launch and next nuclear test.

Though Lankov refers to North Korean officials in “private conversations,” the North Korean foreign ministry made essentially the same claim in a public statement on March 22 (KCNA):

The present Libyan crisis teaches the international community a serious lesson.

It was fully exposed before the world that “Libya’s nuclear dismantlement” much touted by the U.S. in the past turned out to be a mode of aggression whereby the latter coaxed the former with such sweet words as “guarantee of security” and “improvement of relations” to disarm itself and then swallowed it up by force.

It proved once again the truth of history that peace can be preserved only when one builds up one’s own strength as long as high-handed and arbitrary practices go on in the world.

The DPRK was quite just when it took the path of Songun and the military capacity for self-defence built up in this course serves as a very valuable deterrent for averting a war and defending peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Since then, they have published 16 stories about Libya: Demonstration Staged in Russia against US Military Operation against Libya, US Involvement in Libya Protested, AU Chairperson Rejects Military Intervention in Libya, Indiscriminate Use of Arms against Libya Assailed, Algeria Opposes Military Intervention in Libya, Military Operation in Libya Condemned in Russia , Venezuelan President Censures West’s Attack on Libya, Iranian Foreign Ministry Assails West’s Military Operation against Libya, Ugandan President Blasts West for Double Standards,  India Regrets Air Strikes on Libya, AU Demands Stop to Attack on Libya , Russian PM Brands Military Operation against Libya as Invasion, Russia Assails Military Attack on Libya , China Concerned about Libyan Crisis, Russia Opposes Military Attack on Libya , Foreign Forces’ Armed Intervention in Libya Assailed in Cuba.

In fact, there are hundreds of KCNA stories about Libya.  Check them out here (STALIN Search Engine).

The Daily NK, however, reminds us of one the the most important aspects of the DPRK-Libya relationship:

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qadhafi has been using weapons purchased from North Korea in his faltering attempt to suppress anti-government protests.

As revealed by South Korean television broadcaster SBS on the 28th, boxes containing rockets and clearly bearing the name North Korea were found in Ras Lanuf following the retreat of pro-Qadhafi forces under NATO air strikes.

The boxes were disguised as parts for bulldozers.

Elsewhere, “64 Machine gun” was found written in Korean on an anti-aircraft heavy machine gun. A similar model of machine gun has been seen many times in images released by the North Korean authorities.

Check out the article for pictures.

UPDATE: Writing at the Wall Street Journal Blog, Evan Ramstad gets a quote from Bruce Bechtol:

“It just goes to show how deeply involved in the arms market (in the Middle East and Africa) North Korea is,” said Bruce Bechtol, a former intelligence officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency in the U.S. who is now a professor at San Angelo State University.

“Their WMD [weapons of mass destruction] proliferation gets lots of attention, but folks often forget that they also engage in a plethora of conventional arms sales,” he said.

Would it be a stretch to assume that The DPRK and Libya have been trading oil for weapons?

Previous posts about the DPRK and Libya here.

This was picked up by RFA.


North Koreans working in Mongolia

Simon Ostrovsky, who produced this BBC piece on North Korean loggers in eastern Siberia, has produced a piece on North Korean workers in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator. I have posted his article in The Independent as well as a few related pieces and additional information below.

According to his article in The Independent:

Sitting astride rows of buzzing looms and distinguishable from their colleagues by the white make-up heavily applied to their faces, a few dozen North Korean women in a run-down Mongolian clothing factory are busily knitting garments to please minders from their Communist state.

They are part of a North Korean labour force tens-of-thousands strong, put in place across Asia to help the Stalinist regime meet its financial targets. And British consumers are unwittingly filling the dictatorship’s pockets through these workers, an investigation in Mongolia by The Independent and the investigative journalism project WorldView has found.

Sent in their hundreds, under an agreement between Mongolia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the North Korean workers take jobs on construction sites and in factories across this Central Asian state, where they are closely monitored by overseers from their homeland. Some of them were found to be producing goods for popular UK clothing brands such as Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM).

“They’re hard workers, they don’t complain and they get stuck in, they’re quite skilled,” said David Woods, a British textiles professional brought on as a specialist at the Eermel clothing factory in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator. North Korea has been able to transplant elements of its highly centralised state to Mongolia, where labourers keep to a tight schedule dictated by their embassy for the duration of their three-year contracts. They also have to seek permission to speak to outsiders, unlike their Mongolian co-workers.

Mr Woods showed a reporter a James Pringle-brand cashmere sweater made for EWM with a £140 price-tag already affixed, ahead of shipment to the UK, as he gave a tour of the factory. He described how its 80 female North Korean employees were housed and fed on site under a scheme managed by North Korea’s embassy, earning up to £200 per month.

Another Eermel employee told The Independent that the women’s labour fed the coffers of the North Korean regime, echoing the North Korean practice across Asia where tens of thousands of North Koreans are estimated to be employed on behalf of their government. “We are paying to Korean workers like Mongolians, the same salary,” said Bayar, Eermel’s director for exports, who like many Mongolians uses only one name. “But… we are transferring the money to the account of the [North Korean] embassy. How they split the salary, we don’t know.”

It’s a surprising move for a regime that regularly tries to keep its citizens in the dark about world events and strictly controls access to information at home. The fact that North Korea has allowed so many of its citizens to leave and glimpse the outside world reflects the severe economic situation the country has faced since the collapse of its one-time sponsor, the Soviet Union, and, more recently, international sanctions over its nuclear-weapons programme. It’s also an example of how Pyongyang has been able to adapt and continue profiting from a globalised economy while keeping most of its population at arm’s length.

In Mongolia, the practice goes back to 2004, according to leaked US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks in August. The cables, penned in 2006, describe how a representative of North Korea, who was “extremely professional in both manner and appearance”, approached a Canadian-owned gold mine to offer workers for $1.50 (90p) per day.

Another 2006 cable says: “The working and living conditions of these labourers raise the concern that they are subject to coercion, and are not free to leave their employment… the DPRK workers are monitored closely by ‘minders’ from their government, and many are believed to be subject to DPRK government pressure because of family members left behind in North Korea. The workers reportedly do not routinely receive direct and full salary.”

North Korea watchers warned that the work-abroad programmes should not be seen as a step by Pyongyang towards more openness. “As far as the regime is concerned, sending groups of people to foreign countries where they don’t speak the language and can be sequestered in barracks or factory dorms is a much safer option than granting to foreign investors in North Korea the kind of freedom and mobility they demand,” Brian Myers, a Seoul-based North Korea analyst, said.

The scheme has been hugely successful with businesses in Mongolia, which are attracted by the North Koreans’ rock-bottom labour costs and an unparalleled work ethic. One of the few countries with warm ties to the Stalinist state, Mongolia has increased its quota of North Koreans allowed to work in the country from 2,200 to 3,000 in 2011, according to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.

The workers are even more popular in Russia, where 21,000 laboured in the first quarter of 2010 alone, according to the Russian migration agency. And many more are believed to be working in China, where the statistics are not made public.

Part of that army of workers are the seamstresses at Eermel, a hulking Soviet-era cashmere factory in the Mongolian capital that produces sweaters and other cashmere garments for the EWM retail chain and a number of lesser-known UK labels including Hush, Moray and Brodie. Clothing racks in Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan and beyond are also stocked with Eermel garments, according to Mr Woods. That means international isolation has not stopped North Korea from tapping global consumer markets.

North Korea’s culture of secrecy makes it difficult to get accurate data on the workers’ contract terms. The private interests using its labour force seem to understand that continued co-operation depends on maintaining the code of silence. After a short phone call to the North Korean embassy, Eermel factory officials refused to allow The Independent to interview any of its North Korean employees.

And at the Mongolian foreign ministry, officials were tight-lipped about how much the North Koreans’ labour is worth to Pyongyang in cash transfers, preferring to focus on benefits to the individual labourers. “For the families of the individuals who work [here] that could be helpful,” State Secretary Tsogtbaatar Damdin said. But when asked if he knew what portion of their salaries the North Korean labourers were allowed to keep, he said: “If they owe some commitments to their county we would rather not intervene in that area.”

The deal could be worth over £7m annually to North Korea if the Eermel factory workers’ wages are representative of those across Mongolia. It’s no small sum when compared to North Korea’s gross national product, estimated by the CIA to equal only $40bn in 2008. EWM, for its part, confirmed that it was supplied by the Eermel factory in Mongolia and that there were North Koreans among the workforce there, but said it was told by the factory that the North Koreans’ wages were paid directly to the workers, not the North Korean government.

The Scottish company quoted Eermel as telling it: “We do not pay any commission to the North Korean government, any North Korean Agency or anyone else. We pay the workers directly.” That stands in stark contrast to what The Independent was told by factory officials in Mongolia. But even though their contract terms are secret and are likely in violation of a raft of international agreements on workers’ rights, the practice has its supporters among North Korea watchers. They believe North Koreans working abroad will share their experiences of the outside world when they return home, perhaps in the long run leading to social and political change within the country.

“It’s every North Korean worker’s dream to be selected [to work abroad],” Andrei Lankov, a professor of Korean studies at Kookmin University in Seoul, said. “They cannot make even remotely as much inside North Korea. And on top of that, they are coming back and they bring knowledge about the outside world. They are closely supervised and they have to be very cautious, because their families back in North Korea are essentially hostages, but… this knowledge in the long run is going to change North Korean society.”

There is evidence that the North Korean workers will go to extreme lengths to avoid going home and live in perpetual fear that their minders will make them do so. “I met one man who broke his arm and was hiding it from his superiors for over a month because he was afraid he’d get sent back to North Korea if they found out about it,” said Koh Kwang Sub, a member of the South Korean business community in Ulan Bator. Mr Koh, who owns a local pharmacy, said he was able to meet workers and hand out medical supplies every few weeks when their managers were away. “It would be nice if they could work here and go back home safely, but they have no medical help and sustain a lot of work-related injuries,” he said.

The fully stocked store shelves and proliferation of mobile phones here must come as a surprise to a first-time visitor brought up to think North Korea is the world’s most advanced nation. Has the realisation led many of the workers to try defecting? “I really can’t talk about that,” said Ha Kyeong Yun, a South Korean entrepreneur who employs 30 North Korean army veterans at his farm in the northern Mongolian town of Sharin Gyol. But the answer is probably that very few, if any, have. “Their hierarchy is very rigid. They’re from the military and they maintain their rank relations.”

It’s also no coincidence that all of the male North Korean workers are at least 40-years old. All have families back home who would pay the price for what amounts to a crime against the state under the country’s system of hereditary discipline.

All of this makes the North Koreans very dedicated workers. At Eermel, Mr Woods said he was very proud of the company’s hard-won relationship with EWM and praised the North Korean staff. “Why they come over from North Korea to Mongolia I’m not entirely certain,” he said. “They work hard and we’re happy to have them here.”

A global market

Mongolia The practice of using North Korean workers goes back to at least 2004. A new deal was signed in 2008 that allowed for more than 5,000 workers to come to Mongolia until 2013. There are currently around 3,000 in the country.

Russia There are some 21,000 North Korean workers in the far east of the country, where they work in logging camps. They reportedly have just two rest days a year.

China No reliable statistics exist, but there are thought to be thousands of North Koreans working in China. The numbers in Dandong, a city close to the border, is said to have soared in recent years.

Here is a related story in the Daily NK.

Here is some information on Eermel (Evseg):

Founded in 1982 and privatized in 1994, Eermel (Evseg TM) is on its way to becoming a strong competitor in the world market of quality cashmere and camel wool products. Today, it is the second largest manufacturer of Cashmire in Mongolia, after Gobi Cashmere Industry.

Presently, Eermel has over 600 workers and has capacity of washing 500.0 tons and de-hairing 90.0 tons annually, making it highly efficient in key segments of Cashmire production. The company now has four production lines of textile, knitting, sewing and quilting, and produces more than 380 different types of end-products available for customers to purchase at prestige stores throughout Mongolia. The company exports dehaired cashmere to Switzerland, China, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan and the USA, and exports knitted yarns to Japan, Italy, China, United Kingdom and Mexico. Russia continues to be the largest recipient of Eermel Cashmire exports.

In addition to Cashmire, Eermel is Mongolian trading company that trades in coal, cobalt and copper and is also an importer of consumer goods to Mongolia. 50 percent of Eermel’s shares are owned by the everyday workers of the plant.

The company has been selling public shares since November 28, 1992 with the initial price of 100 MNT per 1 unit of stock.


On the DPRK’s growing use of markets

Pictured above (Google Earth): A street market in Rakrang District (락랑구역), Pyongyang.

According to the Korea Herald:

A market economy and new business class have emerged in North Korea since the 1990s even though their government will not acknowledge it publicly, a panel of experts said Wednesday.

Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Center for Free Enterprise in Yeouido, Seoul, professor Andrei Lankov of Kookmin University said that the populace was forced into adapting to a new market economy after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Following the collapse of its main benefactor, there are sources that suggest that the North’s industrial output was halved by 2000 compared to what it had been in 1990, and that half a million to 1 million North Koreans perished, he said.

Unlike in former communist countries where the government chose to adopt capitalism or the people demanded it, “in North Korea it was just a way to stay alive,” he said.

“Only top officials survive on salary,” he added.

Walter Klitz of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty said that in his periodic visits to North Korea he has seen the effects of the new market economy on the populace, as those in some rural areas of the nation are relatively well off.

“They don’t have a food problem, they have a distribution problem,” he said. Furthermore, he has witnessed traffic jams in urban areas apparently spurred by increased economic activity, something unheard of just a few years ago.

This also indicates that sanctions imposed on the North have been bypassed, particularly through increased investments from China.

The increase in this market activity, however, does not mean that the nation is no longer a planned economy, as the main institutions are still in place, they said. For example, laws against activities such as traveling outside of one’s home county or exchanging foreign currency are no longer enforced.

The North Korean government attempts to contain such market activity, but no longer attempts to clamp down on it since the botched currency reform of late 2009, Lankov said.

Furthermore, the presence of this new business class ― primarily made up of women because men are required to keep up appearances at their state-approved jobs ― does not mean the nation is more prepared for reunification than before. Lankov said that North Koreans who have succeeded in business would likely be swamped by competition for the South, and much of the nation would form a “permanent underclass” should unification take place.

“You would see much of North Koreans disadvantaged and never recover,” he said.

After each member of the panel made their remarks, they took questions from guests, with many questions relating to the succession process from current leader Kim Jong-il to his son and heir apparent Kim Jong-un.

Lankov said that he does not like to talk about succession often.

“I don’t know anything about Kim Jong-un, period,” he said. Whether or not he is more reform-minded than his father or grandfather, though, may not matter.

“His logic … will be much more defined by the political situation than by his own inclinations,” he said.

Another panel member was Donald Kirk, Korea correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. In response to a question comparing the unification of the two Koreas to East and West Germany in 1990, Kirk called a comparison between North Korea and East Germany “fallacious.”

“East Germany was the most powerful economy in Eastern Europe,” he said. “It was not a starving country. It was certainly not a failed state.”


Rajin-Sonbong Minimum Wage Set at 80 Dollars

The minimum monthly wage at the Rajin-Sonbong (Rason) Economic and Trade Zone has been set at 80 USD.

The Rason Economic and Trade Zone is a joint development project between China and the DPRK. Recently, a booklet on the “Tax Policy in the Rason Economic and Trade Zone” was published by Rason city’s tax bureau to introduce the zone’s tax policy to foreign investors. The booklet designates the monthly minimum wage for local employees at 80 USD.

The Rason Economic and Trade Zone Law was revised in January 2010, handing to local Rason authorities the jurisdiction to decide on the minimum wage for the North Korean workers working for foreign companies in the region.

With wages in China rising, Chinese firms are tending to look at Vietnam and Indonesia to build factories. The Rason Economic Zone is also becoming an attractive alternative, especially for those investors from companies situated in China’s northeastern provinces.

The monthly minimum wage at Rason will be 25.3 percent higher than the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), which is set at 63.814 USD. However, the minimum wage at Rason still remains below half of the minimum wage of workers in China. According to the (South) Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), the monthly minimum wage in China is 167 USD.

The booklet also provides detailed descriptions of tax related information in the Rason area.

For buildings obtained with one’s own funds, property tax will be exempted for five years. It will also be possible to make inheritance tax payments in installments, if it exceeds 20,000 Euros.

The corporate income tax rates range from 10 to 14 percent. Those companies that invest over 30 million Euros will be exempt from income tax for four years from the year they record a profit. Afterward for the next three years they will receive a 50 percent tax reduction. Other taxes such as sales and transaction taxes are set at 0.6 to 5 and 0.3 to 2.5 percent.

In addition, tax payments are permitted at banks and the tax bureau directly.

Kim Jong Il made a visit to Rason in 2009 where he announced to focus on three main sectors to revive the North Korean economy: manufacturing, transportation, and tourism.

According to a North Korean authority, “Investing in labor intensive industries will be profitable in many ways. Many Chinese and even Taiwanese textile companies are expressing interest in building factories in the Rason area.”

In addition, Rason authorities expressed future plans to attract businesses in the tools, shipbuilding, automobile, and high-tech industries, and are making great efforts to attract foreign investments to the area by promoting the zone’s geographical proximity to China and Russia, cheap labor, and tax benefits.


KCNA publishes new “motivational” posters

Click images for larger view.

According to KCNA (2011-9-22):

New posters have been produced in the DPRK to help more splendidly spruce up Pyongyang and hasten the harvest this year.

Poster “Let’s develop Pyongyang, the capital city of revolution, into a world-class city!” vividly reflects citizens all out to turn their city into a more beautiful and magnificent one.

Poster “Let us all go for harvesting!” depicts an agricultural worker at work with joy against the background of a coop field alive with harvesting. It arouses the people to go out for reaping in good time the crops cultivated with the sweat of their brow during spring and summer.


New facts about the DPRK’s informal economy

Pictured above (Google Earth): An unofficial street market in Sinchon (신천) is bustling while the nearby official marketplace is closed.  See in Google Maps here.

The Choson Ilbo posted a few factoids about the official and unofficial economies of the DPRK:

The rationing system, the backbone of the socialist planned economy, has nearly collapsed. Some 4 million people still live on rations — 2.6 million in Pyongyang and 1.2 million soldiers.

But a senior South Korean government official said 20 million North Koreans rely absolutely on the underground economy.

“A North Korean family needs 90,000-100,000 North Korean won for living costs per month, but workers at state-run factories or enterprises earn a mere 2,000-8,000 won,” the source said. “So North Koreans have no choice but to become market traders, cottage industrialists or transport entrepreneurs to make up for shortages.”

Many stores, restaurants, and beauty parlors are privately owned. Private tutors teach music or foreign languages. Carpenters have evolved as quasi-manufacturers who receive orders and make furniture on a massive scale. They earn 80,000-90,000 won per month on average.

It is common to find people in front of railway stations or in markets who wait to earn a few extra won by carrying luggage or purchases in their handcarts. Like taxis, their fees are calculated on a basic fee and the distance covered.

In the countryside, people earn money by selling corn or beans grown in their own vegetable gardens in the back yard or in the hills. They can harvest 700 kg of corn a year from a 1,600 sq.m. lot. And by selling 50 kg of corn a month they make 30,000-40,000 won on top of their daily living costs.

“Ordinary North Koreans have become so dependent on the private economy that they get 80-90 percent of daily necessities and 60-70 percent of food from the markets,” the security official said.

Noland and Haggard’s recent book, Witness to Transformation, contains thorough and revealing data on market utilization in the PDRK. More here.


Details on the Rason SEZ (version 2.0) emerging

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

China has reportedly agreed to provide electricity to the Rason special economic zone, and the minimum wage investors can expect to pay the North Korean government to employ North Korean citizens qill be approximately US$80.

According to the Korea Times:

China has agreed to provide electricity to a special economic zone in North Korea’s northeast, a source said Tuesday.

The agreement to provide power to the Rason economic zone was signed between Jang Song-thaek, vice chairman of the North’s powerful National Defense Commission, and China’s Commerce Minister Chen Deming, during an economic meeting on June 8, the source said.

The source cited Chinese officials familiar with the project.

The project calls for laying high-voltage power distribution lines between the Chinese border city of Hunchun and the North’s city of Rajin as well as building a thermal power plant in Rason, the source said.

Construction for the power lines is likely to begin soon while the two sides are in talks to work out details for the envisioned power plant, the source said.

“Power is an important infrastructure in developing the Rason special economic zone,” said Cho Bong Hyun, an expert at the Seoul-based IBK Economic Research Institute. “China’s agreement to provide power increases the chances of the zone’s success.”

The North designated Rason as a special economic zone in 1991 and has since striven to develop it into a regional transportation hub, though no major progress has been made. (Yonhap)

According to Yonhap:

The minimum monthly wage for workers at a North Korean special economic zone has been set at US$80, a source familiar with the reclusive state said Thursday, a small enough sum that could attract Chinese firms to invest there.

North Korea designated Rason as a special economic zone in 1991 with the aim of developing it into a regional transportation hub. Amid few signs of progress, the country broke ground in June on a joint project to develop it into an economic and trade zone with China. The northeastern port city borders both China and Russia.

“According to a booklet I obtained on the tax policy of the Rason economic and trade zone, the minimum monthly wage for workers is $80,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Under a North Korean law for the Rason economic zone, revised in January last year, the minimum monthly wage for local employees at foreign firms is set jointly by the employer and the municipal authorities.

The amount is higher than the $63.814 recently set as the minimum wage for North Korean workers at the inter-Korean industrial park in Kaesong, the North’s western city bordering South Korea, but less than the average salary of Chinese workers. According to the South’s state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), Chinese workers are paid a minimum of $167 per month.

Experts say this wage gap could attract Chinese investors to Rason, as they have already started showing signs of relocating operations to Vietnam, Indonesia and other countries with cheaper labor than China.

The booklet also contains details of Rason’s tax policy, including a five-year property tax exemption for buildings purchased through private funds and a corporate income tax rate of up to 14 percent, according to the source.

“The booklet was made by Rason’s tax bureau in July-August to introduce foreigners to its tax policy,” the source said.

And according to the Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES):

Hwang also elaborated on the eight preferential policies providing special tax benefits to foreign investors. He asserted, “The government of North Korea will guarantee the investment of the foreign investors by not nationalizing or demanding requisitions. For inevitable cases where such demands occur, proper compensation will be provided.”

The income tax is also at 14 percent, which is 11 percent lower than other areas in North Korea. For companies with business plans over ten years, foreign capital companies will receive three years of tax-free benefit starting from the profit earning year and two years thereon after will receive 50 percent tax-free benefits. According to Hwang, over 100 foreign companies and offices are operating businesses currently in the special economic zone.

Minimum wage at N. Korean special economic zone set at US$80: source

DPRK bringing domestic and Chinese tourists to Kumgang

Pictured above: North Korean visitors to Kumgangsan wave to the camera in this video posted to Uriminzokkiri’s YouTube page.  The Video is dated 2011-8-20.

According to the Donga Ilbo:

North Korea has reportedly opened the Mount Kumgang resort to its nationals since April after having allowed only a select few to visit the scenic area before with permission.

Pyongyang apparently intends to pressure Seoul by opening the door to the mountain to the North Korean people after failing to attract foreign investment and tourists to the resort.

A Chinese source on North Korea said Tuesday, “North Korea effectively allowed all North Koreans from April to visit the entire Mount Kumgang area, including major rivers in the region.”

North Korea, however, allows only group tourists and not individual visits. North Korean authorities have ordered companies and businesses to visit the site for company picnics or events, and the mountain has 4,000 to 5,000 visitors per month.

A business unit that wants to visit files an application with the provincial government, which then reports to the international tourist authorities of Mount Kumgang. After screening candidates, authorities issue a tourist certificate that allows holders to pass checkpoints on the way to the mountain.

Two days are generally needed to travel the region, and visitors use the accommodation facility called Kumgangsan that can handle 500 people per day. The source said rooms are in short supply because of many visitors.

Each visitor should cover his or her own expenses. The estimated cost is around 1,700 North Korean won (1.43 U.S. dollars) for entry and 19 cents per night, so the combined expense amount is 2,500 to 3,000 North Korean won (2.10 to 2.53 dollars).

The source said, “The expenses almost equal a month`s salary but the popularity (of going to Mount Kumgang) has surprised everyone.”

Speculation is rising over whether the North will use South Korean real estate and equipment belonging to Hyundai Asan Corp., the South Korean operator of the tour, and others. Pyongyang announced Monday that it will dispose of South Korean assets and properties in the resort area.

“North Korea has not yet used any South Korean facilities but has apparently used them for local tourists,” the source said.

Also, according to KCNA, at least one Chinese tour group has visited the resort since July 30:

Pyongyang, July 30 (KCNA) — A Chinese tourist group led by Zhuang Jun, general manager of the Chinese Kanghui Xi’an International Tourist Agency, visited the Tower of the Juche Idea, Party Founding Memorial Tower, Pyongyang Students and Children’s Palace and Mangyongdae, President Kim Il Sung’s native place, in Pyongyang on Friday and Saturday.

The tourist group came to Pyongyang by the Pyongyang-Xi’an international air service.

Yang Rui, manager of the agency, told KCNA:

I was pleased to see an excellent performance of Korean schoolchildren. I hope they will perform in Xi’an. I have long looked forward to visiting Mt. Kumgang. In the afternoon we are leaving for the mountain. I will be happy to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountain.


                         *ill 001

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*ill 001  Korea’s People Republic flag

*ill 002 North Korean stamp

*North Korean war map


Dr Iwan Cybermuseum with proud ,for the first time in the world have made a special rare North Korea Collections Exhibitions , this  exhibtion very rare because very difficult to find the collections from this country which now during the leader succession of Kim Dinasty and the situations still changes, let look at the old vintage book .phillately etc collections  from this interesting Countries,

Museum Duniamaya kreasi Dr iwan dengan bangga memeprsembahkan Pameran koleksi langka dari KOREA UTARA, belum pernah dan jarang dilaksanakan pameran dari negara yang saat ini sedang terjadi sukseksi pemimpin dalam dinasti Kim, juga dipamerkan koleksi para pemimpin tersebut, foto lama yang indah,foto perang Korea dan koleksi prangko langka Korea utara.  saksikanlah suatu informasi yang anda pasti belum pernah lihat,seluruh koleksi milik Dr iwan s kecuali foto peta dan alat perang dari eksplorasi Google , beberapa contoh lihat dibawah ini :



1. The Korean War: Background Causes   
1945, Division of North & South Korea | 1949, Communist Victory in China | 1949, USSR explodes atomic bomb | McCarthy Red Scare Trials | Korean War as part of US – USSR Cold War rivalry
2. The Military Events, 1950-53
General Accounts & Articles | Detailed campaign outlines | The Air War | The Sea War
3. Individual UN forces & Oral Accounts
US | UK | Australian | Canadian
4. The Communist Forces
5. Impact on Civilians
6. Consequences for the Future
Division continues | SEATO & IndoChina
7. Documents, Images & Film
8. General Sites on the Cold War

 Outbreak  27 June-15 September 1950 Detailed account by US Center of Military history supported by excellent maps and photos.

Entry Of China

  • Restoring the Balance 25 January-8 July 1951 Detailed account by US Center of Military history supported by excellent maps and photos.
  • Ebb and Flow from China’s entry to July 1951. Begins with the last weeks of the UN rush to the Chinese border and goes on to describe in great detail the test of American military leadership and resources posed by the taxing retreat of the Eighth Army and X Corps across the frozen wastes of North Korea. It also examines the special problems posed to a fighting army during the deadly months of stalemate in the summer of 1951. By Billy Mossman for U.S. Army Center of Military History
  • The New War Detailed history from U.S. Army Center of Military History (extracted from The United States Army In A Global Era, 1917-2003 by Richard W. Stewart).

   Stalemate and Truce

  • The Korean War armistice BBC outline of the armistice on its 50th anniversary. Concise and clear with maps.
  • Years of Stalemate July 1951- July 1953 Detailed account by US Center of Military history supported by excellent maps and photos.
  • Truce Tent and Fighting Front Covers the last two years in the Korean War and treats the seemingly interminable armistice negotiations and the violent but sporadic fighting at the front. Detailed history By Walter E Hermes  from U.S. Army Center of Military History
  • The Static War & The Aftermath Detailed history from U.S. Army Center of Military History (extracted from The United States Army In A Global Era, 1917-2003 by Richard W. Stewart).

The Air War

  • The Rise of the Helicopter During the Korean War 2007 article looks at the emergence of the helicopter as a key tool of war. In Aviation History by Otto Kreisher 
  • MiG Alley:
  • MiG Madness: The Air War over Korea Looks at how some US pilots reacted to the MiG jet threat: both bravery & recklessness. By Lt. Col. Lawrence Spinetta, 2008, Aviation History Magazine
  • The Boeing B-29 Superfortress Served Throughout the Air War B-29s flew 1,076 days during the 1,106-day air war in Korea, dropping 160,000 tons of bombs on Communist targets–a greater bomb tonnage than had been dropped on Japan during World War II. This details their involvement (including examining suitability for a possible atomic role).  By George Larson ,  1998 Military History.
  • Soviet Air Aces of the Korean War by Igor N. Gordelianow The Soviet Union evaded direct involvement in the Korean War but an article in the Sept-Oct 1994 issue of Command magazine and the TV series “Wings of the Red Star” indicates that the soviet 64th Fighter Aviation Corps was sent to fight in Korea in Nov 1950. They performed very well, shooting down over 1,300 UN aircraft of all types while losing only 345 of their own. This article highlights that success.
  • A New Era in Aerial Warfare Began During the Korean War Very detailed and useful description of the air war by Ricardo Bonalume Neto, Brazilian journalist writing for the daily newspaper Fulha de S’o Paulo of S’o Paulo, as a science reporter. In

War at Sea


Korean War Photos


The Potsdam Conference of victorious Allies in July, 1945
1. The Potsdam Conference of victorious Allies in July, 1945, brought the Soviet Union’s commitment to entering the war against Japan. The result was a Soviet occupation of northern Korea and Korea’s partition along the 38th parallel. (U.S. Signal Corps photo.)

