Validity and Vitality of Juche Idea in Contemporary World

A YEAR ago, precisely on 24th of November 2020, the Indonesia-DPRK Friendship Association has established the Indonesian Juche Study Group (IJSG). The first meeting was held at the residence of late Mdm. Rachmawati Soekarnoputri who was the initiator of the IJSG and also the founder of the Indonesia-DPRK Friendship Association.  

Compared to other friends in many countries, it seems like we are among the last to organize a study group on Juche idea. This “delay” is not because we don’t see the importance of Juche as a driven factor to the struggle and development of the Korean nation to this day.

On the contrary, we are well aware of the importance of Juche idea to our Korean brothers and sisters. History has proven how Korea rose from scratch, defended its independence and started its economic development so that Korea became one of the most respected nations in the global arena.

The Indonesia-DPRK Friendship Association is one of the first friendship associations with the DPRK established in the world. One may say, the Indonesia-DPRK Friendship Association was founded in 2001, after late Mdm. Rachmawati visited Pyongyang.

Nevertheless, if we look back at the course of history, the Indonesia-DPRK Friendship Association has existed long before that. At least since the 1960s. We all aware that the Kimilsung Flower is a native Indonesian flower specially designed by Indonesian experts and presented by President Soekarno to President Kim Il Sung in their meeting at the Bogor Botanical Garden in April 1965.

The visit of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il to Indonesia along with the Kimilsung Flowers awarded by President Soekarno to President Kim Il Sung symbolize the eternal friendship between Indonesia and Korea. The friendship that cannot be weathered by rain and sun.

In establishing friendship with the Korean people, as well as other nations in the world, late Mdm. Rachmawati always reminded us to follow one of the important principles of the Asian-African Conference in Bandung in 1955, namely the principle of peaceful coexistence.

The basic idea is that every country has the right to exist and exercising sovereignty in the realm of its existence. When a country’s existence is threatened by other country, the threatened country has the full right to defend its existence and sovereignty. At the same time, the principle of peaceful coexistence also teaches every country to respect the independence and sovereignty of other nations and countries.

So this is the main notion that we underline the most from the ideology that teaches us how to maintain self-reliance and self-sufficiency.

***

In his book “On the Juche Idea” (1982) Generalissimo Kim Jong Il explains that Juche offers not only an “independent and creative” direction to the Korean revolution, but also establishes a new era for human history.

He divides Juche into three components, namely the philosophical principle, the socio-historical principles, and the guiding principles of the Juche idea.

Juche is said a man-centered philosophy, where man has independence, creativity, and consciousness. Therefore, this ideology places man at the center of the world. As it is also said by President Kim Il Sung that man is the master of everything and decides everything. Thus, it is man who decides the transformation of the world.

Generalissimo Kim Jong Il also underlines that the working masses are the subject of history. At the same time, human history is the struggle of the masses to realize their independence and defend it. Therefore, man’s socio-historical mission is to transform both nature and society.

Generalissimo Kim Jong Il teaches us that in order to develop a sovereign existence we have to deploy Juche in ideology, independence in politics, self-sufficiency in economy and self-reliance in defense.

This great work can only be done by understanding that all problems arising in the revolution and construction are to be solved by relying on the creativity of the masses.

The last but not the least principle in working on Juche is the important of people consciousness in doing their works in term of social and political progress.

***

In the foundation meeting of IJSG, we underline the important of national independence in dealing with neocolonialism and all kind of its manifestations.

Juche, which is often interpreted as an ideology of self-reliance, was developed by the founder of DPR Korea, Kim Il Sung, during the Korean nation’s resistance to Japanese occupation.

Initially, Juche was seen as a struggle ideology influenced by Marxism. However, in subsequent developments, Juche managed to grow into a distinctive ideology in the Korean struggle for independence, especially in DPR Korea. This ideology develops the postulation which says that man is the master of his own destiny as well as the master of the journey of revolution.

For us, the establishment of JSGI was in line with the efforts that had been made so far to promote President Soekarno’s ideas of nationality and sovereignty in the form of the Bung Karno Teachings curriculum (ABK) taught at Bung Karno University (UBK).

Late Mdm. Rachmawati in her words said that, “Bung Karno is also an ideologue who explores the thoughts of struggle that were born and developed in the midst of Indonesian society during the colonial period. These two leaders (President Soekarno and President Kim Il Sung) have the same experience in laying the foundation for their nation’s struggle for independence.”

Juche’s ideology had proven to make the Korean and DPRK survive in the midst of attacks from the enemy, both in the era of the independence revolution and in the current era of neocolonialism. Juche was born from the experience of the Korean people in facing the oppression of other nations. Juche is an ideology to achieve and maintain independence.

Geographically speaking, DPRK is surrounded by other big nations that are aggressive and have territorial ambitions, namely China, Russia and Japan. This geopolitical and geostrategic reality prompted DPRK to develop strategic thinking and steps that would enable it to maintain independence.

Late Mdm. Rachmawati in that meeting said that humans are basically a social being who at the same time are individual and do not want to live under the oppression of other humans. In the context of the struggle against oppression and colonialism, this principle gave birth to the politics of self-help.

Humans believe that only he can help himself, so he is not dependent on other parties. So that this philosophy becomes the way of life for the Korean people.

An ideology like Juche’s is philosophische grondslag, like Pancasila which is excavated from the life experiences of the Indonesian people under the oppression of other nations.

By having this idea, we proclaim to the world that we do not want to become a nation that depends our fate on other nations, but on our own nation. ***

Published by

TeguhTimur

Born in Medan, lives in Jakarta, loves Indonesia.

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