Moscow conference in December, 1945

2. At the Moscow conference in December, 1945, Ernest Bevin (left), British foreign secretary; V.M. Molotov (center), Soviet foreign minister, and James F. Byrnes, U.S. secretary of state, agreed on a four-power commission to rule Korea. But the Soviets undermined the commission and established communist rule in the north. (Wide World photo.)

Task Force Smith arrives at the Taejon rail station

3. Task Force Smith arrives at the Taejon rail station. On July 5, 1950, near Osan, this untried force of about half a battalion, mostly teenagers, stood alone against a North Korean division and a large tank force. (Defense Department photo.)

U.S. bombs drop on railway bridges at Seoul in early July, 1950

4. U.S. bombs drop on railway bridges at Seoul in early July, 1950. The broken highway bridge at the right was blown without warning by South Korean themselves early on June 28, sending hundreds of fleeing South Korean soldiers and civilians to their deaths. (U.S. Air Force photo.)

UN Security Council vote on June 27, 1950

5. The Soviet Union’s seat is conspicuously vacant as the UN Security Council votes on June 27, 1950, to use force to push North Korean troops out of South Korea. ( New York Times photo.)

A marine air-observer team guides a marine Corsair

6. A marine air-observer team guides a marine Corsair in for a strike on an enemy-held hill. The “black Corsairs” were highly praised by army and marines alike for their precision strikes on targets and their extremely close support of forward units. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

Marines move around North Korean T34 tanks

7. Marines move around North Korean T34 tanks knocked out in Pusan Perimeter battle in late summer, 1950. A dead North Korean soldier lies on the tank in the foreground. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

Bagpipers of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on August 29, 1950

8. Bagpipers of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on August 29, 1950, pipe ashore at Pusan a battalion of their Scottish regiment and a battalion of the English Middlesex Regiment; the first allied ground forces to join the Americans and South Koreans. (U.S. Army photo.)

Marines seek cover behind an M26 Pershing tank

9. Marines seek cover behind an M26 Pershing tank west of Masan during Pusan Perimeter engagement in late summer, 1950. A dead North Korean soldier lies on ledge at left. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

Korean refugees in Pusan

10. Millions of Koreans were uprooted from their homes by bombing, shelling or fear and attempted to flee to safety. Pusan and other cities in the south became giant refugee camps, with people sleeping on the streets. (Defense Department photo.)

Republic of Korea (ROK) soldiers march

11. Republic of Korea (ROK) soldiers march in typical column formation toward the front in August, 1950, during the Pusan Perimeter battle. This is a standard narrow dirt Korean road raised above rice paddies. (U.S. Army photo.)

Korean Military Advisory Group chief, confers on August 18, 1950

12. Brigadier General F.W. Farrell, Korean Military Advisory Group chief, confers on August 18, 1950, with Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker (seated in jeep), Eighth Army commander, during the height of the Pusan Perimeter battle. (U.S. Army photo.)

American F-80 jet strafes an enemy T34 tank and jeep

13. During the North Korean offensive in the summer of 1950, an American F-80 jet strafes an enemy T34 tank and jeep in the road and vehicles and troops in the village. (U.S. Air Force photo.)

Armada assembled for the Inchon invasion on September 15, 1950

14. A Corsair shepherds part of the armada assembled for the Inchon invasion on September 15, 1950, the world’s last great amphibious landing. (U.S. Navy photo.)

General Douglas MacArthur watches bombardment of Inchon

15. General Douglas MacArthur watches bombardment of Inchon from the bridge of the USS Mount McKinley . He is flanked by (from left) Vice Admiral A.D. Struble, Major General E.K. Wright, and Major General Edward M. Almond, X Corps commander. (U.S. Navy photo.)

Four LSTs unload on the beach at Inchon

16. Four LSTs unload on the beach at Inchon as marines gather equipment to move rapidly inland on September 15, 1950. Landing ships were stuck in the deep mud flats between one high tide and the next. (U.S. Navy photo.)

Discussing action immediately after Inchon landing

17. The commander of the 1st Marine Division, Major General Oliver P. Smith (left), discussing action immediately after Inchon landing, September 15, 1950, with his boss, army Major General Edward M. Almond, X Corps commander. At right is Major General Field Harris, commander of the marine air wing that provided close support to attacking units. (Defense Department photo, Marine Corps.)

Examining bodies of North Korean soldiers

18. General Douglas MacArthur (in leather jacket) and an entourage of press and brass examine bodies of North Korean soldiers at advanced marine positions east of Inchon on September 17, 1950. The marine in camouflage helmet holds a Russian-made submachine gun known to Americans as a burp gun. (U.S. Army photo.)

Marines carry a wounded comrade

19. Marines carry a wounded comrade while other marines hold positions in the assault on the outskirts of Seoul, September, 1950. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

A marine infantryman keeps cover

20. A marine infantryman keeps cover as he looks over the Han river valley near Seoul four days after the flanking movement against Inchon. (U.S. Navy photo.)

Marine infantry lead an M26 tank

21. Much of Seoul was destroyed in vicious street battles in September, 1950. Here marine infantry lead an M26 tank in the attack. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

A marine tank supports South Korean soldiers

22. A marine tank supports South Korean soldiers guarding North Korean prisoners captured in the assault on Seoul, September, 1950. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

An army M4A3 Sherman tank clears a gap in a barricade

23. U.S. 7th Division infantry wait as an army M4A3 Sherman tank clears a gap in a barricade during the street-by-street North Korean defense of Seoul in September, 1950. (U.S. Army photo.)

Breakout from the Pusan Perimeter

24. Breakout from the Pusan Perimeter: Koreans move back to their homes at Waegwan as U.S. infantrymen advance after the fleeing North Koreans. Soldier in foreground is carrying a Browning Automatic Rifle. (U.S. Army photo.)

The legacy of war

25. The legacy of war: 1st Cavalry Division troops move on north in the fall of 1950, leaving a shattered Korean village behind. (U.S. Army photo.)

Dust cloud from vehicle on Korean dirt road

26. When a single vehicle moved on one of the narrow dirt roads that served as practically the only arteries in Korea, it usually raised a column of dust. When convoys such as this passed with artillery prime movers and trucks, the dust cloud could be choking. (U.S. Army photo.)

Zhou Enlai, Chairman Mao Zedong, Lin Biao

27. Zhou Enlai (left), Communist Chinese premier and foreign minister, stands with Chairman Mao Zedong and Lin Biao (right), one of Red China’s outstanding commanders. (Eastphoto.)

Battalion of The Royal Australian Regiment

28. This battalion of The Royal Australian Regiment distinguished itself in Korea in a number of engagements. In its first fight the Aussies, using mainly rifles and bayonets, routed a North Koran regiment. (British Commonwealth Occupation Forces Japan photo.)

Red Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai receives Mme. Vijayalakshmi Pandit

29. Red Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai receives Mme. Vijayalakshmi Pandit, with an Indian cultural delegation, and K.M. Panikkar, Indian ambassador to Beijing. (Eastphoto.)

Chinese Communist infantry moving to an attack in Korea

30. Chinese Communist infantry moving to an attack in Korea. (Eastphoto.)

Chinese soldier displays knocked-out U.S. tank

31. A Chinese soldier displays knocked-out U.S. tank of 1st Cavalry Divison in the early months of the Chinese intervention. (Eastphoto.)

Members of the Turkish Brigade move into position in December, 1950

32. Members of the Turkish Brigade move into position in December, 1950, shortly after suffering severe casualties attempting to block encirclement of the U.S. 2nd Division at the Chongchon river in North Korea. (UPI/Bettmann Newsphoto.)

Frozen bodies of American marines, British commandos and South Korean soldiers

33. Frozen bodies of American marines, British commandos and South Korean soldiers are gathered for group burial at Koto-ri. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

Marine Corsairs have just struck Chinese positions

34. Marine Corsairs have just struck Chinese positions in the Changjin (Chosin) reservoir area of northeast Korea with jellied gasoline napalm. Close air support was a key to the successful retreat to the sea in December, 1950. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

Marines take up temporary defensive positions

35. Marines take up temporary defensive positions in the retreat from the Changjin (Chosin) reservoir. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

Marines in the retreat from the Changjin (Chosin) reservoir halt

36. Marines in the retreat from the Changjin (Chosin) reservoir halt while leading elements clear a Chinese roadblock. (Defense Department photo.)

This C-47 is being unloaded at the tiny Hagaru-ri airstrip

37. This C-47 is being unloaded at the tiny Hagaru-ri airstrip at Changjin (Chosin) reservoir. From here 4,312 wounded and frostbitten men were evacuated by air in the five days before the retreat to the sea began. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

The marine and army retreat from the Changjin (Chosin) reservoir in December, 1950
38. The marine and army retreat from the Changjin (Chosin) reservoir in December, 1950, occurred in temperatures around zero degrees Fahrenheit. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

Marines reclaimed all their dead on the retreat from Changjin (Chosin) reservoir

39. Marines reclaimed all their dead on the retreat from Changjin (Chosin) reservoir. Infiltrating Chinese soldiers stripped clothing from some of the bodies. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

Sixteen-foot hole blown by Chinese soldiers

40. This sixteen-foot hole was blown by Chinese soldiers in the single road from Changjin (Chosin) reservoir to the sea. Bridge sections dropped by air permitted this gap to be spanned and men and equipment to get out. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

Survivors of the 2,500 army 7th Division men caught in a series of Chinese ambushes

41. These are some of the 385 able-bodied survivors of the 2,500 army 7th Division men caught in a series of Chinese ambushes along the eastern shore of the Changjin (Chosin) reservoir in late November, 1950. (U.S. Marine Corps photo.)

Marines move toward evacuation ships at Hungnam harbor

42. Marines move toward evacuation ships at Hungnam harbor in December, 1950, as the United Nations abandons northeast Korea. (U.S. Army photo.)

Civilians carried to South Korea board ships for the journey

43. When United Nations troops began evacuating northeast Korea after the Chinese offensive of November, 1950, many North Koreans wanted to go along. Here at Hungnam some of the 98,000 civilians carried to South Korea board ships for the journey. (Defense Department photo.)

U.S. ordinance teams detonate great stocks of American ammunition at Hungnam

44. U.S. ordinance teams detonate great stocks of American ammunition at Hungnam as the last troops of X Corps withdraw in landing craft and abandon the effort to conquer North Korea. (U.S. Navy photo.)

Infantry of the 19th Regiment, 24th Division, retreat

45. Infantry of the 19th Regiment, 24th Division, retreat ten miles south of Seoul on January 3, 1951. (U.S. Army photo.)

American F-80 jet attacks North Korean vehicles

46. An American F-80 jet attacks North Korean vehicles in the open. The F-80 was armed with six .50-caliber machine guns and could carry rockets and bombs. (U.S. Air Force photo.)

Winter battle

47. Winter battle: a machine-gun crew rests above a Korean village after assaulting a Chinese position. (U.S. Army photo.)

A wounded soldier of the French Battalion

48. A wounded soldier of the French Battalion is readied to be carried back for medical care. The French Battalion gained renown and suffered high losses at Chipyong-ni in early 1951 and on Heartbreak Ridge in the fall of 1951. (UPI/Bettmann Newsphoto.)

An artillery concentration beginning to land on a Chinese position

49. Men of the 25th Division observe an artillery concentration beginning to land on a Chinese position in central Korea in March, 1951. (U.S. Army photo.)

Infantry of the 25th Division advance

50. Infantry of the 25th Division advance in central Korea in late March, 1951. (U.S. Army photo.)

White-phosphorus artillery shells drop on Chinese positions

51. Four white-phosphorus artillery shells drop on Chinese positions in front of the 25th Division on the western (I Corps) front in February, 1951. (U.S. Army photo.)

Chinese soldiers captured near Hwachon reservoir in central Korea

52. Chinese soldiers captured near Hwachon reservoir in central Korea await shipment at 24th Division headquarters. (U.S. Army photo.)

A 3rd Division twin-40mm antiaircraft artillery weapon fires

53. A 3rd Division twin-40mm antiaircraft artillery weapon fires direct support against Chinese positions on the western (I Corps) front near the 38th parallel. (U.S. Army photo.)

Soldiers of the English Gloucestershire Regiment battalion stop for afternoon tea

54. Soldiers of the English Gloucestershire Regiment battalion stop for afternoon tea. In April, 1951, this battalion was overrun by a massive Chinese attack and only a few of its members reached UN lines. (Defense Department photo.)

A battery of 155mm Long Tom rifles fire north of Seoul in May, 1951

55. A battery of 155mm Long Tom rifles fire north of Seoul in May, 1951, as United Nations troops move up behind withdrawing Chinese. (U.S. Army photo.)

Studying a map at Chunchon airstrip, May, 1951

56. Major General William M. Hoge (right), commander of IX Corps, studies map at Chunchon airstrip, May, 1951, with General Matthew B. Ridgway (left), Far East commander, and Lieutenant General James A. Van Fleet, Eighth Army commander. (U.S. Army photo.)

U.S. medic gives blood to a North Korean soldier

57. A U.S. 3rd Division medic gives blood to a wounded North Korean soldier. (U.S. Army photo.)

Chinese soldiers armed with “potato masher” grenades

58. To protect against American artillery fire and air attacks, the Chinese and North Koreans created deep underground tunnels, rooms and bunkers nearly impervious to all but direct hits by heavy-caliber weapons. These Chinese soldiers are armed with “potato masher” grenades. (Eastphoto.)

An American F-80 Shooting Star stands on its wing tip in June, 1951

59. An American F-80 Shooting Star stands on its wing tip in June, 1951, to avoid smoke from an earlier aerial attack against a communist-held hilltop. (U.S. Air Force photo.)

Men of the 9th Infantry Regiment climb a steep slope on Bloody Ridge

60. Men of the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division, climb a steep slope on Bloody Ridge on September 5, 1951. This regiment suffered severe casualties in this and the subsequent Heartbreak Ridge battles. (U.S. Army photo.)

Red Chinese soldiers cover Americans emerging from a cave to surrender

61. Red Chinese soldiers cover Americans emerging from a cave to surrender. (Eastphoto.)

Bloody Ridge, occupied by survivors of the 9th Infantry Regiment

62. This is Bloody Ridge, occupied by survivors of the 9th Infantry Regiment, after it was captured on September 5, 1951. It cost 2,700 American and South Korean casualties and an estimated 15,000 North Korean casualties. The battle of Heartbreak Ridge, which followed Bloody Ridge, claimed 3,700 American and French casualties and an estimated 25,000 North Koreans and Chinese. (U.S. Army photo.)

Two Chinese Communist soldiers

63. Two Chinese Communist soldiers in their standard padded cotton uniforms stand guard on the edge of the neutral zone at Panmunjom, midway between the communist and United Nations lines, where the two-year truce talks were largely held. (U.S. Navy photo.)

Ridgeline battle conditions in Korea

64. The essence of ridgeline battle conditions in Korea: marines in trenches crouch for cover as a Chinese 82mm mortar round lands on their positions. Most casualties on both sides were caused by mortar and artillery fire. (U.S. Navy photo.)

An enemy mortar round lands directly on a marine ridgeline position

65. An enemy mortar round lands directly on a marine ridgeline position. (Defense Department/ Marine Corps photo.)

The central valley of Koje-do

66. The central valley of Koje-do, where most of the compounds housing North Korean and Chinese prisoners of war were located. Near here also is where Brigadier General Francis T. Dodd, camp commandant, was captured by POWs and released only after another U.S. general issued a highly damaging statement indicating POWs had been killed and abused. (U.S. Army photo.)

Extremely crowded POW enclosures on Koje-do

67. Extremely crowded POW enclosures on Koje-do reduced United Nations control and permitted Red POW leaders to direct riots and other violence by prisoners. (U.S. Army photo.)

F-51 Mustang drops napalm jellied gasoline tanks

68. A Fifth Air Force F-51 Mustang drops napalm jellied gasoline tanks on an industrial target in North Korea in August, 1951. (U.S. Air Force photo.)

Supply warehouses at the east-coast port of Wonsan are bombed in July, 1951

69. As the Korean War went on, American air power methodically demolished virtually everything in North Korea having any military significance whatsoever. Here supply warehouses at the east-coast port of Wonsan are bombed in July, 1951.

A marine F4U Corsair pulls up from a bombing run

70. A marine F4U Corsair pulls up from a bombing run on a Chinese-held hill in western Korea in October, 1952. (U.S. Navy photo.)

A widely distributed photo showing a child killed

71. A widely distributed photo showing a child killed in what the Red Chinese called a 1953 U.S. B-29 attack on the Manchurian border city of Antung, opposite Sinuiju on the Yalu river. (Eastphoto.)

General Mark W. Clark signs the Korean armistice agreement on July 27, 1953

72. General Mark W. Clark, Far East commander, signs the Korean armistice agreement on July 27, 1953, after two years of negotiation, during which hundreds of thousands of men were killed and wounded in continued hostilities. (U.S. Navy photo.)

North Korean Premier Kim Il Sung prepares to sign armistice

73. North Korean Premier Kim Il Sung prepares to sign armistice handed to him July 27, 1953, by General Nam Il, head of the communist delegation at Panmunjom. (Eastphoto.)

Peng Dehuai signs Korean armistice at Kaesong

74. Chinese Communist commander Peng Dehuai signs Korean armistice at Kaesong. (Eastphoto.)

75.penanda tanganan perjanjian damai oleh Kim Il Sung di Pamunjong perbatasan Korea Utara dan Korea selatan. 1953.

76*rakyat Korea Utara saat perang

77*kota Woosan dibom

78*pusat Kota Pyongyang hancur

79*Tentara Korea Utara menyerang Korea Selatan

80.perangkat perang Korea utara dari Rusia.


Kim Il-sung

This is a Korean name; the family name isKim.
Kim Il-sung

Kim during a visit to East Germany, 1984.

Assumed office 
July 1994
(&000000000000001600000016 years, &0000000000000107000000107 days)

Preceded by Position created
Choi Yong-kun, Head of State as President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly
Succeeded by Position abolished
(Proclaimed Eternal President of the Republic after his death)

General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea
In office
30 June 1947 – 13 July 1994
(&000000000000004500000045 years, &00000000000000080000008 days)
Succeeded by Kim Jong-il

Premier of North Korea
In office
9 September 1948 – 28 December 1972
(&000000000000002400000024 years, &0000000000000110000000110 days)
Succeeded by Kim Il (Premier)

Born 15 April 1912(1912-04-15)
Mangyŏngdae, Heian-nando, Japanese Korea
Died 8 July 1994 (aged 82)
Pyongyang, North Korea
Nationality North Korean
Political party Workers’ Party of Korea
Spouse(s) Kim Jong-suk (d. 1949)
Kim Song-ae
Children Kim Jong-il
Kim Man-il
Kim Kyong-jin
Kim Pyong-il
Kim Yong-il
Korean name
Chosŏn’gŭl 김일성
Hancha 金日成
McCune–Reischauer Kim Il-sŏng
Revised Romanization Gim Il-seong
North Korea

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
North Korea

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Kim Il-sung (Korean: 김일성, Hanja: 金日成;[1] 15 April 1912 – 8 July 1994) was a Korean communist, and later Juche, politician who led North Korea from its founding in 1948 until his death.[2] He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to his death. He was also the General Secretary of the Workers Party of Korea.

During his tenure as leader of North Korea, he ruled the nation with autocratic power and established an all-pervasive cult of personality. From the mid-1960s, he promoted his self-developed Juche variant of communist national organisation.[3] Following his death in 1994, he was succeeded by his son Kim Jong-il. North Korea officially refers to Kim Il-sung as the “Great Leader” (Suryong in Korean 수령) and he is designated in the constitution as the country’s “Eternal President“. His birthday is a public holiday in North Korea.


 Early years

Much of the early records of his life come from his own personal accounts and official North Korean government publications, which often conflict with independent sources. Nevertheless, there is some consensus on at least the basic story of his early life, corroborated by witnesses from the period.

Kim was born to Kim Hyŏng-jik and Kang Pan-sŏk, who gave him the name Kim Sŏng-ju, and had two younger brothers, Ch’ŏl-chu and Yŏng-ju. The ancestral seat (pon’gwan) of Kim’s family is Chŏnju, North Chŏlla Province, and what little that is known about the family contends that sometime around the time of the Korean-Japanese war of 1592–98, a direct ancestor moved north. The claim may be understood in light of the fact that the early Chosŏn government’s policy of populating the north resulted in mass resettlement of southern farmers in Phyŏngan and Hamgyŏng regions in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. At any rate, the majority of the Chŏnju Kim today live in North Korea, and extant Chŏnju Kim genealogies provide spotty records.

The exact history of Kim’s family is somewhat obscure. The family was neither very poor nor comfortably well-off, but was always a step away from poverty. Kim was raised in a Presbyterian family; his maternal grandfather was a Protestant minister, his father had gone to a missionary school and was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and both his parents were reportedly very active in the religious community. Kim was an accomplished church organist.[4][5][6] According to the official version, Kim’s family participated in anti-Japanese activities and in 1920 they fled to Manchuria. The more objective view seems to be that his family settled in Manchuria like many Koreans at the time to escape famine. Nonetheless, Kim’s parents apparently did play a minor role in some activist groups, though whether their cause was missionary, nationalist, or both is unclear.[7][8]

Kim’s father died in 1926, when Kim was fourteen years old. Kim attended Yuwen Middle School in Jilin from 1927 to 1930,[9] where he rejected the feudal traditions of older generation Koreans and became interested in Communist ideologies; his formal education ended when he was arrested and jailed for his subversive activities. At seventeen, Kim had become the youngest member of an underground Marxist organization with fewer than twenty members, led by Hŏ So, who belonged to the South Manchurian Communist Youth Association. The police discovered the group three weeks after it was formed in 1929, and jailed Kim for several months.[10][11]

 Communist and guerrilla activities

The Communist Party of Korea had been founded in 1925, but had been thrown out of the Comintern in the early 1930s for being too nationalist. In 1931, Kim had joined the Communist Party of China. He joined various anti-Japanese guerrilla groups in northern China, and in 1935 he became a member of the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army, a guerrilla group led by the Communist Party of China. Kim was appointed the same year to serve as political commissar for the 3rd detachment of the second division, around 160 soldiers.[7] It was here that Kim met the man who would become his mentor as a Communist, Wei Zhengmin, Kim’s immediate superior officer, who was serving at the time as chairman of the Political Committee of the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army. Wei reported directly to Kang Sheng, a high-ranking party member close to Mao Zedong in Yan’an, until Wei’s death on 8 March 1941.[12]

Also in 1935 Kim took the name Kim Il-sung, meaning “become the sun.”[13] The name had previously been used by a prominent early leader of the Korean resistance.[8] Soviet propagandist Grigory Mekler, who claims to have prepared Kim to lead North Korea, says that Kim assumed this name while in the Soviet Union in the early 1940s from a former commander who had died.[14] On the other hand, some Koreans simply did not believe that someone as young as Kim could have anything to do with the legend.[15] Historian Andrei Lankov has claimed that the rumor Kim Il-Sung was somehow switched with the “original” Kim is unlikely to be true. Several witnesses knew Kim before and after his time in the Soviet Union, including his superior, Zhou Baozhong, who dismissed the claim of a “second” Kim in his diaries.[16]

Portrait of Kim Il-sung.

Kim Il Sung’s birthplace in Mangyongdae-guyok

Kim was appointed commander of the 6th division in 1937, at the age of 24, controlling a few hundred men in a group that came to be known as “Kim Il Sung’s division.” It was while he was in command of this division that he executed a raid on Poch’onbo, on June 4. Although Kim’s division only captured a small Japanese-held town just across the Korean border for a few hours, it was nonetheless considered a military success at this time, when the guerrilla units had experienced difficulty in capturing any enemy territory. This accomplishment would grant Kim some measure of fame among Chinese guerrillas, and North Korean biographies would later exploit it as a great victory for Korea. Kim was appointed commander of the 2nd operational region for the 1st Army, but by the end of 1940, he was the only 1st Army leader still alive. Pursued by Japanese troops, Kim and what remained of his army escaped by crossing the Amur River into the Soviet Union.[17] Kim was sent to a camp near Khabarovsk, where the Korean Communist guerrillas were retrained by the Soviets. Kim became a Captain in the Soviet Red Army and served in it until the end of World War II.

In later years, Kim would heavily embellish his guerrilla feats in order to build up his personality cult. He was portrayed as a boy-conspirator who joined the resistance at 14 and had founded a battle-ready army at 19. North Korean students are taught that this Kim-led army singlehandedly drove the Japanese off the peninsula.[8]

Return to Korea

When the Soviet Union declared war on Japan in August 1945, it fully expected a long, drawn-out conflict. However, much to Stalin’s surprise, the Red Army churned into Pyongyang with almost no resistance on 15 August. Stalin realized he needed someone to head a puppet regime. He asked Lavrenty Beria to recommend possible candidates. Beria met Kim several times before recommending him to Stalin. It is widely believed that Kim was selected over several more qualified candidates because he had no ties to the native Communist movement.[8]

Kim arrived in North Korea on 22 August after 26 years in exile. According to Leonid Vassin, an officer with the Soviet MVD, Kim was essentially “created from zero.” For one, his Korean was marginal at best; he’d only had eight years of formal education, all of it in Chinese. He needed considerable coaching to read a speech the MVD prepared for him at a Communist Party congress three days after he arrived. They also systematically destroyed most of the true leaders of the resistance who ended up north of the 38th parallel.[8]

In September 1945, Kim was installed by the Soviets as head of the Provisional People’s Committee. He was not, at this time, the head of the Communist Party, whose headquarters were in Seoul in the U.S.-occupied south. During his early years as leader, he assumed a position of influence largely due to the backing of the Korean population which was supportive of his fight against Japanese occupation.

Kim Il-sung in 1946

One of Kim’s accomplishments was his establishment of a professional army, the Korean People’s Army (KPA) aligned with the Communists, formed from a cadre of guerrillas and former soldiers who had gained combat experience in battles against the Japanese and later Nationalist Chinese troops. From their ranks, using Soviet advisers and equipment, Kim constructed a large army skilled in infiltration tactics and guerrilla warfare. Before the outbreak of the Korean War, Joseph Stalin equipped the KPA with modern heavy tanks, trucks, artillery, and small arms. Kim also formed an air force, equipped at first with ex-Soviet propeller-driven fighter and attack aircraft. Later, North Korean pilot candidates were sent to the Soviet Union and China to train in MiG-15 jet aircraft at secret bases.[18]

Although original plans called for all-Korean elections sponsored by the United Nations, in May 1948 the South declared statehood as the Republic of Korea, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was proclaimed on 9 September, with Kim as premier. On 12 October, the Soviet Union declared that Kim’s regime was the only lawful government on the peninsula. The Communist Party merged with the New People’s Party to form the Workers Party of North Korea (of which Kim was vice-chairman). In 1949, the Workers Party of North Korea merged with its southern counterpart to become the Workers Party of Korea (WPK) with Kim as party chairman.

By 1949, North Korea was a full-fledged Communist dictatorship. All parties and mass organizations were cajoled into the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, ostensibly a popular front but in reality dominated by the Communists. Around this time, Kim built the first of many statues of himself and began calling himself “the Great Leader.”

 Korean War

Main article: Korean War

The government of U.S. occupied South Korea (ROK) usurped power from locally controlled “People’s Committees” and reinstalled many of the former land owners and police who had held office when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule. These moves were met with heavy resistance and open rebellion in some parts of South Korea such as the southern islands.[19] After several altercations at the border, it appeared that civil war might be inevitable. North Korean troops invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950 intending to use force to unify the country under a communist government. The invasion was also fueled by the Jeju massacre in which 60,000 communists were killed on Jeju Island in the South.[20] Evidence suggests that the North’s bid to reunify the country was met with a wide range of popular support across the south.[21]

Archival material suggests[22][23][24] that the decision was Kim’s own initiative rather than a Soviet one. Evidence suggests that Soviet intelligence, through its espionage sources in the U.S. government and British SIS, had obtained information on the limitations of U.S. atomic bomb stockpiles as well as defense program cuts, leading Stalin to conclude that the Truman administration would not intervene in Korea.[25]

The People’s Republic of China acquiesced only reluctantly to the idea of Korean reunification after being told by Kim that Stalin had approved the action,[22][23][24] and did not provide direct military support (other than logistics channels) until United Nations troops, largely U.S. forces, had nearly reached the Yalu River late in 1950. North Korean forces captured Seoul and occupied most of the South, but were soon driven back by the U.S.-led counter attack. However, North Koreans are taught to this day that it was the South who invaded the North, and the KPA’s sweep through the South was merely a counterattack. By October, UN forces had retaken Seoul and on October 19 captured P’yŏngyang, forcing Kim and his government to flee north, first to Sinuiju and eventually into China.

On 25 October 1950, after sending various warnings of their intent to intervene if UN forces did not halt their advance, Chinese troops in the thousands crossed the Yalu River and entered the war as allies of the KPA. The UN troops were forced to withdraw and Chinese troops retook P’yŏngyang in December and Seoul in January 1951. In March U.N. forces began a new offensive, retaking Seoul. After a series of offensives and counter-offensives by both sides, followed by a gruelling period of largely static trench warfare, the front was stabilized along what eventually became the permanent “Armistice Line” of 27 July 1953. During the stalemate warfare, North Korea was devastated by U.S. air raids with very few buildings left standing in the capital and elsewhere in the country. By the time of the armistice, upwards of 3.5 million Koreans on both sides had died in the conflict.

Leader of North Korea

Restored as the leader of North Korea, Kim returned to the country after war’s end and immediately embarked on a large reconstruction effort for the country devastated by the war. He launched a five-year national economic plan to establish a command economy, with all industry owned by the state and all agriculture collectivised. The nation was founded on egalitarian principles intent on eliminating class differences and the economy was based upon the needs of workers and peasants. The economy was focused on heavy industry and arms production. Both South and North Korea retained huge armed forces to defend the 1953 ceasefire line, although no foreign troops were permanently stationed in North Korea.

Kim’s hold on power was rather shaky. To strengthen it, he claimed that the United States deliberately spread diseases among the North Korean population. While Moscow and Beijing later determined that these charges were false, they continued to help spread this rumour for many years to come. He also conducted North Korea’s first large-scale purges in part to scare the people into accepting this false account. Unlike Stalin’s Great Purge, these took place without even the formalities of a trial. Victims often simply disappeared into the growing network of prison camps.[8]

During the late 1950s, Kim was seen as an orthodox Communist leader, and an enthusiastic satellite of the Soviet Union. His speeches were liberally sprinkled with praises to Stalin. However, he sided with China during the Sino-Soviet split, opposing the reforms brought by Nikita Khrushchev, whom he believed was acting in opposition to Communism. He distanced himself from the Soviet Union, removing mention of his Red Army career from official history, and began reforming the country to his own radical Stalinist tastes. Kim was seen by many in North Korea, and in some parts elsewhere in the world, as an influential anti-revisionist leader in the communist movement. In 1956, anti-Kim elements encouraged by de-Stalinization in the Soviet Union emerged within the Party to criticize Kim and demand reforms.[26] After a period of vacillation, Kim instituted a purge, executing some who had been found guilty of treason and forcing the rest into exile.[26]

Kim Il-Sung (center) with Argentinian guerilla fighter Ernesto Che Guevara (left) and a female translator, 1960

By the 1960s, Kim’s relationship with the great Communist powers in the region became difficult. Despite his opposition to de-Stalinization, Kim never severed his relations with the Soviets, since he found the Chinese as unreliable allies due to the unstable state of affairs under Mao, leaving the DPRK somewhere in between the two sides. The Cultural Revolution, however, prompted Kim to side with the Soviets, the decision reinforced by the neo-Stalinist policies of Leonid Brezhnev. This infuriated Mao and the anti-Soviet Red Guards. As a result, the PRC immediately denounced Kim’s leadership, produced anti-Kim propaganda, and subsequently began reconciliation with the United States.[citation needed]

At the same time he reinstated relations with both Erich Honecker‘s East Germany and Nicolae Ceauşescu‘s Romania. Ceauşescu, in particular, was heavily influenced by Kim’s ideology, and the personality cult that grew around him was very similar to that of Kim. However, Kim and Albania‘s Enver Hoxha (another independent-minded Stalinist) would remain fierce enemies[27] and relations would remain cold and tense up until Hoxha’s death in 1985. At the same time, Kim was establishing an extensive personality cult, and North Koreans began to address him as “Great Leader” (widaehan suryŏng 위대한 수령). Kim developed the policy and ideology of Juche (self-reliance 주체 사상) rather than having North Korea become a Soviet satellite state.

In the mid-1960s, Kim became impressed with the efforts of Hồ Chí Minh to reunify Vietnam through guerilla warfare and thought something similar might be possible in Korea. Infiltration and subversion efforts were thus greatly stepped up against U.S. forces and the leadership that they supported. These efforts culminated in an attempt to storm the Blue House and assassinate President Park Chung-hee. North Korean troops thus took a much more aggressive stance toward U.S. forces in and around South Korea, engaging U.S. Army troops in fire-fights along the Demilitarized Zone. The 1968 capture of the crew of the spy ship USS Pueblo was a part of this campaign.

Choi Kyuha – Clear Brook Pavillion

After posting a poem by Kim Ilsung, I wondered whether any of the South Korean presidents wrote Classical Chinese poetry. I found out that president Choi Kyuha (崔圭夏, 최규하, 1919-2006), who served after the assassination of president Park Chunghee, wrote at least one poem which is presented below. President Rhee Syngman also did, but that is for another post. President Choi was ousted via a military coup d’état by Chun Doo-hwan and resigned shortly after the Gwangju massacre. He is also perhaps the last Korean leader well versed in the Confucian classics, as he was taught by his grandfather from a young age. He had read Classic of Filial Piety, Minor Learning (小學, 소학), Mencius, Analects, The Great Learning, The Doctrine of the Mean, and The Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government (資治通鑒, 자치통감, Jachi Tonggam, or better known as Zizhi Tongjian). His courtesy name was Seo’ok (瑞玉, 서옥, “auspicious jade”) and his pen name was Hyeonseok (玄石, 현석, “dark rock”). Unfortunately, like many other Japanese educated Koreans of his time, he was viewed as a Japanese sympathizer and therefore with some distrust. After his retirement from politics, he kept away from the public eye and passed away in 2006.

淸澗亭 창간정

The Clear Brook Pavillion (Cheongganjeong)

嶽海相調古樓上 악해상조고루상
果是關東秀逸景 과시관동수일경

mountain-sea-each other-match-old-pavilion-above

The mountain ranges and the seas are in harmony with each other, above the old pavilion.
Perhaps this is the most outstandingly pleasant scene in all of Gwandong [1].


  1. 關東 (관동, Gwandong, “East of the Gate”) – a name for Gangweondo.
  • 澗 (간, gan) – mountain valley brook (산골물)

The Order Of Kim Il-Sung was created in 1972 and is the DPRK’s highest award.

A new constitution was proclaimed in December 1972, under which Kim became President of North Korea. By this time, he had decided that his son Kim Jong-il would succeed him, and increasingly delegated the running of the government to him. The Kim family was supported by the army, due to Kim Il-sung’s revolutionary record and the support of the veteran defense minister, O Chin-u. At the Sixth Party Congress in October 1980, Kim publicly designated his son as his successor.

 Later years

From about this time, however, North Korea encountered increasing economic difficulties. The practical effect of Juche was to cut the country off from virtually all foreign trade. The economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping in China from 1979 onward meant that trade with the moribund economy of North Korea held decreasing interest for China. The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, during 1989–1991, completed North Korea’s virtual isolation. These events led to mounting economic difficulties.

North Korea repeatedly predicted that Korea would be re-united before Kim’s 70th birthday in 1982, and there were fears in the West that Kim would launch a new Korean War. But by this time, the disparity in economic and military power between the North and the South (where the U.S. military presence continues) made such a venture impossible.

As he aged, starting the late 1970s, Kim developed a growth on the back of his neck which was a calcium deposit. Its location near his brain and spinal cord made it inoperable. Because of its unappealing nature, North Korean photographers always shot and filmed him from the same slight-left angle, which became a difficult task as the growth reached the size of a baseball.[28][29]

In early 1994, Kim began investing in nuclear power to offset energy shortages brought on by economic problems. This was the first of many “nuclear crises”. On 19 May 1994, Kim ordered spent fuel to be unloaded from the already disputed nuclear research facility in Yongbyon. Despite repeated chiding from Western nations, Kim continued to conduct nuclear research and carry on with the uranium enrichment programme. In June 1994, former President Jimmy Carter travelled to Pyongyang for talks with Kim. To the astonishment of the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency, Kim agreed to stop his nuclear research program and seemed to be embarking upon a new opening to the West.


By the early 1990s, North Korea was nearly completely isolated from the outside world, except for limited trade and contacts with China, Russia, Vietnam and Cuba. Its economy was virtually bankrupt, crippled by huge expenditures on armaments, with an agricultural sector unable to feed its population, but state-run North Korean media continued to lionize Kim.

On 8 July 1994, at age 82, Kim Il-sung collapsed from a sudden heart attack. After the heart attack, Kim Jong-il ordered the team of doctors who were constantly at his father’s side to leave, and for the country’s best doctors to be flown in from Pyongyang. After several hours, the doctors from Pyongyang arrived, and despite their best efforts to save him, Kim Il-sung died. After the traditional Confucian Mourning period, his death was declared thirty hours later.[30]

Kim Il-sung’s death caused a nationwide mourning crisis, and a ten-day mourning period was declared by Kim Jong-il. His funeral in Pyongyang was attended by hundreds of thousands of people from all over North Korea, many of whom were mourning dramatically (there were reports that many people committed suicide or were killed in the resulting mass mourning crushes), weeping and crying Kim Il-sung’s name during the funeral procession. Kim Il-sung’s body was placed in a public mausoleum at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, where his preserved and embalmed body lies under a glass coffin for viewing purposes. His head rests on a Korean-style pillow and he is covered by the flag of the Workers Party of Korea. Video of the funeral at Pyongyang was broadcast on several networks, and can now be found on various websites.[31]

Family life

Kim Il-sung married twice. His first wife, Kim Jong-suk, bore him two sons and a daughter. Kim Jong-il is his oldest son. The other son (Kim Man-il, or Shura Kim) of this marriage died in 1947 in a swimming accident and his wife Kim Jong-suk died at the age of 31 while giving birth to a stillborn baby girl. Kim married Kim Sŏng-ae in 1952, and it is believed he had three children with her: Kim Yŏng-il, Kim Kyŏng-il and Kim Pyong-il. Kim Pyong-il was prominent in Korean politics until he became ambassador to Hungary.

Kim was reported to have other illegitimate children, as he was well known for having numerous affairs and secret relationships. They included Kim Hyŏn-nam (born 1972, head of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers’ Party since 2002)[32] and Chang-hyŏn (born 1971, adopted by Kim Jong-il’s sister Kim Kyŏng-hŭi).[33]

 Kim’s name and image

Kim Il-sung as pictured on the 100-won banknote.

There are over 500 statues of Kim Il-sung in North Korea.[34] The most prominent are at Kim Il-sung University, Kim Il-sung Stadium, Kim Il-sung Square, Kim Il-sung Bridge and the Immortal Statue of Kim Il-sung. Some statues have been destroyed by explosions or damaged with graffiti.[35] Yeong Saeng (“eternal life”) monuments have been erected throughout the country, each dedicated to the departed “Eternal Leader”, at which citizens are expected to pay annual tribute on his official birthday or the anniversary of his death.[36]

Kim Il-sung’s image is prominent in places associated with public transportation, hanging at every North Korean train station and airport.[34] It is also placed prominently at the border crossings between China and North Korea. His portrait is featured on the front of all recent North Korean won banknotes. Thousands of gifts to Kim Il-sung from foreign leaders are housed in the International Friendship Exhibition.


Kim Il-sung was the author of many works and they are published in books. His works are published by the Workers’ Party of Korea Publishing House and among them are “Complete Collection of Kim Il Sung’s Works” and “Collection of Kim Il Sung’s Selected Works“. These include new year speeches, and other speeches delivered on different occasions. Shortly before his death, he also published an autobiography entitled “With the Century” in 8 volumes.

According to official North Korean sources, Kim Il-sung was also the original writer of The Flower Girl, a revolutionary theatrical opera, which was made into a film adaptation in 1972.[37][38][39]


Kim Hyŏng-jik
Kang Pan-sŏk
Kim Sŏng-ae
Kim Il-sung
Kim Jong-suk
Kim Young-sook
Song Hye-rim
Kim Jong-il
Ko Young-hee
Kim Ok
Kim Sul-Song
Kim Jong-nam
Kim Jong-chul
Kim Jong-un


1, vintage books

1)One Hundred Year Korea History in native script

2)Vintage Kim iL Sung Books

2.Vintage Pictures and  Book’s illustration

1) Kim Il sung pictures in 1953

2) The North korea city after the  Korea war

3) The People of North Korea pictures in 1953

4)Native North Korean music and dancing


Kim Jong-il

Not to be confused with Kim Yong-il, Kim Jong-pil, or Kim Jong-Il (athlete).
Page semi-protected
This is a Korean name; the family name is Kim.
Kim Jong-il

Kim Jong-il in 2000

Assumed office 
8 July 1994
President Kim Yong-nam
Premier Hong Song-nam
Pak Pong-ju
Kim Yong-il
Choe Yong-rim
Preceded by Kim Il-sung

Assumed office 
9 April 1993
Deputy Jo Myong-Rok (1993–2010)
Chang Sung-taek (2010–)
Preceded by Position established

Assumed office 
24 December 1991
Preceded by Kim Il-sung

Assumed office 
8 October 1997
Preceded by Kim Il-sung

Assumed office 
8 October 1997
Preceded by Kim Il-sung

Born 16 February 1941 (1941-02-16) (age 69)
Vyatskoye, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (Soviet records)
16 February 1942 (1942-02-16) (age 68)
Baekdu Mountain, Japanese Korea (North Korean records)
Political party Workers’ Party of Korea
Spouse(s) Kim Young-sook
Song Hye-rim
Ko Young-hee
Kim Ok
Children Kim Sul-song
Kim Jong-nam
Kim Jong-chul
Kim Jong-un
Alma mater Kim Il-sung University
University of Malta
Kim Jong-il
Chosŏn’gŭl 김정일
McCune–Reischauer Kim Chŏngil
Revised Romanization Gim Jeong(-)il

Kim Jong-il (also written as Kim Jong Il, Korean: 김정일, Hanja: 金正日; born 16 February 1941) is the de facto leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (most commonly known as North Korea); the official leader of the country is still his long-deceased father Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea.[1][2][3] He is the Chairman of the National Defense Commission, General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the ruling party since 1948, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, the fourth largest standing army in the world. In April 2009, North Korea’s constitution was amended and now implicitly refers to him as the “Supreme Leader“.[4] He is also referred to as the “Dear Leader“, “our Father“, “the General” and “Generalissimo“.[5] His son Kim Jong-un was promoted to a senior position in the ruling Worker’s Party and is heir apparent.[6]



Soviet records show that Kim Jong-il was born in the village of Vyatskoye, near Khabarovsk, in 1941,[7] where his father, Kim Il-sung, commanded the 1st Battalion of the Soviet 88th Brigade, made up of Chinese and Korean exiles. Kim Jong-il’s mother, Kim Jong-suk, was Kim Il-sung’s first wife. During his youth in the Soviet Union, Kim Jong-il was known as Yuri Irsenovich Kim (Юрий Ирсенович Ким), taking his patronymic from his father’s Russified name, Ir-sen.

Kim Jong-il’s official biography[8] states that he was born in a secret military camp on Baekdu Mountain (백두산) in Japanese Korea on 16 February 1942.[9] Official biographers claim that his birth at Baekdu Mountain was foretold by a swallow, and heralded by the appearance of a double rainbow over the mountain and a new star in the heavens.

In 1945, Kim was three or four years old (depending on his birth year) when World War II ended and Korea regained independence from Japan. His father returned to Pyongyang that September, and in late November Kim returned to Korea via a Soviet ship, landing at Sonbong (선봉군, also Unggi). The family moved into a former Japanese officer’s mansion in Pyongyang, with a garden and pool. Kim Jong-il’s brother, “Shura” Kim (the first Kim Jong-il, but known by his Russian nickname), drowned there in 1948. Unconfirmed reports suggest that 5 year old Kim Jong-il might have caused the accident.[10] In 1949, his mother died in childbirth.[11] Unconfirmed reports suggest that his mother might have been shot and left to bleed to death.[10]


According to his official biography, Kim completed the course of general education between September 1950 and August 1960. He attended Primary School No. 4 and Middle School No. 1 (Namsan Higher Middle School) in Pyongyang.[12][13] This is contested by foreign academics, who believe he is more likely to have received his early education in the People’s Republic of China as a precaution to ensure his safety during the Korean War.[14]

Throughout his schooling, Kim was involved in politics. He was active in the Children’s Union[15] and the Democratic Youth League (DYL), taking part in study groups of Marxist political theory and other literature. In September 1957 he became vice-chairman of his middle school’s DYL branch. He pursued a programme of anti-factionalism and attempted to encourage greater ideological education among his classmates. He organized academic competitions and seminars, as well as helping to arrange field trips.[citation needed]

During his youth Kim’s interests included music, agriculture and automotive repair. At school he repaired trucks and electric motors in a practice workshop, and he often visited factories and farms with his classmates.[16]:6-9

Kim Jong-il began studying at Kim Il-sung University in September 1960, majoring in Marxist political economy. His minor subjects included philosophy and military science. While at university, he also undertook production training at Pyongyang Textile Machinery Factory, as a road-working apprentice and as a worker building TV broadcasting equipment.

Kim joined the Workers’ Party of Korea in July 1961. He began accompanying his father in “tours of field guidance”, which consisted of visits to factories, farms and workplaces around the country.

Kim Jong-il graduated from Kim Il-sung University in April 1964.[16]:9-17

Kim is also said to have received English language education at the University of Malta in the early 1970s,[17] on his infrequent holidays in Malta as guest of Prime Minister Dom Mintoff.[18]

The elder Kim had meanwhile remarried and had another son, Kim Pyong-il (named after Kim Jong-il’s drowned brother). Since 1988, Kim Pyong-il has served in a series of North Korean embassies in Europe and is currently the North Korean ambassador to Poland. Foreign commentators suspect that Kim Pyong-il was sent to these distant posts by his father in order to avoid a power struggle between his two sons

On November 23, North korea attack Yeongpyeong Island.

Unites states said. “strongly condems this attack and calls on North KOrea to halt its bellinger action” also form Russia,Jepang and wsetren Euro .  China said :” North Korea’s sole major ally and and economic prop-while expressing concern over the cross border firing, appealed for stalled six-party nuclear tals to resume”

 “South Korea fired first in Tuesday’s cross border artilerry duel,which killed two marines and injured 18 soldiers or civillians on a South Korea border island.”

Tuesday ‘s incident came after nuclear-armedf North Korea disclosed an apperently operational uranium enrichment programmed-a second potential way of building an atomic bomb-causing serious alarm for the United states an its Allies, a long running,but currentely stalled, six nation negatation process hosted by China and including both koreas, the United staes,Japan and Russia, is seeking to shutdown the North’s nucluear weapons programme


Early political career (1964–1979)


After graduating in 1964, Kim Jong-il began his ascension through the ranks of the ruling Korean Workers’ Party (KWP). His entrance to politics was met by the tensions within the global communist movement caused by the Sino-Soviet split. Still following Marxism-Leninism as their core ideology, the KWP had launched an offensive against elements within the party deemed revisionist. Dubbed “anti-Party revisionists”, senior cadre had spread feudal Confucian ideas, attempted to water down the party’s revolutionary line and ignored orders from General Secretary Kim Il-sung.[20]

Shortly after his graduation, Kim was appointed instructor and section chief to the Party Central Committee. His first activities were undertaking parts of the WPK offensive. He agitated amongst officials to ensure party activities did not deviate from the ideological line set by Kim Il-sung, and worked to reveal anti-Party revisionists. He also put in place measures to ensure the Party’s ideological system was rigidly enforced among the media, writers and artists.[21][unreliable source?]

During the late 1960s, Kim wrote a number of discourses on economics. He rallied against moves to make material incentive the primary force behind economic development, and toured the country giving guidance on technical restructuring occurring within industry at the time.[16]:25–59[unreliable source?]

Between 1967–1969, Kim turned his attention to the military. He believed bureaucrats within the Korean People’s Army (KPA) were oppressing the Army’s political organizations and distorting state orders. Kim decided these elements posed a threat to the WPK’s control of the military. At the Fourth Plenary Meeting of the Fourth Party Committee of the KPA, he exposed certain officers believed to be responsible, who were subsequently expelled.[16]:24–25[unreliable source?]

During his early years in the Party Central Committee, Kim also oversaw activities of the Propaganda and Agitation Department, in which he worked to revolutionize the Korean fine arts. Artists were encouraged to create works new in content and form, produced by new systems and methods, and abandoning old traditions in the Korean arts.

Kim’s theory was that film combined a number of artistic forms, and therefore the development of Korean cinema would in turn develop other artistic spheres. This began with film adaptations for Kim Il-sung’s works written during World War II, beginning with Five Guerrilla Brothers in 1967. In the early 1970s, operatic adaptations of Kim Il-sung’s works began.[16]:35–40[unreliable source?]

Kim was appointed vice-director of the Party Central Committee (PCC) in September 1970, and became an elected member of the PCC in October 1972. In 1973 he was made party secretary in charge of organization affairs, and simultaneously, propaganda and agitation affairs.[16][22] This was the chief position in the party, and it enabled Kim to become an authoritative interpreter of his father’s ideas, giving him immense power.[22]

During the early 1970s, Kim worked to eliminate bureaucracy and encourage political activity amongst the people by Party officials. This included a policy forcing bureaucrats to work among workers at the next subordinate level for 20 days per month.[23][unreliable source?]

In February 1974, Kim Jong-il was elected to the Political Committee of the PCC. By this time he had acquired the nicknames of “dear leader” and “intelligent leader”, according to his official biography.[16]:48[unreliable source?]

That same year, Kim launched the Three-revolution Team Movement. Described as “a new method of guiding the revolution”, the movement introduced teams which travelled around the country providing political, scientific and technical training through short courses. The expertise gained was continually developed through mass meetings in which knowledge could be shared.

Kim also led the shock-brigade movement of scientists and technicians — a similar initiative for new scientific research.[16]:61-66[unreliable source?]

During the late 1970s, Kim was involved in economic planning, including several campaigns to rapidly develop certain sectors of the economy.[16]:56-60 He worked on initiatives to build mass political movements within the military, including the Three Revolution Red Flag Movement, Red Flag Company Movement and the Red Flag Vanguard Company Movement.[16]:72[unreliable source?]

He was also active in efforts to build a campaign for the reunification of Korea. This included assisting in the formation of the International Liaison Committee for the Independent and Peaceful Reunification of Korea in 1977, attending talks between political parties and groups within the DPRK, and taking part in high-level negotiations between the DPRK and Republic of Korea.[16]:72-75[unreliable source?]

Presidium member and party secretary (1980–1994)

By the time of the Sixth Party Congress in October 1980, Kim Jong-il’s control of the Party operation was complete. He was given senior posts in the Politburo, the Military Commission and the party Secretariat. When he was made a member of the Seventh Supreme People’s Assembly in February 1982, international observers deemed him the heir apparent of North Korea.

At this time Kim assumed the title “Dear Leader” (친애한 지도자, chinaehan jidoja)[24] the government began building a personality cult around him patterned after that of his father, the “Great Leader”. Kim Jong-il was regularly hailed by the media as the “fearless leader” and “the great successor to the revolutionary cause”. He emerged as the most powerful figure behind his father in North Korea.

On 24 December 1991, Kim was also named supreme commander of the North Korean armed forces. Since the Army is the real foundation of power in North Korea, this was a vital step. Defense Minister Oh Jin-wu, one of Kim Il-sung’s most loyal subordinates, engineered Kim Jong-il’s acceptance by the Army as the next leader of North Korea, despite his lack of military service. The only other possible leadership candidate, Prime Minister Kim Il (no relation), was removed from his posts in 1976. In 1992, Kim Il-sung publicly stated that his son was in charge of all internal affairs in the Democratic People’s Republic.

In 1992, radio broadcasts started referring to him as the “Dear Father”, instead of the “Dear Leader”, suggesting a promotion. His 50th birthday in February was the occasion for massive celebrations, exceeded only by those for the 80th birthday of Kim Il Sung himself on 15 April.

According to defector Hwang Jang-yop, the North Korean system became even more centralized and autocratic under Kim Jong-il than it had been under his father. Although Kim Il-sung required his ministers to be loyal to him, he nonetheless sought their advice in decision-making. In contrast, Kim Jong-il demands absolute obedience and agreement with no advice or compromise, and he views any deviation from his thinking as a sign of disloyalty. According to Hwang, Kim Jong-il personally directs even minor details of state affairs, such as the size of houses for party secretaries and the delivery of gifts to his subordinates.[25]

By the 1980s, North Korea began to experience severe economic stagnation. Kim Il-sung’s policy of juche (self-reliance) cut the country off from almost all external trade, even with its traditional partners, the Soviet Union and China.

South Korea accused Kim of ordering the 1983 bombing in Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar), which killed 17 visiting South Korean officials, including four cabinet members, and another in 1987 which killed all 115 on board Korean Air Flight 858.[26] A North Korean agent, Kim Hyon Hui, confessed to planting a bomb in the case of the second, saying the operation was ordered by Kim Jong-il personally.[27]

In 1992, Kim Jong-il’s voice was broadcast within North Korea for the only time. During a military parade for the KPA’s 60th year anniversary in Pyongyang’s then Central Square (Kim Il-sung Square at present), in which Kim Il-sung attended, he approached the microphone at the grandstand and simply said “Glory to the heroic soldiers of the Korean People’s Army!” Everyone in the audience clapped and the parade participants at the square grounds (which included veteran soldiers and officers of the KPA) shouted “ten thousand years” three times after that.

Ruler of North Korea

Kimg Jong il at Mansudae Apartment Complex in Pyongyang in March 2010.

On 8 July 1994, Kim Il-sung died, at the age of 82 from a heart attack. However, it took three years for Kim Jong-il to consolidate his power. He officially took the titles of General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the National Defense Commission on 8 October 1997. In 1998, his Defense Commission chairmanship was declared to be “the highest post of the state”, so Kim may be regarded as North Korea’s head of state from that date. Also in 1998, the Supreme People’s Assembly wrote the president’s post out of the constitution in memory of Kim Il-Sung, who was designated the country’s “Eternal President”. It can be argued, though, that he became the country’s leader when he became leader of the Workers’ Party; in most Communist countries the party leader is the most powerful person in the country.

Officially, Kim is part of a triumvirate heading the executive branch of the North Korean government along with Premier Choe Yong-rim and parliament chairman Kim Yong-nam (no relations). Each nominally has powers equivalent to a third of a president’s powers in most other presidential systems. Kim Jong-il is commander of the armed forces, Choe Yong-rim heads the government and Kim Yong-nam handles foreign relations. In practice, however, Kim Jong-il exercises absolute control over the government and the country.

Although Kim is not required to stand for popular election to his key offices, he is unanimously elected to the Supreme People’s Assembly every five years, representing a military constituency, due to his concurrent capacities as KPA Supreme Commander and Chairman of the DPRK NDC.

Economic policies

North Korea’s state-controlled economy struggled throughout the 1990s, primarily due to the loss of strategic trade arrangements with the Soviet Union[28] and strained relations with China following China’s normalization with South Korea in 1992.[29] In addition, North Korea experienced record-breaking floods (1995 and 1996) followed by several years of equally severe drought beginning in 1997.[30] This, compounded with only 18% arable land[31] and an inability to import the goods necessary to sustain industry,[32] led to an immense famine and left North Korea in economic shambles. Faced with a country in decay, Kim adopted a “Military-First” policy (선군정치, Sŏn’gun chŏngch’i) to strengthen the country and reinforce the regime.[33] On the national scale, this policy has produced a positive growth rate for the country since 1996, and the implementation of “landmark socialist-type market economic practices” in 2002 kept the North afloat despite a continued dependency on foreign aid for food.[34]

In the wake of the devastation of the 1990s, the government began formally approving some activity of small-scale bartering and trade. As observed by Daniel Sneider, associate director for research at the Stanford University Asia-Pacific Research Center, this flirtation with capitalism is “fairly limited, but — especially compared to the past — there are now remarkable markets that create the semblance of a free market system.”[35] In 2002, Kim Jong-il declared that “money should be capable of measuring the worth of all commodities.”[36] These gestures toward economic reform mirror similar actions taken by China’s Deng Xiaoping in the late 1980s and early 90s. During a rare visit in 2006, Kim expressed admiration for China’s rapid economic progress.[37]

Foreign relations

Kim Jong-il with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2000.

In 1998, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung implemented the “Sunshine policy” (햇볕 정책, Haetpyŏt chŏngch’aek) to improve North-South relations and to allow South Korean companies to start projects in the North. Kim Jong-il announced plans to import and develop new technologies to develop North Korea’s fledgling software industry. As a result of the new policy, the Kaesong Industrial Park was constructed in 2003 just north of the de-militarized zone, with the planned participation of 250 South Korean companies, employing 100,000 North Koreans, by 2007.[38] However, by March 2007, the Park contained only 21 companies — employing 12,000 North Korean workers.[39] As of May 2010 the park currently employs over 40,000 North Korean workers.[40]

In 1994, North Korea and the United States signed an Agreed Framework which was designed to freeze and eventually dismantle the North’s nuclear weapons program in exchange for aid in producing two power-generating nuclear reactors.[41] In 2002, Kim Jong-il’s government admitted to having produced nuclear weapons since the 1994 agreement. Kim’s regime argued the secret production was necessary for security purposes — citing the presence of United States-owned nuclear weapons in South Korea and the new tensions with the U.S. under President George W. Bush.[42] On 9 October 2006, North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency announced that it had successfully conducted an underground nuclear test.

2008 health and waning power rumors

In an August 2008 issue of the Japanese newsweekly Shukan Gendai, Waseda University professor Toshimitsu Shigemura, an authority on the Korean Peninsula,[43] claimed that Kim Jong-il died of diabetes in late 2003 and had been replaced in public appearances by one or more stand-ins previously employed to protect him from assassination attempts.[44] In a subsequent best-selling book, The True Character of Kim Jong-il, Shigemura cited apparently un-named people close to Kim’s family along with Japanese and South Korean intelligence sources, claiming they confirmed Kim’s diabetes took a turn for the worse early in 2000 and from then until his supposed death three and a half years later he was using a wheelchair. Shigemura moreover claimed a voiceprint analysis of Kim speaking in 2004 did not match a known earlier recording. It was also noted that Kim Jong-il did not appear in public for the Olympic torch ceremony in Pyongyang on 28 April 2008. The question had reportedly “baffled foreign intelligence agencies for years.”[45]

On 9 September 2008, various sources reported that after he did not show up that day for a military parade celebrating North Korea’s 60th anniversary, US intelligence agencies believed Kim might be “gravely ill” after having suffered a stroke. He had last been seen in public a month earlier.[46][47] A former CIA official said earlier reports of a health crisis were likely to be accurate. North Korean media remained silent on the issue. An Associated Press report said analysts believed Kim had been supporting moderates in the foreign ministry, while North Korea’s powerful military was against so-called “Six-Party” negotiations with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States aimed towards ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons. Some US officials noted that soon after rumours about Kim’s health were publicized a month before, North Korea had taken a “tougher line in nuclear negotiations.” In late August North Korea’s official news agency reported the government would “consider soon a step to restore the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon to their original state as strongly requested by its relevant institutions.” Analysts said this meant “the military may have taken the upper hand and that Kim might no longer be wielding absolute authority.”[48]

By 10 September there were conflicting reports. Unidentified South Korean government officials said Kim had undergone surgery after suffering a minor stroke and had apparently “intended to attend the 9 September event in the afternoon but decided not to because of the aftermath of the surgery.” High ranking North Korean official Kim Yong-nam said, “While we wanted to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the country with General Secretary Kim Jong-Il, we celebrated on our own.” Song Il-Ho, North Korea’s ambassador said, “We see such reports as not only worthless, but rather as a conspiracy plot.” Seoul’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that “the South Korean embassy in Beijing had received an intelligence report that Kim collapsed on 22 August.”[49] The New York Times reported Kim was “very ill and most likely suffered a stroke a few weeks ago, but U.S. intelligence authorities do not think his death is imminent.”[50] The BBC noted that the North Korean government denied these reports, stating that Kim’s health problems were “not serious enough to threaten his life,”[51][52] although they did confirm that he had suffered from a stroke on 15 August.[53]

Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported on 14 September that “Kim collapsed on 14 August due to stroke or a cerebral hemorrhage, and that Beijing dispatched five military doctors at the request of Pyongyang. Kim will require a long period of rest and rehabilitation before he fully recovers and has complete command of his limbs again, as with typical stroke victims.” Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun said Kim occasionally lost consciousness since April.[54] Japan’s Tokyo Shimbun on 15 September added that Kim is conscious “but he needs some time to recuperate from the recent stroke, with some parts of his hands and feet paralyzed. Chinese sources claim that stress brought about by the U.S. delay to remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, is one cause for the stroke. Chairman Kim is now staying at the Bongwha State Guest House on the outskirts of Pyongyang.”[55]

On 19 October, North Korea reportedly ordered its diplomats to stay near their embassies to await “an important message”, according to Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun,[56] setting off renewed speculation about the health of the ailing leader.

By 29 October 2008, reports stated Kim suffered a serious setback and had been taken back to hospital.[57] The New York Times reported that Taro Aso, on 28 October 2008, stated in a parliamentary session that Kim had been hospitalized: “His condition is not so good. However, I don’t think he is totally incapable of making decisions.” Aso further said a French neurosurgeon was aboard a plane for Beijing, en route to North Korea. Further, Kim Sung-ho, director of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, told lawmakers in a closed parliamentary session in Seoul that “Kim appeared to be recovering quickly enough to start performing his daily duties.”[58] The Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported “a serious problem” with Kim’s health. Japan’s Fuji Television Network reported that Kim’s eldest son, Kim Jong Nam, traveled to Paris to hire a neurosurgeon for his father, and showed footage where the surgeon boarded flight CA121 bound for Pyongyang from Beijing on 24 October. The French weekly Le Point identified him as Francois-Xavier Roux, neurosurgery director of Paris’ Sainte-Anne Hospital, but Roux himself stated he was in Beijing for several days and not North Korea.[59]

On 5 November 2008, the North’s Korean Central News Agency published 2 photos showing Kim posing with dozens of Korean People’s Army (KPA) soldiers on a visit to military Unit 2200 and sub-unit of Unit 534. Shown with his usual bouffant hairstyle, with his trademark sunglasses and a white winter parka, Kim stood in front of trees with autumn foliage and a red-and-white banner.[60][61][62][63][64][65] The Times of London has questioned the authenticity of at least one of these photos.[66]

In November 2008, Japan’s TBS TV network reported that Kim had suffered a second stroke in October, which “affected the movement of his left arm and leg and also his ability to speak.”[67][68] However, South Korea’s intelligence agency rejected this report.[68]

In response to the rumors regarding Kim’s health and supposed loss of power, in April 2009, North Korea released a video showing Kim visiting factories and other places around the country between November and December 2008.[69] In July 2009, it was reported that Kim may be suffering from pancreatic cancer.[70][71]


Kim’s three sons and his son-in-law, along with O Kuk-ryol, an army general, have been noted as possible successors, but the North Korean government has been wholly silent on this matter.[72] South Korean media have suggested Kim is grooming his son Kim Jong-chul, while defectors and Western media have suggested the possibility of his youngest known son Kim Jong-un who is described to be “just like his father”, has the exact same political views and his explosive tempers,[citation needed] but Kim Yong Hyun, a political expert at the Institute for North Korean Studies at Seoul‘s Dongguk University, has said, “Even the North Korean establishment would not advocate a continuation of the family dynasty at this point.”[73] Kim’s eldest son Kim Jong-nam was earlier believed to be the designated heir but he appears to have fallen out of favor after being arrested at Narita International Airport near Tokyo in 2001 while traveling on a forged passport.[74]

On 2 June 2009, it was reported that Kim Jong Il’s youngest son, Jong Un, was to be North Korea’s next leader.[75] Like his father and grandfather, he has also been given an official sobriquet, The Brilliant Comrade.[76] It has been reported that Kim Jong Il is expected to officially designate the son as his successor in 2012.[77] However, there are reports that if leadership passes to one of the sons, Kim Jong Il’s brother-in-law, Chang Sung-taek, could attempt to take power from him.[77]

Re-election as DPRK leader

On 9 April 2009, Kim was re-elected as chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission,[78] and made an appearance at the Supreme People’s Assembly. This was the first time Kim was seen in public since August 2008. He was unanimously re-elected and given a standing ovation.[79]

2009 imprisonment and pardoning of American journalists

In March 2009, the North Korean military detained two American journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, who were working for the U.S. independent cable television network Current TV, after they allegedly crossed into North Korea from the People’s Republic of China without a visa. The two reporters were found guilty of illegal entry and subsequently sentenced to twelve years of hard labor.[80] Reporters Without Borders characterized the trial and sentencing as a “sham trial“,[81] and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton initially stated that the charges against the journalists were “baseless”.[82]

On 4 August 2009, former U.S. President Bill Clinton met with Kim Jong-il during a “solely private mission to secure the release of Euna Lee and Laura Ling.”[83] According to the KCNA, Clinton conveyed a verbal message to Kim from President Barack Obama,[84] a claim denied by the Obama administration.[83] Clinton and Kim had “an exhaustive conversation” that included “a wide-ranging exchange of views on the matters of common concern,” KCNA reported.[83] KCNA also reported that the National Defence Commission of North Korea, of which the Dear Leader is the Chairman, hosted a dinner in honor of Clinton, but did not go into detail about what was discussed at the reception.[84] In the early morning hours (UTC+9) of 5 August, KCNA announced that Kim Jong-il had issued a pardon to Lee and Ling.[85]

2010 visits to China

Kim was reported to have visited the People’s Republic of China in May 2010. He entered the country by his personal train on 3 May, and stayed in a hotel in Dalian.[86] Kim travelled to China again in August 2010, this time with his son, fueling speculation that he is ready to hand over power to son Kim Jong-un.[87]

Cult of personality

Kim Jong-il is the centre of an elaborate personality cult inherited from his father and founder of the DPRK, Kim Il-sung. Defectors have been quoted as saying that North Korean schools deify both father and son.[88] He is often the centre of attention throughout ordinary life in the DPRK. His birthday is one of the most important public holidays in the country. On his 60th birthday (based on his official date of birth), mass celebrations occurred throughout the country on the occasion of his Hwangap.[89] Many North Koreans believe that he has the “magical” ability to “control the weather” based on his mood.[88]

One point of view is that Kim Jong Il’s cult of personality is solely out of respect for Kim Il-sung or out of fear of punishment for failure to pay homage.[90] Media and government sources from outside of North Korea generally support this view,[91][92][93][94][95] while North Korean government sources say that it is genuine hero worship.[96] The song “No Motherland Without You“, sung by the KPA State Merited Choir, was created especially for Kim in 1992 and is one of the most popular tunes in the country.

Personal life


There is no official information available about Kim Jong-il’s marital history, but he is believed to have been officially married once and to have had three mistresses.[97] He has four known children:

Kim’s first wife, Kim Young Sook, was the daughter of a high-ranking military official. His father Kim Il-Sung handpicked her to marry his son.[97] The two have been estranged for some years. Kim has a daughter from this marriage, Kim Sul-song (born 1974).[98]

Kim’s first mistress, Song Hye-rim, was a star of North Korean films. She was married to another man when they met; Kim is reported to have forced her husband to divorce her. The relationship was not officially recognized, and after years of estrangement she is believed to have died in Moscow in the Central Clinical Hospital in 2002.[99] They had one son, Kim Jong-nam (born 1971) who is Kim Jong-il’s eldest son.[100]

His second mistress, Ko Young-hee, was a Japanese-born ethnic Korean and a dancer. She had taken over the role of First Lady until her death — reportedly of cancer — in 2004. They had two sons, Kim Jong-chul, in 1981, and Kim Jong-un (also “Jong Woon” or “Jong Woong”), in 1983.[100][101]

Since Ko’s death, Kim has been living with Kim Ok, his third mistress, who had served as his personal secretary since the 1980s. She “virtually acts as North Korea’s first lady” and frequently accompanies Kim on his visits to military bases and in meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries. She traveled with Kim Jong Il on a secretive trip to China in January 2006, where she was received by Chinese officials as Kim’s wife.[102]

Kim Jong-il is also reported to have a younger sister, Kim Kyong-Hui (김경희).[103]

Kim Hyŏng-jik
Kang Pan-sŏk
Kim Sŏng-ae
Kim Il-sung
Kim Jong-suk
Kim Young-sook
Song Hye-rim
Kim Jong-il
Ko Young-hee
Kim Ok
Kim Sul-Song
Kim Jong-nam
Kim Jong-chul
Kim Jong-un


The neutrality of this article is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (July 2010)

Like his father, Kim has a fear of flying,[104] and has always traveled by private armored train for state visits to Russia and China. The BBC reported that Konstantin Pulikovsky, a Russian emissary who traveled with Kim across Russia by train, told reporters that Kim had live lobsters air-lifted to the train every day.[105]

Kim is said to be a huge film fan, owning a collection of more than 20,000 video tapes and DVDs.[106] His reported favorite movie franchises include Friday the 13th, Rambo, Godzilla, Hong Kong action cinema,[107] and any movie starring Elizabeth Taylor.[108] He is also a fan of James Bond movies despite taking personal offense to the film Die Another Day because antagonists are North Koreans. He is the author of the book On the Art of the Cinema. In 1978, on Kim’s orders, South Korean film director Shin Sang-ok and his actress wife Choi Eun-hee were kidnapped in order to build a North Korean film industry.[109] In 2006 he was involved in the production of the Juche-based movie Diary of a Girl Student – depicting the life of a girl whose parents are scientists – with a KCNA news report stating that Kim “improved its script and guided its production”.[110]

Although Kim enjoys many foreign forms of entertainment, according to former bodyguard Lee Young Kuk, he refused to consume any food or drink not produced in North Korea, with the exception of wine from France.[111] His former sushi chef Kenji Fujimoto, however, has stated that Kim has sometimes sent him around the world to purchase a variety of foreign delicacies.[112]

Kim reportedly also enjoys basketball. Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright ended her summit with Kim by presenting him with a basketball signed by NBA legend Michael Jordan.[113] Also an apparent golfer, North Korean state media reports that Kim routinely shoots three or four holes-in-one per round.[114] His official biography also claims Kim has composed six operas and enjoys staging elaborate musicals.[115] Kim also refers to himself as an Internet expert.[116]

U.S. Special Envoy for the Korean Peace Talks, Charles Kartman, who was involved in the 2000 Madeleine Albright summit with Kim, characterised Kim Jong-il as a reasonable man in negotiations, to the point, but with a sense of humor and personally attentive to the people he was hosting.[117] However, psychological evaluations conclude that Kim Jong-il’s antisocial features, such as his fearlessness in the face of sanctions and punishment, serve to make negotiations extraordinarily difficult.[118]

The field of psychology has long been fascinated with the personality assessment of dictators, a notion that resulted in an extensive personality evaluation of Kim Jong-il. The report, compiled by Frederick L. Coolidge and Daniel L. Segal (with the assistance of a South Korean psychiatrist considered an expert on Kim Jong-il’s behavior), concluded that the “big six” group of personality disorders shared by dictators Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Saddam Hussein (sadistic, paranoid, antisocial, narcissistic, schizoid and schizotypal) were also shared by Kim Jong-il—coinciding primarily with the profile of Saddam Hussein.[118] The evaluation also finds that Kim Jong-il appears to pride himself on North Korea’s independence, despite the extreme hardships it appears to place on the North Korean people—an attribute appearing to emanate from his antisocial personality pattern.[118] This notion also encourages other cognitive issues, such as self-deception, as subsidiary components to Kim Jong-il’s personality. Many of the stories about Kim Jong Il’s eccentricities and decadent life-style are exaggerated, possibly circulated by South Korean intelligence to discredit the Northern regime.[119] Defectors claim that Kim has 17 different palaces and residences all over North Korea, including a private resort near Baekdu Mountain, a seaside lodge in the city of Wonsan, and a palace complex northeast of Pyongyang surrounded with multiple fence lines, bunkers and anti-aircraft batteries.[120]


According to the Sunday Telegraph, Kim has US$4 billion secreted in banks in Europe in case he ever needs to flee North Korea. The newspaper reported that most of the money was in banks in Luxembourg.[121]



Struktur Kekuatan dan Dinaski Kim Korea utara(harian Kompas,kliping,oktober 2010)

1. Dinasti Kim Pertama: Presiden Kim Il Sung

2.Dinasti Kim Kedua : Presiden Kim Yonh Il

*Kim Jong Il

3. Dinasti klim ketiga : Jendral Kim Yong Un

*Kim Jong Un

Showcase Lima  :Koleksi prangko langka Korea Utara




*front cover

*from Pyongyang North Korea  to Bandung Indonesia

*back cover

Kim Jong-nam

Kim Jong-nam

Born May 10, 1971 (1971-05-10) (age 39)
Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Birth name Kim Jong-nam
Nationality North Korean
Political party Workers’ Party of Korea
Spouse(s) Shin Jong-hui
Relations Kim Jong-il (father)
Song Hye-rim (mother)
Kim Il-sung (grandfather)
Kim Sul-Song (sister)
Kim Jong-un (brother)
Kim Jong-chul (brother)
Children Son (Kim Jong-seo ) (born c. 1996)
Residence Macau
Military service
Allegiance North Korea Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Kim Jong-nam
Chosŏn’gŭl 김정남
Hancha 金正男
McCune–Reischauer Kim Chŏng-nam
Revised Romanization Gim Jeong-nam
This is a Korean name; the family name is Kim.

Kim Jong-nam (Korean: 김정남, Hanja: 金正男) (born May 10, 1971), is the eldest son of Kim Jong-Il, ruler of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. From roughly 1998 to 2001, he was widely considered to be the heir-apparent to his father and the next leader of North Korea. Following a much-publicized botched attempt to secretly visit Japan‘s Disneyland in May 2001, he was thought to have fallen out of favor with his father.[1] Kim Jong-nam’s younger half-brother Kim Jong-un was named heir apparent in September 2010.[2]

 Life and career

 Early life

Kim was born in Pyongyang, to Song Hye-rim, one of three women known to have had children with Kim Jong-il. Because Kim Jong-il aimed to keep his affair with Song a secret due to the disapproval of his father Kim Il-sung, he initially kept Jong-nam out of school, instead sending him to live with Song’s older sister Song Hye-rang, who tutored him at home.[3] In 1996 Kim Jong-nam entered an elite school for the children of Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) leaders.

Kim Jong-nam is reported to have a personality similar to that of his father, and has been described by his aunt as being “hot tempered, sensitive, and gifted in the arts.”[4] The same aunt also said in 2000 that Jong-nam “does not wish to succeed his father.”[4] Like Kim Jong-il, he is interested in film: he has written scripts and shot films since he was young.[4] His father also created a small movie set for him to use.[4]

According to the Japanese magazine Shukan Shincho, Kim has made several clandestine visits to Japan, starting as early as 1995.[4] A book about the Kim family, Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader by Bradley K. Martin, reported that during the late 1990s, Kim Jong-nam became “a familiar figure” at a bathhouse in Yoshiwara, one of Tokyo‘s red light districts.[4]

1998–2001: Time as heir apparent

In 1998 Kim was appointed to a senior position in the Ministry of Public Security, the DPRK security apparatus, indicating that he was being promoted as a future leader. He was also reported to have been appointed head of the DPRK Computer Committee, in charge of developing an information technology industry. In January 2001 he accompanied his father to Shanghai, where he had talks with Chinese officials on the IT industry.

 2001 Tokyo Disneyland incident

In May 2001, Kim was arrested on arrival at New Tokyo International Airport (now Narita International Airport), accompanied by two women and a four-year old boy identified as his son. He was traveling on a forged Dominican Republic passport using a Chinese alias, Pang Xiong,[5] which could mean “fat bear”).[6] Kim was reportedly wearing a white shirt and dark blazer along with sunglasses and a gold chain. After being detained for several days, he was deported, on the instructions of the Japanese government, to the People’s Republic of China. Kim apparently told his questioners that he was in Japan to visit Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, also near Tokyo. The incident caused Kim Jong-il to cancel a planned visit to China because of the embarrassment to both countries.

2001–2005: Loss of favor

Until the Tokyo incident, Kim Jong-nam was expected to become leader of the country after his father. In late September 2010, his younger half-brother Kim Jong-un was made heir-apparent.[7][8] In February 2003, the DPRK People’s Army began a propaganda campaign under the slogan “The Respected Mother is the Most Faithful and Loyal Subject to the Dear Leader Comrade Supreme Commander.” Since the “Respected Mother” was described as “[devoting] herself to the personal safety of the comrade supreme commander,” and “[assisting] the comrade supreme commander nearest to his body,” it is assumed that the “Respected Mother” is Ko Young-hee, and that the campaign is designed to promote Kim Jong-chul or Kim Jong-un, her sons. (A similar campaign was launched in praise of Kim Jong Il’s mother during the later years of Kim Il-Sung’s life.)

It is widely believed that Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-nam′s youngest half-brother, is the new heir apparent.[9] Kim Jong-il has rewarded loyal army officers with imported luxury cars. Since the loyalty of the Army is the real foundation of the Kim family’s continuing hold on power in the DPRK, this would be a serious development for Kim Jong-nam’s prospects.[9] In late 2003 it was reported that Kim Jong-nam was living in China, lending strength to this belief.

In 2003, Hwang Jang-yop, a former KWP secretary for international affairs who defected to South Korea in 1997, predicted that Kim Jong-nam had lost his chance: “An heir must be the child of a woman a king loves, and it is true that Kim Jong-il loves Koh Young-hee most. The fate of Kim Jong-nam is sealed.”

Kim Jong-un was left in charge while his father was on a state visit to China.[9] Outsider observers also believe that the North Korea′s sinking of a South Korean ship in March 2010 was part of a byzantine attempt to secure succession for the youngest Kim.[9]

 2005–2010: Rise of Kim Jong-un

This section may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. More details may be available on the talk page. (May 2009)

It was reported in the South China Morning Post on February 1, 2007, that Kim Jong-nam had been living incognito with his family in Macau, for some three years, and that this was a cause of some embarrassment to both the Macau and Chinese governments.[citation needed]

South Korean television and the South China Morning Post reported in 2007 that Kim Jong-nam had a Portuguese passport. However, Portuguese authorities and the Portuguese consul in Macau,[10] Pedro Moitinho de Almeida, stated that if “If such a document indeed exists, it is certainly a forgery”.

In August 2007 it was reported that Kim Jong-nam had returned to the DPRK from China and had begun working at a key agency of the ruling Workers’ Party, fueling speculation that the rift between Kim Jong-nam and his father had at least partially mended and that Kim Jong-nam was being groomed as a potential successor.[11] It was verified later on that this was a rumor and that Kim Jong-nam is still staying in Beijing and Macau as before while travelling to Austria and France (for medical reasons) early November 2007 where he gave a short interview to a Japanese TV channel after going to Moscow.

In January 2009, Kim said he had “no interest” in taking power in North Korea after his father, stating that it is only for him to decide.[12]

In June 2010, Kim gave a brief interview to the Associated Press in Macau while waiting for a hotel elevator.[13] He told the reporter that he had “no plans” to defect to Europe, as the press had recently rumored.[13] Kim Jong-nam lived in an apartment on the southern tip of Macau’s Coloane Island until 2007.[14] An anonymous South Korean official reported in October 2010 that Jong-nam had not lived in Macau for “months”, and now shuttles between China and “another country.”[14]

Personal life

The South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo reports that Kim Jong-nam has two wives, at least one mistress, and several children.[14] His first wife Shin Jong-hui (born c. 1980) and their son Kum-sol (born c. 1996) live at a home called Dragon Villa on the northern outskirts of Beijing.[14] His second wife Lee Hye-kyong (born c. 1970), their son Han-sol (born c. 1995) and their daughter Sol-hui (born c. 1998) live in a modest 12th story apartment building in Macau;[14] the couple are reportedly separated.[14] Jong-nam’s mistress, former Air Koryo flight attendant So Yong-la (born c. 1980), also lives in Macau.[14]


Kim Hyŏng-jik
Kang Pan-sŏk
Kim Sŏng-ae
Kim Il-sung
Kim Jong-suk
Kim Young-sook
Song Hye-rim
Kim Jong-il
Ko Young-hee
Kim Ok
Kim Sul-Song
Kim Jong-nam
Kim Jong-chul
Kim Jong-un

Than tou very much for visit Dr Iwan Cybemsueum, and the comple info exist in CR-Rom special for premieum member.

Terima Kasih atas Kunjungannya di Museum dunia maya Dr iwan,semoga kembali lagi untuk pameran selanjutnya, juga lihatlah pameran lain dan koleksi museum di ruang Pusaka nenek Moyang The Hall Of Human Heritage

The Vietnam French Indochina Post WW II PART ONE 1945-1949












Showroom :

The Driwan’s  Cybermuseum


(Museum Duniamaya Dr Iwan)

                    Please Enter


              DMC SHOWROOM

(Driwan Vietnam Cybermuseum)



french return to Vietnam

French Union forces in Indochina.


Upon the Japanese surrender in Indo-China, French Forces began reinforcing their newly regained colonies in order to prevent a popular liberation movement and communist insurgents from exploiting the existing power vacuum. This move was also viewed as a ‘housekeeping’ measure to restore French control over lands the French had deemed a portion of France. The troops that streamed to Indochina were not only French colonial troops, but also large numbers of Germans, Italians, Poles and other North-Eastern Europeans. Furthermore, there were large numbers of Russian escapees from the various involuntary repatriations after having either served in the Soviet army and having been captured, or worse, having served in the Wehrmacht in an attempt to free their homeland from Communism. All of these nationalities were combined in the formations of the French Foreign Legion.


This hodge-podge of troops was equipped with an even more astounding array of gear and uniforms. The items used right from the beginning were a mélange of French, British and American Uniforms and web equipments. Weaponry consisted of a similarly dramatic mix of (order representing approximate proportion of issue) French, US, British, German and Italian small arms and ordnance.










Colonial Parachute Commando Demi-Brigade (SAS)
1st Parachute Demi-Brigade (SAS)
1st Parachute Chasseurs Regiment
2nd Colonial Parachute Commando Demi-Brigade
1st Colonial Parachute Battalion
2nd Colonial Parachute Battalion
3rd Colonial Parachute Battalion
(removed 4th BPC. was stationed in west africa until 1957)
5th Colonial Parachute Battalion
6th Colonial Parachute Battalion
7th Colonial Parachute Battalion
8th Colonial (Shock) Parachute Battalion
10th Dismounted Parachute Chasseurs Battalion
1st Foreign Legion Parachute Battalion
2nd Foreign Legion Parachute Battalion

Armor/Armored Cavalry

1st Armored Cavalry Regiment
4th Dragoon Regiment
5th Armored Cavalry Regiment
9th Dragoon Marche Regiment
8th Algerian Spahis Regiment
2nd Moroccan Spahis Regiment
5th Moroccan Spahis Regiment
6th Moroccan Spahis Regiment
Far East Spahis Marche Regiment
Far East Colonial Armored Regiment
1st Foreign Legion Cavalry Regiment
4th Dragoon Battalion
7th Squadron, 1st Moroccan Spahis Marche Regiment
1st Far East Independent Reconnaissance Squadron
2nd Far East Independent Reconnaissance Squadron
3rd Far East Independent Reconnaissance Squadron
4th Far East Independent Reconnaissance Squadron
5th Far East Independent Reconnaissance Squadron


2nd Artillery Regiment
4th Colonial Artillery Regiment
10th Colonial Artillery Regiment
41st Colonial Artillery Regiment
69th African Artillery Regiment
Moroccan Colonial Artillery Regiment
Marche Battalion, 64th Artillery Regiment
Marche Battalion, 66th Artillery Regiment
1st Battalion, Far East Colonial Antiaircraft Regiment
1st Group, 35th Parachute Regiment (Light Artillery) added
21st Aerial Observation Battalion
22nd Aerial Observation Battalion
23rd Aerial Observation Battalion
24th Aerial Observation Battalion
261st Antiaircraft Battalion
French East African Colonial Artillery Battalion
Levant Colonial Mountain Artillery Battalion (added)
1st Central Annam Artillery Battalion
2nd Central Annam Artillery Battalion


17th Engineer Battalion
22nd Engineer Battalion
26th Engineer Battalion
28th Legion Engineer Battalion (added)
31st Engineer Battalion
61st Engineer Battalion
62nd Engineer Battalion
71st Engineer Battalion
72nd Engineer Battalion
73rd Engineer Battalion
75th Engineer Battalion
(61st Colonial Engineer Battalion
71st Colonial Engineer Battalion
72nd Colonial Engineer Battalion
73rd Colonial Engineer Battalion) I’m not sure if these units are the same as above with Colonial added.
74th Colonial Engineer Battalion
76th Legion Engineer Battalion


532nd Medical Transportation Company
Far Eastern Provisional Brigade’s Colonial Service and Transportation Company
71st Traffic Control Company
73rd Traffic Control Company
503rd Transportation Battalion
515th Transportation Battalion
516th Transportation Battalion
519th Transportation Battalion
163eme Colonial Battalion of Transmissions




 1945-1975 The painful history of Vietnam.

On March 9, 1945

Japanese troops brutally attacked the French garrisons still present in Indochina. The heavy toll of at least 2,650 deaths among the French, including General Lemonnier Emile Commander 13th Brigade Langson.
Some 3,000 prisoners join the death camps, including the Hoa-Binh. Of the 19,000 French civilians, 3,000 are interned and sometimes tortured.
Bao Dai, Emperor of Annam, denounced the French protectorate, and agrees with the “Great Asia advocated by Japan.
Bao Dai is ousted August 10, 1945 by the nationalist-communist leader Ho Chi Minh, raising the people against the Japanese Trust August 10, 1945. The Emperor abdicates September 2, 1945, the Vietminh League proclaimed the independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Charles de Gaulle

De Gaulle asked the French army to restore the authority of France in Indochina as part of a federation of colonies and protectorates which would include the three provinces of Vietnam (the three Ky: Tonkin, Annam and Cochin China) as well as Cambodia and Laos.
From September 23, 1945 French troops under the command of General Jacques Massu seized Sept. 23 in Saigon, the capital of Cochin China

Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque
Tu dois déiivrer lIndochine
General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque arrives at the head of an expeditionary force under, under the command of Admiral Georges Thierry d’Argenlieu, Governor General of Indochina.
The fate of Indochina is now rocking. It is based on choices made by French officials …

On December 30, 1949

Recognition by France, the sovereignty of Vietnam. The French are attempting to restore a semblance of a protectorate or “state associated with the French Union” headed by installing the former Emperor of Annam, Bao Dai.
Jean de Lattre de Tassigny

Independance du Vietnam
In December 1950, the prestigious General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny takes things in hand and turn the situation around. But sick and overwhelmed by the death in combat of his only son, Lieutenant serving in Tonkin, the “King John” died in Paris January 11, 1952.
His interim successor, General Raoul Salan, continues with some success, despite the means measured the work of pacification. It installs in the mountains in the heart of enemy zones, entrenched camps or “hedgehogs” on which come to break the offensive of General Giap.
He won a resounding success and Na Sat in December 1952 and then in the Plain of Jars.
But, May 8, 1953, the vagaries of politics Paris General Henri Navarre are at the head of the expeditionary force, replacing General Raoul Salan. The new commander in chief has 250,000 men.

le général De Lattre de Tassigny avec un général américain

On February 3, 1954 began the siege of the fortified camp of Dien Bien Phu, in the mountainous region of Upper Tonkin near the border with Laos.

The agreements of the international peace conference in Geneva

July 2, 1954
Réfugiés vietnamiens sur USS Montague Haïphong 1954

The agreements of the international peace conference in Geneva, signed July 20, 1954, put an end to the conflict. According to their terms, the French abandoned the control of the entire Vietnamese territory. Vietnam was also divided into two separate states, north and south of 17th parallel, the northern part becoming a republic ruled by the Communist Ho Chi Minh, the southern part, after the deposition of Emperor Bao Dai, a republic enjoying U.S. support.
The involvement of the United States in the war is progressive. After installing the nationalist regime of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1955 with the aim of maintaining anti-regime in the south American involvement began under President Eisenhower set up in Saigon at the outset of the French troops in charge of a military mission assume fully the organization and training of the army of South Vietnam. In 1961, President Kennedy brings to 15,000 the number of male military advisers


Original Indfo in French

1945-1975 La douloureuse histoire du Vietnam.

Le 9 mars 1945Tu dois déiivrer lIndochine Les troupes japonaises attaquent avec brutalité les garnisons françaises encore présentes en Indochine. Le bilan est lourd au moins de 2.650 morts parmi les Français, dont le général Émile Lemonnier commandant de la 13e brigade de Langson.
Quelques 3000 prisonniers rejoignent les camps de la mort, dont celui de Hoa-Binh. Parmi les 19.000 civils français, 3.000 sont aussi internés et parfois torturés.
Bao-Daï, empereur d’Annam, dénonce le protectorat français et se rallie à la «Grande Asie que préconise le Japon.
Bao-Daï sera évincé le 10 août 1945 par le leader communiste-nationaliste Hô Chi Minh, qui soulève la population contre la tutelle japonaise le 10 août 1945. L’empereur abdique le 2 septembre 1945, la ligue Vietminh proclamera l’indépendance de la République démocratique du Vietnam. Libération de Saïgon
Le Général
Charles de GaulleAppel du Général de Gaulle Le Général de Gaulle demande à l’armée française de restaurer l’autorité de la France en Indochine dans le cadre d’une fédération de colonies et de protectorats qui comprendrait les trois provinces du Vietnam (les trois Ky: Tonkin, Annam et Cochinchine) ainsi que le Cambodge et le Laos.
Dès le 23 septembre 1945 des soldats français sous les ordres du général Jacques Massu s’emparent le 23 septembre de Saïgon, capitale de la CochinchineLe Général
Philippe Leclerc de HauteclocqueLe Général Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque arrive à la tête d’un corps expéditionnaire sous, sous les ordres de l’amiral Georges Thierry d’Argenlieu, gouverneur général d’Indochine.
Le sort de l’Indochine est désormais en bascule. Il repose sur les choix qui seront faits par les responsables français…Le 30 décembre 1949Independance du VietnamReconnaissance par la France, de la souverainté du Vietnam. Les Français tentent de restaurer un semblant de protectorat ou d’ “Etat associé à l’Union Française” en installant à sa tête l’ancien empereur de l’Annam, Bao Daï.
Le Général
Jean de Lattre de Tassignyle général De Lattre de Tassigny avec un général américainEn décembre 1950, le prestigieux général Jean de Lattre de Tassigny reprend les choses en main et redresse la situation. Mais, malade et accablé par la mort au combat de son fils unique, lieutenant en service au Tonkin, le «roi Jean» s’éteint à Paris le 11 janvier 1952.
Son successeur intérimaire, le général Raoul Salan, poursuit avec un certain succès et malgré des moyens mesurés le travail de pacification. Il installe dans les montagnes, au cœur des zones ennemies, des camps retranchés ou «hérissons» sur lesquels viennent se briser les offensives du général Giap.
Il remporte ainsi un franc succès à Na Sam en décembre 1952 puis dans la plaine des Jarres.
Mais, le 8 mai 1953, les aléas de la politique parisienne portent le général Henri Navarre à la tête du corps expéditionnaire, en remplacement du Général Raoul Salan. Le nouveau commandant en chef dispose de 250.000 hommes.Le 3 février 1954 commence le siège du camp retranché de Dien Bien Phu, dans la région montagneuse du haut Tonkin, près de la frontière avec le Laos.

Les accords de la conférence de paix internationale de Genève

2 Juillet 1954Réfugiés vietnamiens sur USS Montague Haïphong 1954Les accords de la conférence de paix internationale de Genève, signés le 20 juillet 1954, mirent fin au conflit. Selon leurs termes, les Français abandonnèrent le contrôle de tout le territoire vietnamien. Le Vietnam fut en outre partagé en deux États distincts, au Nord et au Sud du 17e parallèle, la partie septentrionale devenant une république communiste gouvernée par Hô Chí Minh, la partie méridionale, après la déposition de l’empereur Bao Daï, une république bénéficiant du soutien américain.
L’implication des États-Unis dans la guerre est progressive. Après avoir installé le régime nationaliste de Ngo Dinh Diêm en 1955 avec pour but de maintenir au sud un régime anticommuniste L’engagement américain débute sous la présidence d’Eisenhower qui met en place à Saigon dès le départ des troupes françaises une mission militaire chargée d’assumer complètement l’organisation et l’entraînement de l’armée du Sud-Vietnam. En 1961, le président Kennedy porte à 15 000 hommes l’effectif des conseillers militaires.

    part of “WAR OFFICE, CENTRAL OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND AMERICAN SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION” (photographs)Made by: No 9 Army Film & Photographic UnitCrowds gather at Saigon docks to welcome the arrival of Allied occupation forces.


    part of “WAR OFFICE, CENTRAL OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND AMERICAN SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION” (photographs)Made by: No 9 Army Film & Photographic UnitCaptain Scott-Bell DSO of the Royal Navy speaks with Japanese Admiral Kondo through an interpreter after the landing of Allied occupation forces at Saigon.


    part of “WAR OFFICE, CENTRAL OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND AMERICAN SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION” (photographs)Made by: No 9 Army Film & Photographic UnitJapanese soldiers form a guard of honour at the quayside in Saigon as British warships come alongside to land troops of the occupation force.


1.Emperor Bao Dai

Born Prince Nguyen Vinh Thuy on Oct. 22, 1913, he was given the imperial name Bao Dai (which is pronounced bah-oh dye and means or “Protector of Grandeur” or “Keeper of Greatness” “Preserver of Greatness”) on his succession as Emperor in 1926. Boa Dai ascended the throne in 1925 at the age of 12 on the death of his father, Emperor Khai Dinh, but did not return to Viet Nam until 1932 after he had completed his education in France. He returned home to the imperial city of Hue in 1932, assuming the ceremonial duties of the 13th Emperor of the Nguyen dynasty.

Some Vietnamese attempted to advance the cause of national liberation through reforms from above. They looked to the young Emperor Boa Dai as their best hope. Bao Dai was greeted with enthusiasm by the Vietnamese, who expected that he would be able to persuade the French to install a more liberal regime. Boa Dai attempted to reign as a constitutional monarch, according to the terms oithe treaty of 1884 establishing the protectorate, and he strove to modernizethe ancient imperial administration at Hue. Among his young collaborators was Ngo Dinh Diem, governor of the Phan Thietarea in Binh Thuan Province, who was given the portfolio of minister of the interior and appointed head of the secretariat of a Vietnemese-French commission which was charged with the responsibility of implementing Bao Dai’s reform proposals. When it became obvious that the French had no intention of granting real power to the Vietnamese administration and would make noconcessions toward unification of the country, the youthful emperor appeared to lose interest, and Ngo Dinh Diem resigned his official position.

The Japanese coup of 09 March 1945 caught the Viet Minh by surprise. But if the Japanese thought the removal of the French would win over the Viet Minh, they were soon disabused of that notion. The Viet Minh publicly objected to the Japanese coup, seeing it as a substitution of one colonial master for another. The Japanese viewed the Viet Minh dissatisfaction as sour grapes at being left out of the action. The investiture of Bao Dai in Hue and the cabinet under Pham Quynh was greeted by opposition, public meetings, and demonstrations in Hanoi organized partly by the Viet Minh. So serious was this opposition that Bao Dai dissolved his cabinet on 19 March 1945 and installed a new one under Tran Trong Kim, an academic of modest nationalist tendencies with no stomach for thesnakepit of Indochinese politics.

Within two days of the Japanese acceptance of the Potsdam declaration, the Viet Minh began to take power in the cities of Indochina. In Hanoi, a Political Action Committee was formed to facilitate cooperationwith Bao Dai’s government.” By 23 August 1945, Hue was solidly Viet Minh, as was Saigon, where the Executive Committee of the South Vietnam Republic was established. The Viet Minh seized the government buildings in Hanoi on the 19th.

Bao Dai, apparently convinced that a united and independent nation offered the only possibility of preventing the return of French control, decided to abdicate. Recogniting only the nationalist character of the Viet Minh movement and assuming that it had Allied support, he abdicated. in its favor on August 25, 1945 ; and handed over his imperial seal and others ymbols of office to representatives of the newly proclaimed Provisional Government of the Republic of Vietnam.

Pleas by Ho Chi Minh and Emperor Bao Dai to Truman, Charles De Gaulle, Stalin, and British prime minister Atlee to forestall the French return went unanswered. French forces were permitted to land in the North. Bao Dai, who had been acting as high counselor to Ho Chi Minh, was sent on a “good will” mission to China where he remained in exile, thus eliminating the possibility that he might provide a rallying point for groups not thoroughly aligned with the Viet Minh.

Negotiations with France continued for two years, but by June 1949 France finally approved of limited independence for “the State of Vietnam” within the French Union. Bao Dai was coaxed home by the French, who saw him as a possible alterative to Ho Chi Minh, whose guerrillas were then at war with the French colonial army. In February 1950, Great Britain and the United States recognized the State of Vietnam headed by the ex-emperor Bao Dai as the legitimate government. France concluded agreements with Laos and Cambodia simiiar to that with Viet Nam, the three countries became the Associate States of Indochina and were accorded diplomatic recognition by more than 30 other nations.

Bao Dai assumed the role of chief of state, and returned to Vietnam with the titles of Premier and — again — Emperor. In its efforts to win popular support, the Bao Dai regime was unsuccesstul. Bao Dai left major decisions to his French-backed advisers, preferring to spend time with his many mistresses at his hunting lodge in the highlands of central Vietnam. His administration was marked by the institutionalization of corruption, prostitution, smuggling, racketeering, and drug trafficking through his association with the Binh Xuyen gang in Saigon.

French Indo-China – 1948


The principal nationlists (including Ngo Dinh Diem) failed to unite behind him, since they claimed that the French did not offer real independence. Confronted with a choice between French colonialism and the Communist-led nationalist movement, many Vietnamese, attracted by its appeal for independence and unity, tended to side with the Viet Minh organization. In the meantime; Ho Chi Minh rid his coalition government of the moderates and nationalists whom he had accepted earlier and showed himself to be completely Communist. In March 1951 the Indochinese Communists Party (dissolved in 1945) was revived as the Workers Party (Dang Lao Dong).

Cessation of the Indochina War in 1954 left the Associated States of Indochina divided into four countries: Cambodia, Laos, North Viet Nam and South Viet Nam. The Chief of State, Bao Dai, called on Ngo Dinh Diem, to form a government, but although in office, he lacked control, especially over the army. After a time, Diem brought the army under control. Diem turned his attention to his own status and called for a referendum to al1ow Vietnamese to choose between Diem and Emperor Bao Dai. A referendum was ordered for October 23, 1955. Diem’s bid to replace Bao Dai was successful. Official Vietnamese government records showed that 91.8 percent of the voting population participated and that 98.2 percent of the voters chose to replace Bao Dai with Diem.

Bao Dai played almost no role in his homeland thereafter, choosing instead a life in Paris and along the Riviera that centered around golf, bridge tournaments and women. Bao Dai, the last Emperor in a line that held the throne in Vietnam for a century and a half, died on August 2, 1997 in France,

2)The fundamental’s Phillipine  conflict about Indochina-war :

(a) While the president Magsaysay is for joining the U.S. in warning Red China from intervening in Indochina, Senator Recto has opposed such step as like a dog rousing the wild boars from its lair only to run away.

(b) While the  president Magsaysay has dropped Asia for the Asians as a policy, Senator Recto has vowed  to make it a basis of our foreign palicy.

 (the historic informations  about the Phillipines and Vietnam Independen-ce war will put at the chronologic collections information. I hope after read the historicbacground we know that in phillipine, were senator recto opposides the President Magsaysay policy about Filipinos joined the Indochina war, detailed read the Renato Constantino books-auth)


b. ibid Stanley Karnow,1994



(1)After the defeat of the French by Ho Chi Minh and General Giap in summer of 1954 , there appeared the chance of negotiated solution .

(2)The Geneva conference of that year had resulted is a number of agree-ments and compromise.

 (3)The lighting was ended, and Vietnam was divided slose in the 17th paralel, with the North Vietnamese controlling what became the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, recognised by the communist state; in the South arose the anti communist Republic of Vietnam.

(4)Vietnam , it was proposed, would be unified again following elections in July 1956.


(5)Two crusial features of the Geneva Accords were thus Vietnam were remain unitary states whose future would decided by elections, and that no foreign troops were permitted to assist North or South Vietnam. But from the start prohibition against the inroduction of foreign’s arm and amunition’s was a dead letter.


(6)Eisenhower and Dulles  regarded the Geneva Accords as appesement of communism and a defeat for the free world.

They dissociated themselves from the agreements but promised not to overturn them by force provided there was no aggreasion from the North. They also expressed doubts about the all-Vietnamese elections and inssted that they be held under the auspices of the United Nation.

     (7) on the 3rd June 1945

(a)the Cochin-china as an Autonom Republic under the Federation of Indochina and the Franch Union(D)

 (b) The Republic Democratic Vietnam still under the union under French,and Economy-politically  united too with other Indochina area in the South.(Etat du Vietnam Quoc Gia  ?-auth)

(c)Republic Vietnam willn’t be developed if not united with other area because in the nothren more Industrial  and in the South very rich agriculture especially rice.

 (d)All of the South area were under the French powers, and there were made the Goverment like the Dutch have made in East indonesia area out of Java and Sumatra .

(e)In this Situation The Independent Of Republic Vietnam not full in Politically and economically.

(f)When the Independent of Republic Vietnam , French have promised wilnot gunfigting in the southern area Cochin-China, and there will made “People ‘s referendum” to choose to join the (j)Republic Democratic Vietnam or Not  as the Humanright to self determination and  this referendum will profillacted the war .

 But The french army were came to that area and accepted the Indepen-dent Republic Of Cochin-china under French Union in June 1946.

(g)The new Republic of Cochin-china have the Annamese native president dr Nguyen van Tinh, before they made as secret referendum to choose  accept or not to join the Republic Democratic Vietnam under Ho Chi-minh .

the picture of native Cocchinchina this time

(h) The Republic Democratis Vietnam had protested that situation, and became small war during Ho chi Minh meetings in Paris.

(i)During Paris conference, French have made Dalat Conference with delegation from every French’s and they have accepted to made The federation Of Indochina,  the same Dutch made In Malino Indonesia.

     When Ho Chi Minh heard that situation, The Paris conference was banded, and the small war have begun again but Republic Democratic of Vietnam didn,t have power because the French have the power in Indochina, the same situation in Indonesia some Java area under Dutch.

(j)The Killing, fired, kidnapped, terrorisme from the two side as the same what we saw in Java and Sumatra Indonesia.

(k)The Frech army used 6000 Duitsch army who signed the contract to joined the french arme forces after Franch occupied Rhine area in Germany (Duitschland).


(l)After the French have enough armed forces, the Allied army from British departed  from Indochina.

(m)Although the Situation in Indochina were same in Indonesia , but difference situation that when the Dai Nippon have surrendered the French official and Armed forces still in Indochina put as prisoner of war and the French authority more strong than in Indonesia.(OD)


   (n)Since the Vietminh had prevailed at Diienbienphu and still menaced the French elsewhere in Indochina, Pham Van Dong predictably came on strong. He insisted on a political settlement first, under which the French would withdraw and leave the Vietnamese to resolve their own differences- a formula calculated to panic Bao dai Regime and virtually guarantee a Communist triumph. He also arguedd for  recognation ofthe Pathet Lao and the Free Khmer, the Vietminh-supported Communist movements in Laos and Cambodia, contending that they deserved legal status and control of territory in their countries.(I have the original photo of Pham van Dong from the  photo collections given the Indonesian official during Afro asia Bandung conference 1955-auth)

 The French rejected these demands , Pham van Dong refused to yield- and the conference slid to a stand still.

(o) Zhou Enlai showed at geneva for the first vtime, he’s primaray  ain was to carve an agreement that would deny the United States a pretext to intervene in Indochina and again threaten China. Thus he sought a settlement that would give the French at least a foothold in their former possesion, to the exclusion the Americans.

Such an accomodation inevitably required a sacrifice of the Vietminh’s objectives. But Zhou put China’s priorities first. Besides, Chinese foreign policy throughout the centuries had been to fragment South East Asia in order to influence its states, and Zhou subscribed to that tradition. A divided Vietnam suited the Chinese better thatn a unified neighbor- particulary one that had quarreled with China for two thousand years. Similarly, China’s security would be served by restraining Vietnamese ambition in Laos and Cambodia. By curbing the Vietminh, moreover, Zhou hoped to display his noderation to India, Indonesia and the other nonaligned countries of Asia. Indeed, his appearance at Geneva was a prelude to his performance soon afterward at the Bandung Conference, where he and the Indian Prime Minister Jawalharlal Nehru embranced as they launched their campaignnto preach the “Pancasila” , the “principles of peaceful coexistence”( I have the original photo of Nehru, Zhou Enlai and Ho Chi Minh during Nonaligned Country Afro Asia Conference Bandung 1955, auth)

(p) The Vietminh showed no signs of elasticity, and Bao dai had just appointed the intractable Ngo Dinh Diem to his prime minister. But Zhou Enlai intervened. He arranged to meet Mendes-France covertly on June 23 1954, at the French embassy in Bern, the Swiss Capital.

Zhou had discarded his usual severe tunic for a gray Westren business unit, and he meant business. He told Mendes-France that, in contrast to the demands of the Vietminh, he favored a cease-fire first and a political accord afterward. He would urge the Vietminh to stop meddling in Laos and Camboda, and to respect the sovereignity of these “two Vietnams”- a direct blow to the Vietminh’s dream of unifications. The possibility of American military bases in Indochina worried him. Beyond that, he said, China’s only aim was peace in the region, adding that his government had “no other ambitions(and) poses no conditions”.

Worse awaited the Vietminh leader two evening later, at a farewell dinner organizes by Zhou. The guests included a member of Bao dai’sdelegation, Ngo Dinh Luyen, theyounger brother of Ngo dinh Diem. Pham Van Dong was astonished and dismayed that Zhou, a Communist comerade, should have invited a “puppet” of the French. But Zhou went even further, obliquely indicatingvin his silky manner that China favored a permanent partition of Vietnam. Turning to ernment to be established in Saigon open a diplomatic mission in Beijing:” Of course, Pham Van Dong is closer to us ideologically, but  doesn’t rule out representation from South. After all, aren’t you both Vietnamese,and sren’t we all Asians?”

(q) The conclussion at Geneva was to be misinterpreted, if not misunderstood, for years to come. The only documents signed were cease-fire accords ending the hostilities in Vietnam, Cambodia and laos.

The Agreement between France and The Democratic Republic of Vietnam, as the Vietminh officially called itself, wasnot a political settle-ment .It provided for temporary division of Vietnam pending a nationwide election to be held in the summer of 1956. The French forces would meanwhile withdraw from the north, and the vietminh from south. Except for the United States and the Saigon regime, the other participants merely gave their oral endorsement to afinal declaration noting the understandings.

(r) The Eisenhower administration , crusading against its foggy notion of an international Communist conspi-racy, reluctantly pledged to abide by the Geneva agreement. In a separate statement, however, Bedell Smith warned that the United States would view “with grave concern…any renewal of aggression”- a caveat President Kennedy used seven years later to justify his comminment to the Ngo Dinh Diem government. Diem also rejected the Geneva accords, which put half Vietnam under Communist control, and he predicted that “another more deadly war” lay ahead for Vietnam. His forecast was prescient, after eight years of conflict and four hundred thousand soldiers and cibilians dead, the agony was far from finished(D)


d .ibid,Grenville,1994)



(1)The South Vietnamese government, headed by the Catholic Ngo Dinh Diem , refused to sign any of the treaties but carried out the military truce conditions.

(2)Eisenhower’s conduct in 1954 marked another turning point in the tragic history of Vietnam and of the United States’s involvement in that tragedy, which lwd to extensive sacrifices in men, material and, a decade later social cohesion.

   What Eisenhower and dulles refused to accept was that no firm line had been drawn against further communist expansion, further erosion of the westren position in South east asia, though they had no wish for the US to replace colonial France or to exploit South Vietnam from google explorations


At least until, 1975, the DRV did not have a monopoly on official Vietnamese remembrance of the famine. Indeed, the question of Japanese war reparations was contested between the north and the south. Yet another version of the famine was replayed postwar by the President of the Republic of Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem (October 1955- November 1963), in discussions with the Japanese ambassador in Saigon, Konogaya Yutaka. Ambassador Konogaya informed Australian diplomats on 15 February 1957 that, in claiming war reparations Diem made the argument that, towards the end of the war, the Japanese army requisitioned enormous quantities of rice from the north and the south, apparently with the intention of building up large stocks in the mountains to enable it to continue fighting. This requisition led to the disastrous famine in the north and the death of more than one million Vietnamese. Dismissively, Konogaya asserted, aside from the figure of one million dead, the Vietnamese had supplied no statistics to support its claims for exaggerated amounts of reparations and that, in fact, “no statistics exist.” Setting aside the question of reparation claims (eventually paid to the Republic of South Vietnam after protracted negotiations and bitter recriminations), Diem voiced a popular perception held in south Vietnamese elite circles, at least, of the causes of the famine.50

II.The Chronology of  COLLECTIONS .

(THE Federation Of Indochine ,SAIGON REGIME)


1.After The Japanese surrendered-1945



1)June 1945


(1)June ,3rd 1945

The Cochin-china became an autonom Rep. under Federation Of Indochina and  French union  with  General Nguyen van Xuan as the president (D)


2) July, 1945


(1)The Postdam agreement, British Allied forces were to occupy the southren half of Vietnam up to 16th parralel.

    The commander of the British occupation forces, Major-General Douglas Gracey, exceeded both the postdan mandate and the orders of his superiorAdmiraln L. Mountbatten.

    Short of troops of his own, Gracey relied heavily upon Japanese forces to keep Saigon and the surrounding area under his control and out of the hands of Vietminh. (ibid Kahin)

3) August 1945


(1)     August.5th 1945

Japanese Surrender and Saigon in Chaos .

The French had crumbled, devas-tated by the defeat of Japanese whose troops in Vietnamwere waiting for repatriation.


4) September 1945

 France had ended World War II a devastated country, its infrastructure shattered and its economy drained by years of occupation and war. It was able, however, to reestablish control over southern Vietnam. Although the Expeditionary Corps that arrived in Saigon in September 1945 was austere, its personnel were imbued with an innovative, can-do/make-do attitude. This was particularly apparent in the Naval Brigade, which modified veteran landing craft to create naval assault divisions, the famed dinassauts, that were effectively used on the waterways of the Tonkin and Mekong deltas where most of the people live. To complement the dinassauts’ capabilities, the Foreign Legion formed amphibious combat commands to operate on the wetlands of the deltas.

(1) September,22th 1945


(a)A day after their release, Franch soldiers went on a rampage, shooting entries, they poured into the Saigon city hall and ousted the Vietminh’s so –a called Provisional Executive building, raising the French flag from the rooftops .

(b) Then, their ranks swelled by angry French civilians, they coursed through the city, broke into Vietnamese homes and shops, and indicriminately clubbed men, women and even children.

 (c)Gracery and Cedile, appaeled by the spectacle that they them-selves had inspired, pleaded for calm but bit was too late.(D)


(2) September,23th 1945

 General Gracey rearmed the bulk of the 5.000 French troops interned in the Saigon area and permitted the French to launch a coup d’etat on this day.


(3) September,24th 1945


(a)Responding to the French frenzy, therefore, the Vietminh launched a general strike on this day. If any one date marks the start of the first Indochina war, it might be that day.




(b)For the strike and its aftermath initiated a momentum of conflict that, despite periodic negotiating attemps, could not be stopped.


    (c)By morning, Saigon was paralyzed. Electricity and water supplies had halted. Shop were shut and offices closed , trams stood still and even rickshaws had disappeared from the deserted streets.

(d)Anticipating the worst, the city’s twenty thousand French civilians barricaded their houses or fled in panic  to the security of the rambling old Continental Palace Hotel  

( I have the Book’s illustrated picture of this hotel in 1964-auth), the billet for French and British officers.


(e)The crackle of gunfire and the thud of mortars soon resonated tthrough the city, as armed Vietminh squad attacked the airport,, burned the central market and stormed the local prison to liberate hundreds of vietnamese inamets.

(f)But the most brutal episode occured at the Cite Herault, a residential suburb.

(g)At dawn, Binh Xuyen terrorist led by the Vietminh agents slipped past japanese soldiers supposely guarding the district.

    Smashing doors and windows, they broke into bed rooms and masacres one hundred and fifty French and Eurasian civilians, sparing neither women nor children.

They dragged more than a hundred others away as hostages, mutilating many before freeing them later.

(h) Predicrably , communist historian omit any mention of this atrocity in their accounts of the period(D-ibid Stanley Karnow)

(4)As his country descended into Violence , the Vietnamese  faction’s clash with each other and with Frenc , Bo Dai left the country to Hongkong.

(5)Not Yet collections in this month

(Very difficult to find the collections after Japanese surrender in Cochin-china, different in Indonesia we fine the Japanese occupations coll, after japanese surrender, because they still have the power and will tranversed the power to  the British Allied forces , but British came too late in the end of September and early of October 1945.

    The Collectors must be carefull, because  too many  fake revenue and postal histories  in Vietnam on this time and sold very high dollars-auth)



b.French vs Vietnamese in 1946

Dong Kahn Cholon

Throughout the First Indochina War (1946-54), Communist insurgents in northern Vietnam wrestled with the challenge of shuttling supplies from the People’s Republic of China to their comrades on southern battlefields. Complicating their plans was the fact that the narrow central “waist” of Vietnam had a sizable presence of opposing French colonial forces. As an alternative to that direct route, Communist supply columns sidetracked into neighboring Laos and maneuvered down trails on the eastern side of the Lao (or Laotian) panhandle before veering back into Vietnamese territory.

   After a brief respite during the mid-1950s, traffic began building on these trails once again
French Troops (FFL, mixed European lot) in 1946
2e REI in Annam. Note British Weapons




Saïgon. 14 juillet 1946



đường Hai Bà Trưng


Saïgon. Rue Catinat 1946


Saïgon. Fusilier- marin motocycliste rue Catinat 1946


Saïgon. L’Hôtel des Postes 1946


1) January 1946

(1)January.31th. 1946

     The Government has signed a decree on the issued of Vietnamese notes.

     During that period, and even for some previous years, the Banknotes issued by the French have been circulating all over the three parts of Vietnam,cambodia and Laos. For some time when petty notes became rare, the people had even to the art notes into two halves to used as change among them.

     Afterwards , when the French colonialists returned, French currency continued to e spent again in the French-occupied regions. Together with their conspiracy to re-occupy Indochina, the French colonialist have created various goverments in the South, controlling a number of regions and setting up L’Institue d’Emission des Etats du Cambodia,Laos and vietnam .The figure on the back of Banknotes issued  by the issuing Institue have shown us whom the national s

S overeignty belong to.

2) February 1946

No yet information

3)March 1946

(1)March,6th 1946

A clash had been prevented French would recognize Vietnam as a free state within the French Union – the new name for the old French empire and Ho would permit the presence of twenty-five thousand Franch troops in Vietnam for the next five years. But the final confirmation of this accrd never came.

4) April 1946


     (1) When the French colonialist returned, French currency continued spent again in the French-occupied area. Together with their conspiracy to re-occupy Indochina.

     The French colonialists have created various government in the South, controlling a number of regions and setting up “ L’Institue d’Emission des Etats du Cambodge, du laos et du vietnam. The front page same, but the backpage  different with Elephant (Vietnam), Angkor statue(cambodge) and Kiln (Laos) also the picture of the state’s king .

The banknote  One piastres yellow-red with the king picture and The house monument, five piastres -green

With Bodai picture(vietnam), and  monument of Laos and cambodge, 10 piatres yellow brown-along bay Haiphong picture(vietnam), Laos dancers, Cambodege lady; 100 piatsres blue-pink , Bodai picture (vietnam), Laos ‘s three lady and cambodge  lady with flower, the highest nominal 200 pisatres, Bo Dai picture & Elephant(Vietnam) and Ankor statue (Cambodia).

 ( I found the 200 piastres Bo Dai & elephant picture in very find condition at Russian market Phom Phen Cambodia, the 200 piastres Angkor statue pictures very rare I never saw the very fine conditions many in bad condition-auth)


5) May 1946


D’Argenlieu went through motion of further talks with the Vietminh at Dalat, a lovely hill town in the South. But he parried the big issues, like Cochinchina’s status and Vietnam’s sovereignity, contending that they could only be discussed at a higher level meeting, scheduled to take place in France,


(2)May 31th 1946

on this day ,Ho depated for Paris.


(3)No sooner had Ho left Hanoi


(a)D’Argenlieu resorted the old fait accompli ploy, in violation of the March agreement and without informing Paris, he proclaimed a republic of Cochinchina in the name of Franch.

(if someone have the collections of this puppet Republic of Cochinchina please comment and send the illustrations because I have never seen, in Indonesia there were the same puppet republic and I have fount the postal and document histories of that puppet state, read Indonesia Independent War-auth)



(b)The Cochinchina isuue also aroused the French in Saigon, who inundated the government in Paris with telegrams and petition, some even protesting against the presence in Franch and his”agitation and troublemakers”

(c)At the same time , d’Argenlieu tried to subven the negotiation by convening his own counter con-ference in Dalat, to which he invited selected Vietnamese, cambodians, Laotians and a delegate from the “ Republic of Cochinchina” to discuss Indochina’s future. The french did nothing to diswavow him-and may have even secretly approved his machinations.(ibid,stenley Karnow).


6) June 1946


(1) June .22th 1946.

The green paper land-house tax paid 9$50,without revenue, with black colour catho village francaise Indo-chine type.

(rare document at this time, why not republic of Cochinchina because at the document still used The old village and province of  Francaise Indochina stamped , this proof that Republic of Cochinchina only the puppet republic without power-auth)


 (2) Under an agreement to remove the Chinese forces, Ho Chi Minh agre-ed to the return of the French army to Hanoi in 1946. Troops are seen here entering the city. The welcoming cro-wd was composed mostly of French residents (P-ibid Stanley karnow)


(2)In 1946, as they moved to install their new government in Notrhern Vietnam,Ho Chi Minh and his followers organized verious associations- including this youth group, whose members were trained to sing political songs extolling Vietnam’s indepen-dent (P-ibid stanley karnow)





7) July 1946



(1) July.,1946

After eight weeks of haggling, the Fointaibleau conference yields only a draft accord that reinforced France’s economic prerogatives in northern Vietnam without resolving the Cochinchina problem.

Ho sent his delegation home and stayed on in Paris alone in a last angguished effort to settle what he publicly glossed over as a”family dispute”(D)

(b) July.14th 1946

The French Indochine army parade at Saigon road.


Saïgon. 14 juillet 1946


8)-11) August to November 1946

Not yet information


12)December .1946


(1)D’argenlieu , back in Saigon , went further  conversation with Ho were “ henceforth imposible”. He asserted ,proposing instead that Vietnam return to its”Traditional monarchy”- in short , Enthrone Bo Dai again, who had by then left Hanoi for Hong Kong.


2.. Frence vs Vietnamese -1947



(1) the Photo of  Ho Chi Minh ,seated, incasual attire, flanked by his senior comrades (left to right) Pham van Dong, Truong Chinh, and Vo Nguyen Giap.

(Truong Chinh borrowed his pseudonym, which mean Long March, from the famous exploit of the famous Chinese Communist in 1934-ibid Karnow)


(2) The Cao Dai , Hoa Hao, Trot skyites band other , all striving to outbid the Vietminh, had taken as extrimist tack and tension spiraled with the emergence of Binh Xuyen, a gang of guns for hire.(D)


(3)Early 1947.


military cover from french to Indochina


(a)Bo Dai might have been a week , unprededictable, corruptable play-boy, but he was no fool.

 When the French sent represen-tatives to Hong Kong in early 1947 to lure him back to the throne , he insisted , as Ho did, that Franch must first accede to Vietnam’s Indepen-dence and unity,


(b) His stand heartened anti-communist like Ngo Dinh Diem, who urged him to stick to his position.

(c)He also worried Ho, who ordered  the murder of two Vietnam-ese nationalist engaged in promoting a Bao Dai alternative.

(d)Ho engaged in a more mode-rate maneuver:

 as well reiterating his eagerness to remain within French Union if only French would recognize a free ande Unified Vietnam.

     He spoke sweetly about Bo Dai  , saying that “ he may be far from us in distance , but not in our thought” and lastly , he reshuffled his cabinet, confining its Communist to a handful of keypost and demoting Giap, whom the French considered too aggresive .(D)

     (4) Not yet collections



Saïgon. Place Francis-Garnier (du Théâtre) et rue Catinat 1947




Port de Saïgon. Jonques et sampans 1947


Saïgon. Rue Paul-Blanchy 1947


Le marché de Tan Dinh – 1947


(1)January 1947

Not yet information.

(2)February 1947



The very rare Haipong Chinese consulate’s ID for Chinese overseas at that city during the Vichy-Vietminh war without Chinese  revenue.

(This the 1947’s only one and very rare card and interesting document collections of Vichy-vietminh war that found at saigon ,best for showed.

My oppinion about this collection:

, (a1)without chinese revenue because that time no revenue issued due to the  Chinese civil war between the Kuomintang nationalist (Chiang)  and the Chinese Communist (Mao ) ,

(a2)The Collections was found at ex Saigon (HCM city)  may be   this  ID was belonged by the immigrant refugee from North, after the Vichy-Vietminh war at Haiphong and  the  the landreform and communist action in the north (D)

(3) – (8)

Late in 1947, the Foreign Legion’s 1st Cavalry Regiment was given the mission of denying the enemy the use of the Plain of Reeds, a vast transit zone between Cambodia and South Vietnam. Anticipating its wheeled vehicles would be useless in swampy terrain, the Legion obtained several American M29C “weasels” for testing. When these light tracked vehicles were seen to travel the Plain easily, 30 “crabs,” as the French called them, were procured for each of the regiment’s two squadrons. Soon after, crabs were roaming the Plain pursuing insurgents. That game was short-lived, however, for the Viet Minh quickly noted the vulnerability of single crabs with two-man crews operating beyond infantry support range, and began destroying them in increasing numbers. The French responded by restricting operations to two or more crabs with mounted infantry escort. But the crabs were incapable of carrying enough infantry to discourage enemy attack and the problem remained unsolved until the amtrac appeared.

(9)  September 1947

(a)A possible transaction between Ho and Bao Dai  alaramed the French. In September 1947, Emile Bollaert , the French high commisioner, offered to dissolve the saparatist “ Republic of Cochin-China “ invented by Admiral D’Argenlieu and foster a “self –governing” Vietnam, with France responsible  for its defense and diplomacy.

     This was essentially a revival of the nineteenth-century protectorate, and Ho called the proposal “too narrow” yet signaled a willingness to bargain.


(10) October 1947 no info

(11) November 1947


the very rare french indochine revenue, overprint 2.00 piaster on 6 cent, on a complete document.


(12)December 1947


(a)December.7th 1947

A group of anti-Communist Nationalist, some on the French payroll, rushed to Hongkong and persuaded Bao dai to talk with Boliert.

     They met on December.7.1947, abroad a French cruiser anchored in the Bay of Along, north of Haiphong, with a spectacular coastline of limestone needless rising from the sea.

     Bo Dai wanted a firm French pledge of Independence, but Bolieret persuaded him to sign a Protocol” that so hedged the magic word with qualification as the render it mea-ningless, Bao Dai had been trapped.

     A comic sequence followed. Trying to escape his commitment to resume his imperial duties, Bao Dai fled to Europe, where he shifted from one city to another, hiding in cinemas by day and cabaret by night as Boliert chased him like a process server.(D)


 d.Prologue Bo Dai regime in 1948

July 1948 - Hoa Hao women troops in training, in French Indo China. 

Saigon 1948


SàiGòn 1948

Hai chiếc xe bò chở vật liệu xây dựng trên phố.

Two vehicles carrying construction materials cows on the streets.




Nhà thờ Notre Dame de Saigon và Place Pigneau de Béhaine, hình chụp từ đường Catinat.

Notre Dame de Saigon Cathedral and Place de Behaine Pigneau, photographs from the road Catinat


Dinh Gouverneur de la Cochinchine (Công Sứ Nam Kỳ), sau là Dinh Gia Long trên đường La Grandière.

Gouverneur de la Cochinchine Palace (The Prophet Cochin), followed by Long Dinh Gia La Grandière road.


Hôtel de Ville de Saigon nằm trên đường Rue d’Espagne đối diện với Boulevard Charner.

Hôtel de Ville de Saigon is located on Rue d’Espagne Charner Boulevard opposite.


Người trông xe đạp trên viã hè Thương Xá GMC (sau là Thương Xá TAX) trên Boulevard Charner (Nguyễn Huệ).

The bike on the sidewalk looked Plaza GMC (after the Plaza TAX) on Boulevard Charner (Nguyen Hue).


Đoàn xe bò chở vật liệu xây dựng trước Thương Xá GMC trên quảng trường Francis Garnier và Boulevard Charner (Nguyễn Huệ).

Convoys carrying construction materials cows before GMC Plaza Square Boulevard Francis Garnier and Charner (Nguyen Hue).


Những biểu ngữ quảng cáo phim truyện với người lái xe mô-tô trên Boulevard Charner.

The banner ad films with motorcycle driving on Boulevard Charner.


Một quán café trên đường d’Ormay nhìn ra đường Catinat (Tự Do sau đổi lại là Đồng Khởi).

A cafe on the street looking Ormay d’Catinat (later renamed Freedom is Dong Khoi).



Một tiệm bán hàng mỹ phẩm và nước hoa.A shop selling cosmetics and perfumes

A shop selling cosmetics and perfumes.


Một cửa hàng bán đồng hồ đeo tay trong Thương Xá GMC.

A shop selling watches in the GMC Plaza.


Một trẻ bán báo đang nghĩ mệt bên cạnh sạp báo và tạp chí.

A young newspaper thinking and tired next to newsstand magazines.


Cửa hàng giầy dép và áo quần lót, có lẽ trên đường Bonnard (Lê Lợi).

Store shoes and clothing line, perhaps on the way Bonnard (Le Loi).


Hai tu sĩ tây thuộc dòng Francisco trên đường Catinat (Tự Do).

Two monks on the west line of Catinat Francisco (Freedom).


Một phu xích-lô nghĩ mệt trong khi chờ khách trước Hôtel Continental Palace .

One lady thought tired chain-batch pending before the Hôtel Continental Palace Hotel.

See Racing School racing in Phu Tho, the popular class seats.

Khiêu vũ trong một vũ trường.

Dance in a discotheque.

Electric cars on the Boulevard de la Somme (Ham Nghi). Trams carry tobacco advertising Melia MIC Company (Manufacture de Cigarettes d’Indochine) and on the roof with tubes branded drugs aspirin – Usines du Rhône (Rhône-Poulenc).

Jardin Botanique de Saigon (zoo) between Kinh Thi Nghe and Norodom Boulevard (former Unification, Le Duan Street today).

Thi Nghe Bridge.

Ben Thanh Market Square Eugène Cuniac (tobacco billboards and cigarette paper JOB problem).

Nguyen Van Hao Théâtre the Avenue Gallieni (Tran Hung Dao) are movie «Till the Clouds Roll By”.

French sailors on a sidewalk near the Saigon River pub.

Ships passing in the Quai de l’Argonna near Ba Son factory (factory navy) on the Saigon River.

Ship tourism Marseille – Saigon on Quai Le Myre de Villiers, the distance is the Customs building (also known as the Dragon) on the Saigon River.

Workers renovating a park on the Quai Le Myre de Villiers (Ben Bach Dang) next to the Saigon River.

A tennis match in Le Cercle Sportif Saigonnais – CSS in Maurice Long Jardin (garden «He Superior” or Tao Dan Cultural Park today as Saigon).

Le Cercle Sportif Saigonnais Pool in Long Jardin is located in the corner of Rue Maurice Taberd (Nguyen Du).

Children playing with her western child care in the Jardin Maurice Long.

See Racing School racing in Phu Tho.

Xe điện trên Boulevard de la Somme (Hàm Nghi). Xe điện mang quảng cáo thuốc lá Mélia của Hảng MIC (Manufacture d’Indochine de Cigarettes) và trên nóc nhà có đèn ống mang thương hiệu thuốc Aspirine – Usines du Rhône (Rhône-Poulenc).

Electric cars on the Boulevard de la Somme (Ham Nghi). Trams carry tobacco advertising Melia MIC Company (Manufacture de Cigarettes d’Indochine) and on the roof with tubes branded drugs aspirin – Usines du Rhône (Rhône-Poulenc).

Jardin Botanique de Saigon (Thảo cầm viên) giửa Kinh Thị Nghè và Boulevard Norodom (Thống Nhất cũ, Lê Duẩn ngày nay).

Jardin Botanique de Saigon (zoo) between Kinh Thi Nghe and Norodom Boulevard (former Unification, Le Duan Street today).

Cầu Thị Nghè.

Thi Nghe Bridge.

Chợ Bến Thành trên quảng trường Eugène Cuniac (biển quảng cáo thuốc lá và giấy vấn thuốc lá JOB).

Ben Thanh Market Square Eugène Cuniac (tobacco billboards and cigarette paper JOB problem).

Théâtre Nguyễn Văn Hảo trên Avenue Galliéni (Trần Hưng Đạo) đang chiếu phim «Till the Clouds Roll By».

Nguyen Van Hao Théâtre the Avenue Gallieni (Tran Hung Dao) are movie «Till the Clouds Roll By”.

Lính hải quân Pháp trên vỉa hè một quán rượu gần sông Sài Gòn.

French sailors on a sidewalk near the Saigon River pub.

Tầu đậu ở Quai de l’Argonna gần cơ xưởng Ba Son (hải quân công xưởng) trên sông Sài Gòn.

Tầu du lịch Marseille – Sài Gòn trên Quai Le Myre de Villiers, đằng xa là toà nhà Quan Thuế (hay còn gọi là Nhà Rồng) trên sông Sài Gòn.

Ships passing in the Quai de l’Argonna near Ba Son factory (factory navy) on the Saigon River.

Công nhân đang tu bổ một công viên trên Quai Le Myre de Villiers (Bến Bạch Đằng) cạnh sông Sài Gòn.

Ship tourism Marseille – Saigon on Quai Le Myre de Villiers, the distance is the Customs building (also known as the Dragon) on the Saigon River.

Một trận đấu tennis trong Le Cercle Sportif Saigonnais – CSS tại Jardin Maurice Long (vườn «Ông Thượng» hay Tao Đàn, nay là Công Viên Văn Hoá Sài Gòn).

A tennis match in Le Cercle Sportif Saigonnais – CSS in Maurice Long Jardin (garden «He Superior” or Tao Dan Cultural Park today as Saigon).

Hồ bơi Le Cercle Sportif Saigonnais trong Jardin Maurice Long nằm ở góc Rue Taberd (Nguyễn Du).

Le Cercle Sportif Saigonnais Pool in Long Jardin is located in the corner of Rue Maurice Taberd (Nguyen Du).

Trẻ con tây chơi đùa cùng các chị giử trẻ trong Jardin Maurice Long.

Children playing with her western child care in the Jardin Maurice Long.


Xem đua ngựa ở Trường Đua Phú Thọ.
See Racing School racing in Phu Tho

Xem đua ngựa ở Trường Đua Phú Thọ, ghế ngồi hạng bình dân.

Phụ nữ trong Khám Chí Hoà.(visit a women)


In French Indo China, oxen pulling carts down the street. Jul 1948


Saigon Jul 1948 – Locals riding the street car, in French Indochina.


Saigon 1948 – In French Indo China, racks of bicycles lining the street.


1)-4) 1948

Not yet information

5)May 1948

(1)May.7th 1948

The “Quittance De Loyer” receipt ,recu de M Nguy Thuy, 220$ , with Indochine Francaise Timbre Fiscal revenue 2 x 30 cents (rate 0$60), sign at Cholon le 7e Moes M.Ty. 1948. the receipt with the hand written recu d’M,Nguy Thuy no.161 38$05 ,another receipt without revenue.

(Best quality revenue history collec-tions for showed in France -auth)


6) June 1948

(1) June,8th 1948

     (a)Bollaert eventually won, and they return to the Bay of Along on June.8,1948.

 There , in Bo Dai’s presence , Bollaert signed an accord with General Nguyen Van Xuan , former head of the “Republic of Cochin-china” and now chief of a new Vietnamese national government.

     France “solemly” recognized Vietnam ‘s Independence but would keep control its army, finaces and foreig affairs .

     Bao Dai was dissatisfied with this small “ step in the negotiations between Vietnam and France” and wentr back to Europe, asserting that he would not wear the crown until “ true unity and real independence” had been attained.

     French-spomsored Vietnam’s independence regime lacked credibility from the start.

     Nguyen Van Xuan , its prime minister, was a ludicrous choice for the job. Educated at the prestigious Ecole Polytecgnique in paris, he was an exaggrerated product of the mission civilisatrice.  A naturalized French citizen who had spent most of his life in France, he barely spoke Vietnamese.

     The French had promoted him to General, the first Vietnamese ever elevated to that grade. And as head of admiral d’Argenlieu’s pet project, the “Republic of Cochinchina” he had been an active foe of Vietnamese unity.

The Communist branded Xuan a “puppet” he was also anathema to the colonial French.


7) July 1948

(1)July.14th 1948

The leaflet of  Chinese memoriable death’s announcement of Mr Lin Pao Lin sent to family or friend in Chinese character language:

“he was passed with peace situa-tion in June.24th 19.40 pm  and all the family and friend have gave the symphatic’s homoured etc,

 The announcement letter were sent to all family and friend abroad.

the rare chinese overseas ‘s tradition with ephemera

(This unique collection  willn’t found anymore in modern times, best historic document for showed in Chinese area  and will discused completely in another book : “Unique Chinese overseas in Asia’s collections “ copyright reserved-auth)

8)August 1948

Not yet information

9) September 1948

 not yet information

10)October 1948


(1)October 18th.1948

The Reciept of buying bycycle with the ephemera ‘s Propaganda pictures of Bycicle from Cycles Miror Paris,from Nhut Tang Hung Cholon Furniture Generales Pour Cycles & Pousses, Cholon 18 October 1948. buyed by Mr Nguyen van Hai , Patent No 8336, price 1189.64 , tax 1 % 1189, and timbre (revenue)  250. total 1204,03 with Indochine Francaise Timbre Fiscal 2x 1Piastres and 60 cent revenue 

.(Unique Revenue and bicycle’s thematic ephemera history collection-auth)

11) November 1948

(1)The postal used cover from Paris rolling prestamped 10.00 franc with  area code =PARIS 24= without the sender adress, to  Monsieur Nguyen Nang Bu. 32-rue Phan Tanh-Gion Saigon (Indochine).

     The letter inside typewritten in France  from Ecole sentrale de T.S. F section electricite & Applications engineer, the Chief of Services Correspondance send salute  to acept his letter  November 19th 1948.  

Il set heureux de  constater que les cours vous donnent entiere satisfaction et il souhaite qur vous en tiriez un bon resultat.

For  the regular corespondent adress ‘a le Librairie technique et Commerecials -28 , rue d’Assas Paris.

(The earlies postal services between Saigon- Paris after the War and during Vichy-Vietminh war to the Cochinchina- please comment –auth)

12) December 1948


(1) Late 1948

In Paris, successive christian democratic and Radical Socialist coalitions stalled on granting autonomy to Vietnam. General de Gaulle, pontificating on the sidelines, predicted that “the French solution will accepted sooner or later (D)



3.The State of Vietnam(1949-1955)  

Bo Dai Regime in 1949


Saïgon. Polyclinique Dejean de La Bâtie 1949

1)January 1949


The receipt of Xuong –Thang Horlogerie , No ,43,Rue Georges Guynemer ,Saigon ,as Facture non B 26 ,Saigon 7 Janvier 1949, Contant paid  232$90, with Indochine Francaise timbre fiscal revenue 60 cents.

(best Antique watch tematic ‘s collection  for show-auth)


     The State Department Officials felt that while the US sought to favor Bao Dai, it could not “ irretievably” support a local administration that “might become virtually a puppet government separated from the people and existing only by the presence of French Military forces”(D)

     (3) January ,22th 1949

The rare inland Francaise cochin-chine postally used cover from CDS VINHLONG COHINCHINE 22.1.1949 TO Monsieur Tran v. Thanh Inspection du Travail 459 boulevard gallieri Saigon, at the back of cover the distination CDS SAIGO  R.P-COCHINECHINE 23.1.1949  WITH 3X10  Indochine stamp and two other stamps off .

     Inside the cover the green paper ‘s letter  in vietnamese :

                Vlong ngay 22 janvier 1949

                Kinh anh than men

Hai tho dta goi dti ma chua


Vay ham moi dtuoc kinh chue

Anh  Lang nam moi dtuoc van su

Binh an.

                             Eru gai anh

                             Mai njo cen

( If someone will help me to translate the letter please comment, I will put the letter at Undindentified collection, please comment-auth)

2) February 1949

(1)After Bo Dai living in Hongkong and China, in 1949 the French persuaded him to returned home in Vietnam.


3) March 1949


(1)March.8th 1949

     Vietnam’s figurehead Bao Dai and Franch’s figurehead president Vincent Auriol signed the Elysee Agreement , so called for the lavish presidential palace in Paris at which the ceremony took place.

     The Franch reconfirmed Vietnam’s independent (etat du Vietnam ?-auth) and going beyond mere promises, outlined measures to incorporate  Cochinchina in a unified Vietnamese state(Etat du Vietnam Quoc Gia?-auth), but France still retained control of Vietnam’s defense, diplomay and fnances.

Helpless and frustrated, Bao dai remarked soon afterward :” What they call a Bao dai solution turns out to be just a French solution”(D)


4) not yet information








5) April 1949


(1) May.16th 1949

Postally used covers inland vietnam from CDS  Saigon R.P-Cochine Chine

19.5.49, the adress was broke off , because someone off the stamps to Monsieur Tran van Thanh Inspection du Travial 459 boulevard gallieru a Saigon.

     Hand written letter inside with vietnamese character, saigon 16.5.49

     Anh rat yen Kinh cua em

     Anh che rang muon naim gui hanh ………………………………………….

                Chua and manh ra via

                     Hoi Anh

( if some one will help me to translate , the whole letters will put in the blog as unidentified collection, please com-ment -auth)




6) June 1949

(1)June 12th.1949

The Land house tax paid without revenue , of Cantho Village de Tan  with Cantho Francaise Indochine symbol stamped.

(The latest Francaise Indochine cantho village stamped-auth)

7) July 1949

(1)July 1st 1949

Another state Department report acknowledge that the Vietnam Communist were making progress mainly because the french had been so” niggardly” in their concession that they “have thus far failed to created an effective puppet regime capable of drawing nationalist element away from vietnam”

     The french military effort had “ dwindled to footling punitive campaign” and not only was this sapping France’s strenght, but US equipment sent to French troops in Europe was ‘ being squandered in Indochina on a mission that can only justified in term of Gallic mystique”(D)

August 1949

Not yet information


9) September 1949

(1)  September.13th 1949

The receipt of Maison nBan Thanh&Cie,Ameublement, 13-rue Chansseloup-Laubat saigon for paid 2020$00, added Indochine Francaise timbre fiscal revenue 4 x 1 piastres(rate 4$00). For buoght two kind meubeler 1 tu boc mat boing go gia tien 2000$00 and 1 toon qo 20$00, coniem (revenue) 4$00

 (The very high rate revenue , best collection for show-auth)


     (2) September, 15 th 1949

The Postally used cover of Ecole Centale de TSF Paris send to Monsieu Nguyen Nang Lu Saigon, with rolling prestamped  5.00 franc with propaganda  =PARIS 24= areal code.

The latter inside typewriter , Section electricite & application Modernes Esigment Techinue “Ecole Central De T.S.F” informed about him to be AGENT TECHNIQUE RADIO-ELECTRI-CIENT ( 2 parties), Livres-Quetioners-Divers  ( the second latter from Ecole Central TSF Paris to Saigon and the postal rate down from 10.00 Franc to 5.00 Franc , may be the situation more favourable and the Factory name on the cover-please comment why ? auth)

10) October 1949


(1) October.18th.1949

The Receipt f Maison Dong Nhan,Ameublemet, proprietarare Tran-Duy-Ta, 346 Rue Chasseloup-Laubat Saigon, paid 3050$00, added dtong thi 1 phan tuan 30$5 (?) , but revenue only 2x 50 cent Indochine Francaise timbre tax .

(interesting because  in another receipt five days later the revenue 4$00 for paid 2020$00, but this day 1$00 but with added Dtng Thi 1 phan tuan 30$5, what kind of tax this, please comment-aut)

11) November 1949

12)December 1949


(1)The original black and white private photo at The Tomb of Emepror Kai Dinh in Hue :


  1. The Native Vietnamese family seated in the front of dragon at stairs of tomb, man and wife, sister in law and three kids. At back “Dec/1949”
  2. The Nativese Vietnamese  seated on the dragon at the stairs, wiar short traosers with French hat , at the back of photo written in vietnamese :

Chup tai So’ Thu

Hoi hoc jau annie

     Lyce’e P.Ky


  1. Two kids , one with hat riding  the Horse statue and his younger brother  stayed in the front of the horase statue pull the Horse’s mouth string. Beside the Horse statue, there was the Vietnamese civilian with native hat statue.

(all the photo I have found at Ho Chi Minh city ‘s antique shop during my visit 2007 (a) and (b), (c) during my last visit 200-auth)


The Dai Nippon War In Vietnam Indochina 1941-1945

The Driwan’s  Cybermuseum


(Museum Duniamaya Dr Iwan)

                    Please Enter


              DMC SHOWROOM

(Driwan Dai Nippon Cybermuseum)


1.I have the complete collection of postal and ocument history during Dai Nippon Occupations Java Island 1942-1945, chronology day per day from the Capitulation day on March,8th.1945 to August,17th,1945(2605) ,also until The Japanese Army back Home to their homeland Dec.1945 but the Dai nippon revenue still used by Republic Indonesai until 1947.

2. Now I only add the 1942(2602) Collections, and if the collectors want the look the complete collections ,not only from Java island  but also from sumatra Island, please subscribe as the blog premium member via comment,and we will contack you via your airmail. We will help you to arranged the very rare and amizing collections of Dai Nippon Occupations Indonesia postal and document special for you.

3.I had add in my block the articles odf Dai nippon war from all east asia countries, many collectors and friend asking me to edited  that all information in one book, and now I have finish that amizing book.

4.Not many Historic Pictures durting this period, if we found always in bad condition and black  _white  as the book illustrations, I hope someday the best colour pictures will exist to add in the book.

5.This book is the part of the Book :”THE DAI NIPPON WAR”

6. My Collections still need more info and corrections from the collectors of all over the world,thanks for your partcipatnt to make this collections more complete.

Jakarta, April 2011

Greatings From

Dr Iwan Suwandy


“The Dai nippon Occupation Vietnam French Indochina 1941-1945″


DURING WW II (1941-1945)


a.France controlled Vietnam until World War 2, when the Japanese began occupation. In 1941 Ho Chi Minh joined other resistance leaders, forming a nationalist coalition known as the Vietminh, containing both communist and non-communist Nationalists.

b.The Japanese declared Vietnam a nominally independent state in 1945, under the last remaining Nguyen Emperor. The Vietminh quickly took action, calling for a national uprising which resulted in Ho Chi Minh declaring the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on September 2nd 1945. However, at the end of the war the international community failed to recognise this party as the ruling government, allowing the French to regain control.

c.Emperor Bo Dai During Dai Nippon Occupation

  Emperor Bao Dai in Hue during World War II  
        Admiral Decoux tried to counter this by encouraging Indochinese pride, promoting local customs, festivals and ceremonies which often had an inherently monarchist spirit being as most, if not all, revolved around the role of the emperor and the dynasty. He encouraged the celebration of traditional hero figures such as the Trung Sisters as well as the Nguyen dynasty founder Emperor Gia Long as a way to promote patriotism rather than xenophobia which he associated with the anti-French attitude of the Japanese slogan of Asia for the Asians. Decoux was also an admirer of the chief of the State of France, Marshal Philippe Petain, and encouraged the spread of a sort of hero-worship of the new French leader. Some Vietnamese conservatives found this an ideology they could work with and noted that the Vichy slogans of labor, family and country fit in quite well with Confucian moral doctrine which had long stressed loyalty to the emperor, devotion to the family and the need for everyone to persevere in their own state in life. Royalist newspapers in Vietnam soon featured portraits of Marshal Petain and his image soon graced religious altars in Indochina. The noted monarchist Pham Quynh was an enthusiastic support of the Vichy regime and pointed out the many parallels between the style of the Petain government and the Confucian social order. He even gave lectures about the parallels between Confucianism and the writings of the noted French nationalist and monarchist Charles Maurras. Pham Quynh went so far as to openly state that the failure of the old French regime was the result of its republicanism and that the revival being carried out by Petain and Vichy needed to be replicated in Vietnam with a revival of traditional values, one of which was devotion to the Emperor and the Nguyen dynasty.  
         Admiral Decoux also maintained a rather high opinion of Emperor Bao Dai during this time and did not believe he was lazy or disinterested in government affairs as many claimed. However, he also did not believe that imperial prestige had suffered by association with the French which, though unfortunate, was certainly not true. Admiral Decoux wrote that Emperor Bao Dai was the ideal combination of east and west which French Indochina needed and he also expressed dissatisfaction with the rather erratic behavior of the French in regard to the Nguyen monarchy which alternated between treating the emperors with great respect and treating them as either unimportant window dressings at best or threats to them at worst. Decoux himself was determined to treat the Vietnamese Emperor as well as the Lao and Khmer kings with the utmost respect and felt it was in the best interests of France to do so. Indeed, his reflections after first meeting Emperor Bao Dai were practically glowing. He spoke of the Emperor as a very intelligent, well informed and pleasant man who possessed great talents which should have been put to better use.  
         Emperor Bao Dai became much more visible during the war years and royalist newspapers reported extensively on his comings and goings and often tried to link the image of the Vietnamese emperor with that of the French Chief of State Petain. Emperor Bao Dai made many trips throughout the Annam region during the early war years and cultivated an especially good relationship with the youth, especially through his son Prince Imperiale Bao Long, and supported youth movements and organizations meant to encourage feelings of civic duty, sports, athletic competitions, educational activities and of course cultural appreciation and loyalty to the throne. However, the kind words of Decoux aside, the Governor-General and the monarch did not seem to get along very well. Decoux complained that he was not kept sufficiently informed about the movements of the Emperor, though one wonders why this was a problem as Emperor Bao Dai wrote that he had very little to do with Decoux and was never really made to be involved in national affairs. Decoux also did not much care for the presence of a Japanese mission at Dalat, where Bao Dai had a hunting villa, and the home government in Vichy also expressed her concerns about Japanese inroads to the Germans.  
         Nazi Germany, ever conscious of race, did not especially like the idea of Asians supplanting European control of Indochina but was not willing to risk difficulty with Japan over the issue and more or less ignored the French concerns. Meanwhile, 1941 saw a new wave of, admittedly rather minor, political changes in Vietnam. On orders from Vichy all elected assemblies throughout the country were abolished. Admiral Decoux welcomed this news and he preferred to give more direct control to local village chiefs and strengthen his ties with them rather than tolerating the elected talking shops like the CRP. The court went on as it had with some minor streamlining in May of 1942 with a few ministers resigning and Pham Quynh being moved from the post of Minister of Education to the more prestigious Minister of the Interior. All the while the Japanese continued to foster ties with the various nationalist groups operating throughout the country.  
         In 1943 the Japanese made some efforts to bring these groups together and under greater Japanese control. This idea was fostered by the retired General Iwane Matsui who saw the potential for new Japanese allies in her Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere and advocated working with these groups to overthrow colonial rule by European countries. As a result the Japanese became more protective of their Vietnamese allies who the French regime were inclined to see as enemies. They had some contact with Ngo Dinh Diem who was banished to Quang Binh as well as Huynh Phu So, founding leader of the Hoa Hao Buddhist sect, and the scholar Tran Trong Kim who the Japanese helped to move to Singapore to escape French animosity. They also kept in touch with Prince Cuong De as a sort of insurance policy should they need a pro-Japanese figure to take the imperial throne. Diem had contact with the prince as well and it was this, as well as his leadership of a Catholic, nationalist bloc, which prompted his exile to Quang Binh in 1944.  
         By that time the Japanese had effectively occupied French Indochina, though they allowed the French colonial regime to carry on for the time being. Decoux had given in to Japanese demands for the use of bases and air strips in Vietnam for their conquest southward toward Singapore, but when they judged Decoux to be insufficiently cooperative they poured Japanese troops into Vietnam and even gave their blessing to the Kingdom of Thailand, an ally of Japan, to attack French Indochina to regain previously lost territories in the west. The French were not molested by the Japanese but were certainly not happy with this turn of events and complained bitterly that though the Japanese left them to govern the country they established a seminary (as they called it) in Hue under the auspices of the Japanese consul to turn Vietnamese members of the civil service to their side. Some French officials suggested Emperor Bao Dai might be useful in improving matters but moved so slowly and did so little for fear of making things worse that such talk remained almost entirely academic.  
         In March, 1945, the Japanese finally decided to do away with all pretenses and took control of Indochina directly. The colonial forces were easy enough to overcome, some did not resist at all, French nationals were rounded up and Japan gained control of the region following an ultimatum presented to Admiral Decoux on March 9, 1945. Japan also announced their support for the independence of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam within the their Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere of course. Emperor Bao Dai knew nothing of this turn of events until he and Empress Nam Phuong were stopped by Japanese troops on his way back to the Forbidden City and told that Japan had taken control of Vietnam. What exactly the Emperor truly thought about this turn of events is hard to ascertain as he wrote very little about it in his memoirs. Whatever the case, he announced, with Japanese support, the abolition of all treaties and agreements previously made with the French and proclaimed the independence of the Empire of Vietnam as a member of the Co-Prosperity Sphere. In September of 1944 such a move had been advocated by the Japanese foreign minister but had been met with opposition by the military. It had been no different in Manchuria where the Japanese civil authorities favored working with native leaders in independence movements whereas the army favored allowing the generals to take direct control of conquered and occupied regions.  
         Emperor Bao Dai did say that he expressed concerns as to whether or not Japan was truly committed to genuine independence for Vietnam especially in regards to their longtime support for the pretender Cuong De. He was told that the marquis had only been an instrument to use against the French and that he had the full support of the Japanese. Others claimed that Japan had threatened to replace Bao Dai with Cuong De if he did not cooperate (which may have been true but probably was not actually said) but Japanese accounts say that by 1945 Japan was in a far from secure position and did not wish to make any unnecessary trouble by changing monarchs when Emperor Bao Dai seemed willing enough to go with the flow rather than make trouble for them. Emperor Bao Dai seemed to take a very practical approach as he had at least the hope of independence to be gained by cooperating with Japan whereas resisting them would have meant possibly losing everything. Prince Cuong De, though his longed for return to Vietnam never happened, also made no trouble on the issue and put out a message to his followers that he had never desired the throne for himself but that his highest aspiration was for independence and if that had been obtained by the Japanese working through Bao Dai he was perfectly willing to declare his allegiance to the Emperor. On March 11, 1945 Emperor Bao Dai issued the formal royal ordinance which abolished the French protectorate and proclaimed Vietnamese independence. Little did he know there would be an even more consequential Vietnamese declaration of independence before the year was up.

2.Before Japanese came


(1)From 1941 to 1945 almost all of Indochina stamps were designed by vietnamese painters ans printed in Vietnam as well (D)

(2)Ho return to Vietnam and form the Viethminh to fight both Japan and Franch.(D)


Dai nippon Field Army entered Saigon

  Japanese imperial troops occupy Saigon


Dai nippon Truck

(3)March.14th 1941
The Receipt of house rental paid, stamped Cantho Village du thoi than.

life at mekong river can tho village now

Life on the Mekong River at Can Tho

(4)March,31th 1941

The Certicate(acte) in french language  from Tourane( now Danang)

(5)July. 5th 1941
The rare vintage Chinese Certifacate of Registration at Cholon saigon, name Ly Chu Yen , writting in chinese character and Chinese Kuomintang (Star) emblem, with Light brown 20 cent Chinese Fiscal revenue design old chinese native building , Chinese consulate cholon saigon stamped .
( I found one complete certificate and one uncomplete half certificate without photo but the Chinese consulate stamped on revenue more clair. The very fine show piece. I have a visit at the Saigon(now Ho Chi Minh City)’s Consulate PR China ,to get fast one day visa two entree with four times cost than normal one weeks finish visa one entree, but the service very best, and I used that visa to see the Histroric Nguyen trai and Le loi Langson border between PR China –south autonon Quanshi’s province with the north area of Vietnam, they called the Freedom border -auth)

The rare Postal Recepisse(Reciept) “a remettre au depossant”, name and destination : Phan Ky Che Ban bien Place de Ai Section Rach –gia, send from CDS Cantho Cochinchine 30.8.41.

cantho now

Can Tho City
Can Tho City is dubbed as Tay Do ( The Capital of the Western region), lying in the heart of the Mekong Delta through which the Hau River flows. Main arteries running through the city are the national highways No.1A, 80 and 91.Can Tho is celebrated for Ninh Kieu Quay, Binh Thuy Communal House, Orchid Garden and Bang Lang stork sanctuary to mention only a few.Can Tho Ancient MarketVom MarketNinh Kieu QuayCan Tho is a regional cultural hub characterized by unique agricultural traits of the Southern farmers practicing wet rice plantation. Can Tho has specific streghths for tourism developement not only in a quite complete infrastructure but also in rich and diverse tourism potentials. Can Tho has been striving for a modern city im bued with benevolence and marked by the Mekong Delta’s special features that promises to become the nation’s most attractive river and countryside – based eco – tourist destination. Can Tho City from airplaneDraft of Can Tho Airport 


(1)June.30th 1941
The very rare Postal Recepisse no 671 postal cancel CANTHO-COCHINCHINE 9.30 , 30-6.1941.
Recipesse, remettre de L’object Valeur declare remboursement Poid.
(1) Voir notice e speciale au veran
(2) Coller 1e1 L’etiquette gommes du G-20

In The Back :
Notice Speciale
Si L’object ne porte pas de declaration de va-
Leur et n’est pas greve de remboursement biffer
Par deux forts traits de plume,Les emplacement
Reseves pour L’inscription de la valeur declaree
Ou du montant du remboursment.
Le delai se prescription des valeurs de toute
Nature confie’ens a’ La Poste est est d’un on.
La designation de L’expenditeur peut e’tre faite
Au moyen d’une griffe.
En vuebd’eviter le stationement au guichet,
Les expenditeurs sont prie’s d’affranchix regulie’re-
Ment leurs envois avant le depo’t.)


Recipesse, return ao applicant,
(A rempiir allow the sender.)
Name and address of destinatire (the destination address): Chan Ky chee Bon Bien
Street: Pace of the Section ‘Rachgia.(To be completed per agent of Posts.
Nature of the objective value declared Weight refund.
(1) See note at special e veran
(2) The label gum paste 1e1 G-20In The Back:
Special Notice
If the object does not file a will
And their strike is not redemption delete
With two thick strokes of the pen, the location
Reseve for registration of the declared value
Or the amount of the Money Back.
The delay is prescribed values ​​of any
Nature confie’ens a ‘La Poste is a one.
The designation of expenditeur can e’tre made
Using a claw.
Vuebd’eviter in the parking lot at the counter,
The expenditeurs’s requests are for-affranchix regulie’re
Ment before their shipments depo’t.)

(The Best postal History postal cancel of Cantho Cocchinchine during WWII with Speciale notes in French , as the postal History of French hegomony and historic colonial in Cochinchina , also very impostant to the comparative study postal cancelled of the postal used covers in Indochina after the war, because two many fake falsifiaction bogus postal used covers, I will showed this very rare postal history, not put on my blog because someone will made falsification fake cancel on covers-auth)


Japanese Navy Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa, Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Expeditionary Fleet, Saigon, Vietnam, 16 Nov 1941

Caption     Japanese Navy Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa, Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Expeditionary Fleet, Saigon, Vietnam, 16 Nov 1941
More on…    
Jisaburo Ozawa    Main article   Photos  
Added By   C. Peter Chen

The light green paper receipt of land’s house rental tax paid, sign by Nguoi than with red French liberty stamped of Cantho vIllage du Tan Buoi(D)


1) 1942

rare japanese occupation serial number paper moner circulated in Vietnam during Japanese occupation 1942-1945,same with Dai Nippon occupation Malaya and singapore area.

(1)June.19th 1942
The red paper receipt of Land House tax paid,handwritten , signed Nguoi Than with very light red franch liberty square stamped of Cantho Village du Tan Buoi ( Rare document during WWII – Vietnam Francaise indochina as the Protectorate Dai Nippon , Vietnam still used the same stamped of Indochine cantho village-auth)

December,27th 1942

The anniversary of  Saigon expoxition 1942  stamps first day issued on the picture postcard of Bouleveard chanier Saigon.


Souvenir de la Foire-Exposition de Saïgon du 20.12.1942

Kỷ niệm Hội Chợ – Triển Lãm Sài Gòn

vietnam -China bridge 1943

(1)August,4th 1943
The light pink paper receipt of land-house tax paid signed nguoi thanh with very very light franch liberty stamped of cantho village red stamped.
(Very rare document during WWII 1943 from The Indochine protectorat Dai Nippon village ‘s stamped still used -auth)

3)Late 1943

three B-24 Liberators were shot down in a single raid over Haiphong

US bombing of the rail line may not have been the critical factor in starving the north of southern rice, especially as it appears that north-south communication was not completely ruptured in the run-up to March-April the peak of the northern famine. But, combined with attacks on coastal shipping, it impeded Japanese and French authorities efforts to deal with transport and food issues. As Mickelson explains in a rare study of Allied bombing of Vietnam during the Pacific War, Americans did not control the skies over Vietnam. Facing down both Vichy anti-aircraft batteries and Japanese fighters the Americans suffered 414 casualties in the course of these missions, alongside a host of downed fliers. For instance, in late 1943, three B-24 Liberators were shot down in a single raid over Haiphong by 35 or more Japanese fighters. For a time, Mickelson also argues, the Americans were diverted from the main mission by acts of “vengeance” against the Vichy French who betrayed the downed American aviators, just as a turn-around in attitude by Admiral Decoux was one of the leading reasons behind the Japanese decision to carry out the March 1945 coup and assume direct military rule




The great famine was never construed as a war crime by the Allies, yet the question of blame, alongside agency or lack of it, was an issue between the French and the Viet Minh in the immediate aftermath of the Japanese surrender and entered into propaganda recriminations. Indeed, as written into the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) declaration of independence, both Japan and France were jointly blamed for the disaster. South Vietnam (the Republic of Vietnam) also raised the famine issue in postwar reparation negotiations with Japan. While such charged issues as the Nanjing Massacre, the comfort women, forced labor and unit 731 have long been the subject of intense debate in the historical memory wars, in textbook controversies and museum exhibits, the Vietnamese famine, and Japan’s role in creating it, appear to have disappeared from Japanese war memory and commemoration whether in textbooks or museum representations. 

It may nevertheless be asked, why is it important now to apportion blame? I would argue that the great Vietnam famine of 1944-45 is at least one of the underwritten tragedies stemming from the Pacific War. Outside of Vietnam, very few articles or studies have sought to contextualize this event, whether from the side of Vietnamese history, or from the perspective of Japanese and/or French and American responsibility. No doubt a court of law would seek to distinguish between deliberate policy, benign neglect, and/or the unanticipated consequences of social action. But, rather than pinning blame as with a court of law or a war crimes trial, what I seek here is closer to a truth commission-style investigation that precisely seeks to uncover a number of thinly veiled truths that could possibly stimulate further research, not only on war and memory issues related to the famine, but also in the field of famine prevention. 

Background to the Famine

The background to the great famine in northern Vietnam is the increasing scale and character of Japanese military intervention in Indochina from 1940 down to surrender in September-October 1945.


The Japanese military took over full administrative responsibility alongside local puppet regimes as with the Tran Trong Kim cabinet in Annam, under a pliant Emperor Bao Dai. Economically, Japan had used Indochina under the Vichy administration as a source of industrial and food procurement, from coal to rubber, to a range of industrial crops and, especially rice from the surplus-producing Mekong delta region. Though notionally under French administration, Japanese military requisitions profoundly distorted the colonial political economy, shattered the import-export system, and eroded many bonds across communities and classes, sowing the seeds of disasters to come. Even with French administrative services continuing, including dike repair, the monitoring of agricultural activities, and the collection of taxes, the rural population, increasingly bereft of cash as market mechanisms collapsed, was obliged to cope in a situation of virtual economic autarky just as Indochina came to be subordinated within Japan’s Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.5

Towards the end of the war, US bombing raids, mounted from India and Yunnan in China as well as the Philippines, and from carrier-based aircraft, also took a toll on infrastructure, targeting the TransIndochinois rail line, linking north and south Vietnam, as well as mining harbors and launching submarine raids on Japanese and local coastal shipping. With all but a few French administrators behind bars, administrative services deteriorated, both central (run from Hanoi) and local, whether run from Hanoi, Saigon or Hue. In this environment, customary rural statistical surveys were rarely conducted. Japanese military authorities, moreover, paid scant attention to local needs across Vietnam, not to mention traditionally rice-deficit Laos, and even rice surplus Cambodia, which was also ruthlessly exploited of its rice resources. The priority was fulfilling Imperial imperatives designed to feed Japan’s own on the battlefronts and at home.

Colonial Famine Protection

From time immemorial coastal Vietnam had suffered frequent droughts, floods, and typhoons, inflicting misery and suffering. According to Nguyen dynasty chronicles as interpreted by Ngo Vinh Long, destructive floods occurred on average every three years, usually around the seventh or eighth months, but sometimes in the forth and fifth months as well. Prolonged droughts proved even more disastrous to crops. Added to that were crop failures due to locusts and other insects.6 In official French discourse, protection of the population against threats of famine was a constant preoccupation of the administration. The colonial administration did not neglect the new and expanding modern communication links to re-supply afflicted regions. The need to diversify crop production was not ignored given understandings of the risks of monoculture in situations of crisis and food insufficiency, and close monitoring of agricultural production and human needs became a finely honed bureaucratic procedure at the local, regional and federal (Indochinese) levels. Nevertheless, the colonial economy was above all geared for export of rice, especially from the rice surplus Mekong River delta area of southern Vietnam.

Writing half a century prior to the great disaster, Governor General Jean Baptiste Paul Beau (October 1902-February 1908) reflected that there was no unique solution to the famine problem. One speaks of irrigation works as a solution, he opined, but Tonkin or northern Vietnam had not generally suffered drought over a ten-year period commencing in 1896. On the contrary, it had suffered an excess of water over this period, whether caused by heavy rainfall or floods. Irrigation systems, he argued, did not have incontestable value and could only be viewed as a partial solution to the famine problem. As well understood, several regions in Annam, the central region of Vietnam with its capital in Hue, supported excessive population densities. Prone to famine, it was not then possible to render assistance to these remote areas by either land or sea. At the time of Beau’s writing, only northern Annam remained outside of access to the new colonial railway system. But thanks to the extension of the rail head to this area, timely rice assistance provided by the Hue government had helped the population of Thanh-Hoa, then suffering famine. Similarly, in Annam wherever the rail head reached, relief could be speedily arranged. Alongside new transportation routes, the old system of rice stores that the imperial government hosted in each of the provinces was deemed a less practical solution, even though some individuals demanded their restoration. High population density in parts of Tonkin likewise aggravated the effects of famine. Alongside experiments in relocating emigrants from Tonkin to western Cochinchina – as the French called their colony in the south – incentives were also offered by the administration to peasant cultivators to move away from rice monoculture.7

Throughout the colonial period, a large number of irrigation works were created in northern and central Vietnam, in particular, using conscript labor and drawing upon local budgets with both flood control and expanded cultivation as objectives.8 Nevertheless, famine did occur in the central provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh in 1930-1931. Combined with falling rice prices and a constant tax burden, the result was to ignite mass peasant protest along with communist-inspired attacks on the administration.9 It is true that the French introduced a range of plantation or export crops, as with rubber, tobacco, coffee, etc., but neither, as demonstrated below, did colonial economic managers ignore the need to maintain a basket of food crops to tide over emergencies, such as fitting long-established peasant cultivator practice.10 Generally, the paix Français in Indochina was marked by its managerial response to famine and hunger, even as large numbers of people, particularly mountain-dwellers and those in more marginal settings, barely survived in the natural economy.

Origins of the Great Famine of 1944-45

According to Pham Cao Duong,20 a standard interpretation is that the origins of the famine of 1945 lie with the crop failures of 1943-45; this was compounded by lack of dike maintenance following US bombing of the north and the catastrophic rainfall of August-September 1944 causing flooding and loss of rice plants. There are merits in a multi-cause approach to the famine. In the following few paragraphs I reassess some of the dominant arguments.


For Nguyen Khac Vien, a generally reliable source from the Hanoi-side,21 the heaviest burden on the people under Japanese rule was the compulsory sale of rice to the state. Even Tonkin, where food was tragically scarce, had to supply 130,305 tonnes in 1943; and 186,130 tonnes in 1944. Whether the crop was good or bad, each region had to supply a quantity of rice in proportion to the tilled acreage at the derisory price of 19 piasters a quintal, a small fraction of the market price. In lean years, people had to buy rice on the market at 54 piasters to meet that obligation. To provide gunny bags for the Japanese economy, people were obliged to uproot rice and plant jute. In 1944 when US bombing cut off northern supplies of coal to Saigon, the French and Japanese used rice and maize as fuel for power stations. They vied with each other to store rice. During that time dams and dikes were neglected. The slightest natural calamity caused food shortages. Starting in 1943, famine began. It became more serious from 1944 onward.

Historian of Vietnam, David Marr,22 contends that the prospect of dearth in Tonkin had been creeping up for some years prior to the climax. He asserts that paddy output had been slipping over two decades owing to gradual reductions in acreage and a failure to introduce new cultivation methods. In addition, a still small percentage of land had been given over to the production of industrial crops. Meanwhile, the northern population had increased by 36 percent, forcing increased dependence on imports of Cochinchina rice. Drought and insects reduced the 1944 harvest by 19 percent over the previous year, with typhoons damaging the autumn crop. Farmers across northern Vietnam realized by October that they could not fulfill tax obligations, including obligatory deliveries to the government, and feed their families. While peasants started taking customary evasive actions, and while hoarders and black marketers thrived in this environment, the French and Japanese continued stockpiling rice, with General Tsuchibashi Yuichi, commander-in-chief of the occupation army in Indochina and pro-governor general after March 1945, planning 6 months (or 3 years) stockpiling ahead of an anticipated Allied invasion.

Without citing sources, although offering statistics, Pham Cao Duong23 argues that the decrease in crop yield during these crisis years was not drastic and there was still sufficient rice to avoid starvation. Rather, he sees the cause of the shortage as stemming from the practice of converting rice to alcohol used as a substitute for gasoline; illegal exports of rice by Chinese merchants and coastal traders; and US interdiction of north-south communication routes cutting off the north from rice imports from Cochinchina (estimated at 100,000 tonnes a year). Added to that, Vichy French Governor General Jean Decoux ordered the stockpiling of rice (500,000 barrels), a necessary measure in the circumstances, while the Japanese collected rice. But it was the human factor, he claims, namely intensified speculation, inflation and scarcity, which drove up the price of rice. “The more the price of rice rose, the more the grain became scarce because of stockpiling.” In 1944, traditional mechanisms of reciprocity linking large landowners to tenant farmers broke down. As Duong asserts, in 1944, all large landowners were obliged to deliver the bulk of their supplies to the French administration, while all paddy on the market was monopolized by Vietnamese and Chinese merchants.


According to Ngo Vinh Long, “beginning in late 1942, largely because of the Japanese demand for rice, the French colonial administration imposed upon the population “the forced sale of given quotas of rice, depending upon the area of land cultivated.” In 1943, this amount reached three-fourths of income for many, even exceeding the amount that some peasants could harvest, forcing purchase on the market to resell to the administration. While the procurement price was minimal, the black market price spiraled upwards. Long asserts that there was coastal junk navigation available but the French either discouraged this transport or taxed it heavily as a disincentive to operators. With Pham Cao Duong, he holds that the use of rice to make alcohol to run machines was “one of the major causes of death from starvation.” Another was the French storage of rice and export to Japan (including the export of 300,000 tonnes of maize from 1942 to early 1945), along with Japanese demands to plant industrial crops.24

For Brocheux and Hémery,25 two close students of Vietnam’s social and political landscape, the background to the crisis was essentially demographic (they assert that the mishandling was Japanese). Public health programs and vaccination campaigns did control mortality stemming from terrible cholera epidemics and, after 1927, there were no longer any catastrophic ruptures of dikes in Tonkin, at least until the dramatic flooding of August 1945 when 230,000 hectares were submerged, the most serious flooding of the century. But, in the course of a century of French contact, the population of Vietnam had increased by a factor of six, and cultivated surface by two. The balance of population and grain production therefore became extremely uncertain and the peasants were periodically wracked by agro-ecological crisis. Starting before 1930, vast areas of rural misery expanded in the regions where the ratio of population to cereal production was most strained, namely the Red River, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, and Quang Ngai. In 1937, there were from 2-3 million agricultural day laborers and more than a million unemployed in the Red River Delta. There was also extreme parcelization of land ownership, and a rising class of Chinese-style big landlords. Taken together, they argue, the situation approximated that of “agricultural involution” such as described by Clifford Geertz in his study of late colonial-early postwar rural Java.


Source: Brocheux and Hémery, Indochina: An Ambiguous Colonization, 1858-1954.


What went wrong? American bombing, and resistance activities in the mountains by Free French and Viet Minh guerillas aside, the Red River delta region and northern Annam was not a major conflict zone. David Marr26 contends that the only way that mass famine could have been averted would have been to arrange supplies of 60,000 tonnes relief from Cochinchina by October 1944. Citing a French source, he demonstrates that, owing to American submarine operations, air patrols and harbor mining exercises, the amount of rice shipped from south to north dropped from 126, 670 tonnes in 1942 to 29,700 in 1943, to 6,830 in 1944. Given hazardous junk transport and the need for porterage between unbroken sections of the rail link, the challenge was formidable. The knowledge and capacity were there but, he asserts, neither the French nor the Japanese had the will to achieve this goal. Both remained preoccupied with military logistics. Following the 9 March 1945 takeover, the Japanese ignored famine warnings for at least two weeks. By Tet (March) of 1945, thousands, especially rural Vietnamese were dying. The Japanese did release some grain from captured French depots to urban people, in part to discredit the French. After much hand wringing and remonstrations, suggesting administrative malfeasance, relief started to be organized. Eventually, in late June, junks from Cochinchina bearing rice for Tonkin arrived, but by this time the worst of the crisis was over.

Having asserted the dual role of the French and Japanese in stockpiling rice, Marr makes no attempt to disentangle French and Japanese motives. In contrast to the Japanese motive of preparing for future battles and securing supplies for their armed forces, French stockpiling could not have had a primarily military intent. Surely the Japanese would not have allowed French military stockpiling when they were calling the shots. A case could equally be made that the French stockpiling of rice, at least while they were in charge, was an administrative response to a looming crisis and, indeed, a reversion to traditional practice. (As noted, the French, in the early decades of the 20th century, had done away with the traditional practice of the imperial Vietnamese authorities in hosting rice stores in all provinces, suggesting that the Vichy French revival of this practice had some logic.) It also has to be said that French agricultural organization excelled precisely in monitoring deficits and surpluses across Indochina through regular and intensive statistical surveys, dike control, and the development of rapid communications. Space precludes analysis, but French colonial administrative prowess in this area was no less than say, the British in Malaya or, indeed, the Japanese in Taiwan.

In fact, French and Japanese motives and actions were entirely at variance. According to a Free French intelligence report of September 1944 (derived from an anonymous American informant), on top of an economic agreement contracting 1,200,000 tonnes of rice, the Japanese demanded an additional 400,000 tonnes for military provisions. Undoubtedly sensitive to the intolerable pressures that this would impose upon Vietnamese producers, the Vichy administration under Admiral Decoux balked. The Japanese answered with an ultimatum. In a highly exceptional display of autonomy, the Vichy administration sardonically replied that, if the Japanese wanted the rice then they would have to take it and bear full responsibility for the consequences.27

All elements of Pham Cao Duong’s argument are cogent and convincing, as the paradox of food availability and unaffordability still haunts international relief agencies confronting analogous situations to the present day. (For instance, overproduction of grain can translate into famine as in Ethiopia in 2003.) Nevertheless, Duong is reluctant to attribute primary cause of the famine cause to Japanese policies, which shattered the market mechanisms that the French had superimposed on traditional practices, albeit these were made more efficient by Indochina-wide stocktaking, stockpiling, and modern transport. Behind Decoux of course it was the Japanese military that had siphoned off rice surpluses and it was Japanese orders that forced Vietnamese farmers to plant industrial crops and convert paddy to biofuels. In general, Decoux was obliged to follow Japanese orders on rice requisition, whatever the consequences, although the Japanese correctly assumed that the Vichy French were also subverting their orders towards the end.

A full accounting would also have to examine the specific stages in the development of the famine in northern Vietnam, from the first crop failures of 1943-44 to the abrupt transition from Vichy French administration to Japanese military rule in March 1945, to the period of social breakdown (August-October 1945), to the complex transition to Viet Minh rule, as well as partial French administrative responsibility (March-November 1946), coinciding with the re-entry of French forces into the Red River delta area following Japan’s defeat. The issue of who controlled the keys to the rice stockpiles is also important. If, as Brocheux and Hémery28 assert, the Japanese lacked the shipping capacity after 1943 to send rice north owing to losses incurred due to US air raids and submarine attacks, then it does seem likely that rice stocks were accruing in the south rather than declining. Even so, Japan was still leaching food out of Indochina, overland via Cambodia or, via the sea route, notwithstanding the American submarine risk.

American Bombing

Although the bombing of strategic Japanese targets in northern Vietnam started in 1942, first by the American Volunteer Group (AVG), better known as the “Flying Tigers,” the tempo increased under the Yunnan-based China Air Task Force (CATF) of the Tenth Air Force, and later by the Fourteenth Air Force, as with the bombing of the Hanoi-Haiphong area in April 1944. Additional attacks were made by B-29s of the XX Bomb Group flying out of India and by Liberators, Mitchells, and Lightnings belonging to the Fifth and Thirteenth Air Forces operating from bases in the Philippines. Beginning in December 1944, attacks on Japanese targets in southern Vietnam were made by the U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet’s Catalinas, B-24s, and Privateers as well as by carrier aircraft from Admiral William Halsey’s Third Fleet.29

Beginning in April 1944, US India-based B-29′s targeted the Saigon Naval Yard and Arsenal. Cap St. Jacques (Vung Tau) also became a bombing target with 5-7 Japanese ships sunk in a raid of 15 April 1944, just as American submarines began to take their toll on both Japanese and French shipping (delivered by Decoux to the Japanese, notwithstanding the resistance of French crews). For example, on 29 April 1944, two French ships heading north were sunk by submarines off the coast of Vietnam, one a French destroyer lost with all hands, the other a merchant vessel which, according to Allied intelligence, was “carrying badly needed rice to Tonkin and Annam.” This is an important revelation – or admission – as the Allies would have known something of the human consequences of their actions beyond the mere sinking of ships. Notably, on 12 January 1945, US T-38 aircraft attacked four large enemy convoys off the Vietnam coast sinking 25 vessels and severely damaging 13. Among the losses was the French light cruiser, Lamotte-Picquet. Shipping losses along the coast were reported as heavy, just as port arrivals in Saigon-Vung Tau began to trend downwards. The French announced their losses while the Japanese remained silent.30

The above leads to the question of what kind of shipping was entering Indochinese ports, for what purpose and to what destination? Saigon and its ocean-going port of St. Jacques/Vung Tau were the most important for Japanese shipping between Taiwan and Singapore with shipping movements in 1943-44 averaging between five (Saigon) and 13 (Cap St. Jacques) ship visits a day. As the assembly point for Japanese convoys plying between the South Seas and Japan, during the same approximate period up to 33 ships a day sometimes anchored off Cap St. Jacques. Allied intelligence offers highly detailed weekly summaries of shipping movements into and out of these ports. In April-June 1944, a large number of Japanese troop-carrying vessels reportedly arrived in the Saigon River and immediately reloaded with rice from barges floated down from Mekong delta rice fields. Summarizing from a single day’s maritime activity out of Saigon in early August 1944, Allied intelligence stated that the Japanese were shipping considerable rice from Saigon to occupied Java, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai as well as Japan. In August 1944, Macau Governor Gabriel Teixeira gained Japanese agreement to send a vessel (the SS Portugal) to northern Vietnam to load coal and beans for shipment to Macau at a time when the Japanese choke on Portuguese-controlled Macau had reduced sections of the population to cannibalism.31 The picture that emerges through 1944-early 1945, besides intense Japanese naval activity in and around Saigon port, is one of near total command of rice produced in rice-surplus Cochinchina and Cambodia and its export under Japanese military auspices to virtually all parts of the Japanese empire.32

 But with US interdiction of Japanese shipping taking its toll, the deployment of shipping also added to the problem of servicing the coastal trade. Dated 19 July (1944), an unreliable Allied intelligence source stated that at Saigon, “there are 300,000 tons of rice awaiting shipment, part of which is rotting on the quays. Even if the figure covers all Japanese-held rice in Saigon including quantities earmarked for local Japanese consumption and production of alcohol,” the account continued, “the accumulation during the first six months of 1944 amounts to over a quarter of the total tonnage scheduled for shipping this year.”33 With a superabundance of rice rotting in the harbor, we may ask, why wasn’t even a proportion of this food surplus freighted north to cover the then apparent rice deficit in northern Annam and the lower Tonkin delta?

Another measure undertaken to alleviate the shortage of shipping was a concerted attempt by the Japanese authorities in Saigon to construct some 200 wooden ships of 500-ton capacity, an enterprise involving over 1,000 local Chinese and Vietnamese craftsmen. Mitsubishi even set up an engine plant while other engines arrived by freighter from Hong Kong. But rather than deploy these vessels in the coastal trade, the first four were dispatched to Singapore carrying a total of 900 tons of rice. One foundered and two others returned to port badly leaking. Other motor-driven wooden ships were directed towards Thailand and the Khra Isthmus. On 2 September 1944, the Japanese commandeered four Chinese-owned steamships to carry military personnel and supplies between Phnom Penh and Saigon. Although we lack parallel data for Haiphong port, the point is that almost all of this maritime activity was geared to meet Japan’s greater strategic needs, while coastal navigation such as would connect up the south, center and north of Vietnam, apparently still undertaken by the French, was neglected, fatally as it turned out.34

Nevertheless, the main transport conduit for the domestic movement of rice was the rail system. Rail transport was the more reliable north-south communication link especially during the typhoon season (July-October), when all maritime activity was hazardous. The Saigon-Hanoi TransIndochinois was single track, meter-gauge, with double track at all stations. The steepest gradient was 1: 100. Normally – or before the bombing started to interrupt the timetable – a journey from Saigon to Hanoi took 42 hours, at an average of 42 km per hour with somewhat lower speed on newly opened track between Nha Trang and Quang Ngai. The capacity of the line was six trains in each direction every 24 hours. According to an Allied intelligence report of 1944, express trains ran daily between the two centers.35

Obviously with such an efficient transport system in place there should have been no technical obstacle to moving food from surplus to deficit areas. But, decisions about use of the line also needs to be considered. According to an unconfirmed Chinese intelligence report of late 1944, owing to the movement north of 50,000 Japanese troops from Saigon to Hanoi, all civilian traffic on the line was suspended through 7 September 1944.36 Whatever the veracity of that report, it does fit generalized accounts contending that the Japanese military subordinated use of the line to military needs, both before and after the 9 March 1945 coup de force. Undoubtedly, the Allies were also acting upon this kind of assessment, in targeting the TransIndochinois line.

There is also some conflict in Allied intelligence reporting. A report from September 1944 indicates that American bombing and strafing attacks destroyed or damaged several bridges on the Saigon-Hanoi line resulting in dislocation of transport services. The tenor of this account is confirmed by a 10 October 1944 report citing the “poor condition” of the line, making possible a maximum of 4,000 tons of cargo monthly with possibilities of repair “negligible.” But, we know that different sectors of the line were not subject to irreparable damage (Saigon-Danang-Ninh Binh), and that repair and porterage were also ways to minimize the problem. According to an intelligence assessment of January 1945, the Japanese army had demanded of the French (still technically in charge of the line), that six pairs of trains per week should run between Saigon and Tourane (Danang), with one train a day running in both directions from Vietri (northwest of Hanoi) to Laokay (at the Vietnam terminus of the Haiphong-Kunming line).37 This assessment suggests that there was no breakdown in the rail transportation system at this stage, and there is no reason why rice could not have been entering this traffic if there had been the will.

Chronologic Informations

April 1944

Boombing Hanoi-Haiphong

the American Volunteer Group (AVG), better known as the “Flying Tigers,” the tempo increased under the Yunnan-based China Air Task Force (CATF) of the Tenth Air Force, and later by the Fourteenth Air Force, as with the bombing of the Hanoi-Haiphong area in April 1944


on 29 April 1944, two French ships heading north were sunk by submarines off the coast of Vietnam, one a French destroyer lost with all hands, the other a merchant vessel which, according to Allied intelligence, was “carrying badly needed rice to Tonkin and Annam.” This is an important revelation – or admission – as the Allies would have known something of the human consequences of their actions beyond the mere sinking of ships. Notably,30





(1) Vo Nguyen Giap forms Vietminh Army(D) and the vintage photo of him (P)

(2) November,30th.1944

On 30 November 1944, the railway was also damaged at Phu Ly (mid-way between Ninh Binh and Hanoi in the mid-lower delta). If these two sections of the line had not been speedily repaired, traffic in and out of the southern Red River delta would have been drastically interrupted. Much of course would also have depended upon non-rail transport from Phi Lu to local markets and the administration and distribution of rice within the deficit zones. Summarizing, we can state, with the famine crisis beginning to bite, rail traffic was still reaching Ninh Binh from Danang via Hue, Vinh, Dong Hoi, and Thanh Hoa, without major interruption.38


(3)November 1944

By 29 November 1944, however, traffic over the railway bridge at Ninh Binh (in the lower southwestern Red River delta) had been stopped by aerial bombing, two railway cars destroyed. Against the view that the French and Japanese, and perhaps even the Americans, all shared responsibility for the tragedy which is found in a number of official Vietnamese and other writings, a contrarian view suggests a high degree of Japanese responsibility. Bui Ming Dung41 argues – and I agree – that the Japanese exacted rice not only for their local use or exports to Japan, but for other parts of the empire, even at the height of the starvation. At the heart of Dung’s analysis is a refutation of certain of the more enduring explanations of the famine. First, he dismisses the argument that Tonkin (as opposed to Annam) suffered a subsistence crisis (Tonkin rice production exceeded that of Annam, while population increase was greater in Annam than Tonkin). Second, he refutes the arguments of certain Japanese interlocutors (General Tsuchibashi Yuichi included), who assert that bad weather or typhoons were decisive: the big floods actually occurred in August after, not before, the famine. Third, inflation, he argues, hit urban rather than rural dwellers harder. Fourth, to the extent that the French were active under Japanese duress, that of course ceased abruptly after 9 March with Japanese seizure of direct power. Nor does he find the French complicit in the making of the famine. To the extent that the French implemented policy changes, they were ordered to meet Japanese not indigenous demands. Fifth, notwithstanding American bombing, the transport system did not entirely collapse. It was simply reoriented to Japanese military use (rice transport took less volume than other commodities). Sixth, the Japanese forcibly introduced not only jute, but cotton, vegetable oil plants and other industrial crops in northern Vietnam at the expense of maize, rice and other food crops. Maize also began to supplant rice in exports to Japan and the Philippines in 1945, although rice was also exported to other places during this year. Seventh, the Japanese stockpiled rice in Laos right up to the point of their surrender. Finally, overarching all considerations, the export of Indochinese rice to Japan and the empire appears to have been a Japanese policy throughout.


In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, according to Marr,42 famine survivors most readily blamed the French, who were still in charge until March 1945, and were less inclined to blame the Japanese. According to Marr, no blame was attributed to the Allied forces in destroying infrastructure or the Viet Minh who were supporting Allied actions. Also, as mentioned in the DRV Declaration of Independence of 2 September 1945, both the French and the Japanese were targeted. From 1940, it asserts, “Our people were subjected to the double yoke of the French and the Japanese. Their sufferings and miseries increased. The result was that from the end of last year to the beginning of this year from Quang Tri province to the north of Vietnam, more than two million of our fellow citizens died from starvation.”43

While responsibility for the famine remains controversial, there is no question that the Viet Minh derived maximum propaganda advantage from the tragedy. In an undated memorandum addressing a Viet Minh allegation that it was the French who were to blame for the famine of 1944-45, French intelligence responded that, to the contrary, owing to the fact that the harvest of the 10th month of 1944 had resulted in a shortfall, the French administration had built up reserve stocks in each province. However, the Japanese had distributed most of these stocks. Moreover, the Japanese had reduced rice production and area under cultivation owing to a switch to industrial crops to service their own requirements. In defeat, according to French intelligence, the Japanese had removed rice stocks and thrown them into the Mekong River at Thakek and Paksane in southern Laos. This vandalism condemned thousands of Indochinese people to die of famine. The harvest of the 10th month of 1945 revealed another compromise owing to the floods which ravaged the rice fields of the Red River delta causing major losses of life. While the postwar French administration in central and south Vietnam exercised protective measures, by provoking or encouraging “disorder and pillage,” the “provisional government,” namely the Hanoi authorities, “also hampered French government assistance in these regions. It is they who should be held responsible for launching the famine as much for its aggravation and continuing disorders.”44


(4)By the end of 1944,

US Forces under General Douglas MacArthur had fought their way through the Pacific and werereconquering the Phillipines. Rumor spread that bthey would debark in Indochina in their first assaut against the Asian continent.
General de Gaulle, determined to regain Indochina for France, feared that vthe Americans would favor the Vietnamese nationalist.
He parachuted Franch agents and arms into the area with orders to attack the Japanese as the US troops hit the beaches. Soon Saigon buzzed with talk of the forthcoming French Operation.

4) 1945-The end of WW II and Franch resettlement and Vietnam Independent war was begun.
A. Before Dai Nippon take over the Government.

1)January 1945

(1)January 4th 1945
The Very rare & veryfine condition Gia Dinh reciept 55$ and 9$32 from Li Van San (Nhan lanh cua M) for “Pr le compte de li r Nang & Ho-thi Dau (?) , ve thue dat nha/pho, so bo thue —,nam- 1944. (no revenue exist.)
Ngay 4-1-1945
Violet Gia Dinh –Binh Bhoa Ya ‘s square stamped design bird and chinese char.
(Very rare extrafine village Bin Hoa ya of Gia Dinh province (after that Saigon-Cholon) ‘s document during Dai Toa Senso- Great East Asia War 1942-1945-, the latest document before the France administration was took over by Dai Nippon in March 1945-auth)



In March, 1945, the Japanese finally decided to do away with all pretenses and took control of Indochina directly. The colonial forces were easy enough to overcome, some did not resist at all, French nationals were rounded up and Japan gained control of the region following an ultimatum presented to Admiral Decoux on March 9, 1945. Japan also announced their support for the independence of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam within the their Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere of course. Emperor Bao Dai knew nothing of this turn of events until he and Empress Nam Phuong were stopped by Japanese troops on his way back to the Forbidden City and told that Japan had taken control of Vietnam. What exactly the Emperor truly thought about this turn of events is hard to ascertain as he wrote very little about it in his memoirs. Whatever the case, he announced, with Japanese support, the abolition of all treaties and agreements previously made with the French and proclaimed the independence of the Empire of Vietnam as a member of the Co-Prosperity Sphere. In September of 1944 such a move had been advocated by the Japanese foreign minister but had been met with opposition by the military. It had been no different in Manchuria where the Japanese civil authorities favored working with native leaders in independence movements whereas the army favored allowing the generals to take direct control of conquered and occupied regions.  

March-April 1945

The deaths stemming from the great famine of 1944-45, which reached its zenith in March-April 1945 in Japanese-occupied northern Vietnam, eclipsed in scale all human tragedies of the modern period in that country up until that time. The demographics vary from French estimates of 600,000-700,000 dead, to official Vietnamese numbers of 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 victims.1 Food security is an age-old problem, and dearth, famine, and disease have long been a scourge of mankind across the broad Eurasian landmass and beyond. While more recent understandings2 recognize that famines are mostly man-made, it is also true that in ecologically vulnerable zones, alongside natural disasters, war and conflict often tilts the balance between sustainability and human disaster.3 Allowing the contingency of natural cause as a predisposing factor for mass famine, this article revisits the Vietnam famine of 1944-45 in light of flaws in human agency (alongside willful or even deliberate neglect) as well as destabilization stemming from war and conflict. While I avoid the issue of impacts of the famine in favor of seeking cause – the human suffering of the famine has not been effaced by time. It was recorded in Hanoi newspapers at the time. It survives in local memory and in fiction by Vietnamese writers

In mid-April 1945,

 precisely at the peak of the famine, Australian commandos landing by American submarine inside Danang Bay sabotaged a train or, at least, a locomotive (one of two trains observed heading north). Their mission was directed at northbound trains. As observed, the first two carriages of this 10-18-carriage train held passengers with – as surmised – the remaining covered carriages reserved for troops. While the Australian commandos reckoned they only immobilized the line for 24 hours, the picture they offer of Danang (lights blazing) and rail activity at full spate was one of near normalcy. They also observed an extremely well maintained track. The view from the submarine periscope was one of active and organized offshore night fishing activity by multi-sailed boats all along the coast from Saigon to Danang Bay (200-300 fishing vessels, all numbered as if part of a fishing cooperative exercise). This suggests some degree of food self-sufficiency along the coastal literal of Vietnam, but that would also depend upon distribution networks, markets, and many other factors.

A Contrarian V

1) March,9th.1945

the Japanese military subordinated use of the line to military needs, both before and after the 9 March 1945 coup de force. Undoubtedly, the Allies were also acting upon this kind of assessment, in targeting the TransIndochinois line
(b)The Japanese lost no time in reacting .On the evening of March.9th 1945 , after strategically deploying their forces, they instructed the French govenor to place his army under their command.
(b) In Hanoi , they ceremoniously intrened the French soldiers who had surrendered without fighting. But in oother place ,those who resisted were wiped out to the man. They imprisoned several hundred French civilians , many of whom were totured to death by the same native jailers employed by the colonial adminis-tration to brutalize Vietnamese nationalist.
(c) Overnight , French power had cumbled, and the Japanese seemed to be doomed to defeat. Which Vietnamese faction would fill the void?.

 January 1945
(a)When the influence of World war II affected the French Indochina, the French Government issued a catagory of notes in which the ame of the issuing organ, Le gouvernment General de I’Indochine, at time from 1940 onward . the paper quality became worse than before, the paper was carelessly presented in IDEO(imprimerie d’Extreme-Orient _far east Printing House ) Hanoi.

(b)During this period , there were still metalcurrency, the leads coins were moulded with a paddy ear on one side . Especially there were issued lead coins with a paddy cluster moulded on the back side. A popular saying in relation to currency was orally propagated to stir up among people the anti-French Resistence for Independece :” When the paddy grows on the lead, elephants tram papers, the Monk shall have to disappear soon”(D)

(c) Worried by the growing Japanese influence, the French encouraged their own youth groups. But the Vietminh quickly infiltrated them and also seeded its cadres in japanese-sponsored associations. So, with no more than five thousand members in early 1945, the vietminh has a web of activitits all cross Vietnam, ready to act as events unfolded(D-ibid stanley Karnow p-159)


(2a) January,12th.1945

 on 12 January 1945, US T-38 aircraft attacked four large enemy convoys off the Vietnam coast sinking 25 vessels and severely damaging 13. Among the losses was the French light cruiser, Lamotte-Picquet. Shipping losses along the coast were reported as heavy, just as port arrivals in Saigon-Vung Tau began to trend downwards. The French announced their losses while the Japanese remained silent.

(2b)January ,31th.1945
The Diploma from Guberneur General Indochina sign under delegetion to Secretary General with Indochina Goveuneur general stamped , at hanoi 31 Jan 1945, during Indochina as Protectorate Dai Nippon.

 The complete diploma in france :

Republique Francaise
Diploma D’Etudes Primaires Superiures Indochinoises
La Gouverneur General de Indochine.
Vu les directs du 20 octobre 1910:
Vu le direct du 2 mai 1920 ,modifie par le decret du 18 october 1922,
Vu Le Reglement General de l’Instruction Publique en Indochine :
Vu Le process-verbal de l’examen subi par Mn Nguyen van Loi ne le 7 Juin 1925,
Par leguel la Commission de l’examen atteste que le Diplome d’Etudes primaires superieures.
A Thoibinh,Cantho a ete juge d’obtenir le (epreuve facultative ————–) avec La mention Passable—–
Delivre a Mr “Nguyen van Loi “ Le present diploma pour servir et valoir ce que de droit.

Enregistre saus le no.1191 La Directeur pi Fait a hanoi 31 Jan 1945
(Direction de l’Lnstruction deI’Instruction Le Gouverneur General
Publique) Publique en de I’Indochine,
Indochina PAR Delegation
Secretary General
du Gouvernerment General I’Indochina


Republique Francaise
Primary school diploma Superiures Indochinese
The Governor General of Indochina.
Given the direct October 20, 1910:
Given the direct May 2nd, 1920, as amended by Decree of 18 october 1922
Given the General Regulations of Public Instruction in Indochina:
The process saw the report of examination performed by Nguyen van Act does Mn June 7, 1925,
Leguel by the Commission of the review confirms that the primary school diploma education.
A Thoibinh, Cantho has been to get the judge (with optional test —–) Mention Fair -
Issue to Mr “Nguyen Van Loi” The present diploma to serve, and argue that law.Saves the saus no.1191 The Acting Director Done at Hanoi January 31, 1945
(Directorate of Lnstruction deI’Instruction Governor General
Public) in the Public I’Indochine,
Indochina BY Delegation
Secretary General
the General Gouvernerment I’Indochina

(The very rare historic document before the Dai nippon took over the French administration in 1945 , the last French administration during WWII-auth)


1)The Japanese lost no time in reacting .On the evening of March.9th 1945 , after strategically deploying their forces, they instructed the French govenor to place his army under their command.
2) In Hanoi , they ceremoniously intrened the French soldiers who had surrendered without fighting. But in oother place ,those who resisted were wiped out to the man. They imprisoned several hundred French civilians , many of whom were totured to death by the same native jailers employed by the colonial adminis-tration to brutalize Vietnamese nationalist.
3) Overnight , French power had cumbled, and the Japanese seemed to be doomed to defeat. Which Vietnamese faction would fill the void?.

4)Japanese took over the Government administration through out Indochina. (D)

5) Phung Thuong, as a boy before WWII , he had felt no particular resentment against the French, whom he rarely saw. But the famine of 1945 arused his hostility to both the Japanese and the French, and Vietminh agents entered the villages, urging the peasant to organize. They evoked Ho Chi Minh, a name then unknown to Khang. Even so, he agreed to head a platoon of seventry peasant armed with machetes and scythes, with only tw musket among them . They fortified the villages, building staves in hole covered with foliage. One night, in ambitius eneavor , they had fired six of their seven bullets. (D)

2. March,9th.1945

While the Vichy French regime in Indochina and Japan existed in a tense albeit unequal cohabitation with Japanese forces, matters changed absolutely on 9 March 1945, when Japan mounted a coup de force, militarily attacked and interned all French military personal who did not escape to the mountains, and sequestered all French civilians.

2b. March,11th. 1945
Bao Dai proclaims the indepen-dence of Vietnam under Japanese auspices.
Bo Dai, the indolent puppet emperr, had been hunting during the Japanese cuop.(D)

The Japanese coup of 09 March 1945 caught the Viet Minh by surprise. But if the Japanese thought the removal of the French would win over the Viet Minh, they were soon disabused of that notion. The Viet Minh publicly objected to the Japanese coup, seeing it as a substitution of one colonial master for another. The Japanese viewed the Viet Minh dissatisfaction as sour grapes at being left out of the action. The investiture of Bao Dai in Hue and the cabinet under Pham Quynh was greeted by opposition, public meetings, and demonstrations in Hanoi organized partly by the Viet Minh. So serious was this opposition that Bao Dai dissolved his cabinet on 19 March 1945 and installed a new one under Tran Trong Kim, an academic of modest nationalist tendencies with no stomach for the snake pit of Indochinese politics.

Within two days of the Japanese acceptance of the Potsdam declaration, the Viet Minh began to take power in the cities of Indochina. In Hanoi, a Political Action Committee was formed to facilitate cooperationwith Bao Dai’s government.” By 23 August 1945, Hue was solidly Viet Minh, as was Saigon, where the Executive Committee of the South Vietnam Republic was established. The Viet Minh seized the government buildings in Hanoi on the 19th.

Bao Dai, apparently convinced that a united and independent nation offered the only possibility of preventing the return of French control, decided to abdicate. Recogniting only the nationalist character of the Viet Minh movement and assuming that it had Allied support, he abdicated. in its favor on August 25, 1945 ; and handed over his imperial seal and others ymbols of office to representatives of the newly proclaimed Provisional Government of the Republic of Vietnam.

3) April 1945
No collections and information-auth

4) May 1945
No collection and information-auth

5) June 1945
No collection and infornation-auth

6)July 1945
(1)The allied leaders had met in Postdam, a Berlin suburb, to plan the future. There they had devised a schemed to disarm the Japanese in vietnam- aminor item on their agenda- by dividing the country at the sixteenth parllel. The British would take the South, the Chinese Nationalist the north, it was a formula for catastrope.

(2)The British commander, General Douglas Gracey, was miscast. A colonial officer with limited political experience but a genuine affection for his Indian troops, he held the parenalistic view that “natives” should not defy Europeans. Officially, his was not to reason why, he had been plainly told by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the allied commander for Southeast asia ,to avoid Vietnam’sinternal problems and merely handle the Japanese. But Gracey, guidednby his prejudices , (D)

7)August 1945

(1) August.14th 1945
Ir Soekarno and Drs Mohamad Hatta (Indonesian National’s leader during Dai Nippon Military Adminis-tration in Indonesia) went by flight to Saigon and by road to Dalat , where they have a meeting with Marskal Tarauchi (the command of Dai Nippon Military Administration in Saout East Asia ) and they have The Indonesia Indepen-dence’s mandat (D)
( Read the detail history in Unique Collection’s. Blog(By Dr Iean S.) “ Indonesia Independent War document and Postal History“-auth)

(2) When and Where the DaiNippon surrender in Vietnam ?-auth

1)August 1945


(2)By the summer of 1945 , flood aggravated the already serious food shortage as the Red River dikes , neglected by local officials, burst in several spot. In Nothern Vietnam, poor in the best of circumstances, two million people out of a population of ten million starved to death.
Not far from Hanoi , a leathery old peasant by the name of Duong Van Khang recalled years afterward that so many of his fellow villagers died :” We didn’t have enough wood for coffins and buried them in bamboo mats.”

(3)Condition were no better in the cities. Dr Tran Duy Hung, mayor of Hanoi at the time, recollected the scene in an interview decade later.

(4) Starving peasant in several places attacacked French post and stromed Japanese granaties.

(5) With the news of Japan’s surrender in August, the uprising spread. Vietminh agent mved quickly to take advatage of the Turmoil. A villager recounted the events of that period in a district of Thai Binh province, in the Red River delta :
“The Village marketplace was jummed. A man in brown pants and a cloth shirt climbed onto a chair, and guards armed with machetes spears and sticks surrounded him. He delivered a speech, saying that the Japanese had capitulated to the allies, and that the time had come for Vietminh to seized power . I was just a teenager in ragged clothes, and I asked a schoolmate, “ Now that we’ve seized power, who will be the mandarin?” He replied :”Get this.the mandarin is just apeassant-really ordinary”

Di Nippon Surrendered at Saigon

  Former Emperor Duy Tan in the Free French service, former Emperor Thanh Thai arriving in Saigon in 1945 and Emperor Bao Dai escorting former Emperor Thanh Thai


(6) The Vietminh leader the marched to the district headquaters; the procession behind him swelled as nearby villagers joined in. The local chief had fled. The Vietminh leader seated himself in the district chief’s chair t dramatize his new authority. The next day, Vietminh agents put a village official on trial before five thousand peple assembled on a soccer field.
They read the charges. He had been an accmplice of the Japanese pirates. He had forced the peasants to pull up their rice and plant jute and peanuts, enriching himself even though the people were miserable and dying. He admitted that he had worrked for the Japanese but claimed that he was just carrying out orders. But they announced that his crime was very serious because he had opposed the revolution and helped the enemy. So They sentenced him to death and shot him right there.
This really fired up the people. They went after the henchmen of the Japanese, dragging them out of their housees, making them lower their heads and beating them. That finished their prestige, and the fervor of the massed kept rising.(D)

(7) August.16th 1945
To keep pace with the momentum, Ho Chi Minh summned sixty comrades to Tran Tao, a village in Thai nguyen province, North of Hanoi.
The time had come to grab power and greet the allies on the arrival. Ho formed a National Liberation Comittee with himself as president, calling it “The equivallent of a provisional government “ appealing for a general insurrection, he proclaimed in classic revolutionary style “ The oppresed the world over are wresting back theirindependent. We should not lag behind.(D)
Clad in coarse khaki uniforms or black pajamas, the first Vietminh detachments entere Hanoi on August 16, raking over publics buildings as Japanese troops stood by.
The emperor ‘s delegate, a symbol of imperial authority, resigned to a Vietminh-run committee of citizens which promptly announced its seizure of power from a balcony of the Hanoi opera house, a model of French gingerbread architecture

the end @ copryright Dr Iwan Suwandy 2011



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