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Kim Il Sung, a Puppet or a Puppeteer?


The evidence from both psychology and

history overwhelmingly supports the view

that decision-makers tend to fit incoming

information into their existing theories

and images. Indeed, their theories and images

play a large part in determining what they notice.

Robert Jervis (Quoted in Simmons, page 116)

Contrary to popular belief, Kim Il Sung was not merely a Soviet puppet, but a politician whose actions made a significant difference in the course of history. Kim Il Sung was at the heart of the North Korean attack on the South and that alone qualifies him for the title of a “Great Man” in accordance with the theory proposed by John G. Stoessinger. Why? How? Who was Kim Il Sung after all and what had he done?

Kim Il Sung was the Leader of North Korea from 1948 until his death in 1994. He managed to earn the rank of Generalissimo and the revered title of “hero of heroes” among his fellow citizens. The flowers are still being brought to his embalmed body and the “Song of Gen Kim Il Sung” is still being sung at solemn occasions, such as an annual commemoration of the Korean War. Whereas the Americans dubbed that war “a forgotten one”, North Koreans neither forgot the war itself, which they call “The Fatherland Liberation War”, nor forgot its “hero of heroes” (“North Chief of General Staff Hails “Brilliant Victory” in Korean War”).

The victory in the Fatherland Liberation War, which shook the 20th century, was a valuable fruition of great leader Generalissimo Kim Il Sung, a gifted military strategist and a matchless, brilliant commander. […]

The great leader, for the first time in history, drove the US imperialists, who had flaunted their greatest strength in the world, to become a setting sun with an iron will, an unparalleled courage, and a profound art of military operations, and displayed our military and people’s heroic spirits throughout the world. (“North Chief of General Staff Hails “Brilliant Victory” in Korean War”)

On the other hand, Western historians who did not have to fall in with the Party line of North Korea saw Kim Il Sung from a more objective point of view than that of North Korean Party Officials. According to Edward H. Judge and John Langdon, Kim Il Sung was “talented and energetic, but ruthless, ambitious, and cruel, [and] would prove to be the most durable of all Cold War Leaders” (Judge and Langdon, page 103).

Despite Kim Il Sung’s outstanding personal qualities and numerous political successes, for a long time after the Korean War the West rarely viewed Kim Il Sung as an independent politician, but rather as a marionette of Soviet Power. Due to this popular belief, Kim Il Sung was denied the status of a Great Man and his role in the conflict between the two Koreas was largely overlooked.

Childhood: Where We All Come From

Teenage Kim Il Sung

Teenage Kim Il Sung

A la Guerre Comme a la Guerre

Let’s take a closer look at the life of the future Generalissimo and “hero of heroes” of the North Koreans. Kim Il Sung’s original name was Kim Song Ju and he was born on April 15, 1912 in Man’gyondae, near P’yongyang to a family of villagers. He was the eldest of three brothers and according to one psychological theory it could be considered a factor in his personality development. The fact that Kim Il Sung was born in April under the star of Mars would be interesting for astrologers, but as astrology never gained enough credibility as a science we have to treat it as a mere coincidence. What is true though, is that throughout his whole life Kim Il Sung lived “under the sign of war” -- war was his life.

When Kim Il Sung was born, the Japanese already occupied Korea. In 1925, along with many Koreans, his family decided to flee to Manchuria. Kim became a political activist from a very early age. When he was seventeen, Kim Il Sung participated in founding a Communist Youth League, for which he was arrested and subjected to one year imprisonment by Chinese authorities. As soon as Kim was released, he immediately joined the Korean Independence Army and from that moment on he was an active guerrilla fighter. (“Who was Kim Il Sung”)

Did the fact that for most of his adult life Kim was a partisan, a warrior, a commander make a significant contribution in shaping his personality? My answer is yes, simply because it could not have been otherwise. Unlike Stalin, who had an opportunity and a privilege to fight and exterminate his real and chimerical enemies from the comfort of his office, Kim Il Sung was always at the front line, fighting for his people, for his life and most importantly for the independence of Korea. From my childhood, there was no shortage of patriotic rhymes, I remember one line: “Remember, from now on, your life is a combat”. I cannot think of anyone to whom this line could be more applicable than to Kim Il Sung. His life was perpetual struggle, and living on a razor’s edge became a habit. War and fighting became a part of his mentality, philosophy and part of himself.

That struggle was not easy. Not only did Kim Il Sung have to fight Japanese occupants, but also he had to struggle with traitors in the ranks of the Korean Army. One fatal betrayal by the political commissar of the 1st Route Army, who surrendered to the Japanese and led them to Kim and his comrades, brought Kim Il Sung’s resistance in Manchuria to an end. But it did not crush Kim Il Sung’s obstinacy, he was a fighter in his heart. (“Who was Kim Il Sung?”)

March 10, 1941 – Kim Il Sung was about the only surviving partisan of the Anti-Japanese United Army still active in Manchuria. Kim and what remains of the Korean Revolutionary Army vacated their bases and fled to Siberia. Kim was no longer any threat to Japanese police, but his legend lived on more colorful than ever. People were trying to turn him into superhuman – sort of like a modern-day Hong Gil Dong (the legendary Korean folk hero). (“Who was Kim Il Sung?”)

As we can see, Kim proved himself to be an extraordinary personality and a Great Man long before he went to Russia. In Russia Kim and his comrades were forced to join the 88th Special Independent Guerrilla Brigade of the Soviet Army. Kim Il Sung received extensive political and military training and eventually earned the rank of a major of the Soviet Army. He remained in the Soviet Union until the end of World War II and came back to Korea with the Soviet Army. (“Who was Kim Il Sung?”)

Upon his return, Kim Il Sung’s major concern was the independence and reunification of Korea, and he was more often speaking to his people about it than about communism. Although Kim Il Sung owed his “rise to power” to the Soviets, “Moscow’s hedging assistance must have demonstrated to Kim that he would have to rely for his future security not totally on Soviet goodwill, but rather on his own abilities as a genuine nationalistic leader” (Simmons, page 27). In order to achieve this, Kim proclaimed a philosophy of self-reliance and more or less successfully constructed a self-reliant state. North Korea exists under the sign of war. There might not be enough food for its citizens, but there is certainly more than enough military forces and armaments. Like the leader, like the state.


Kim Il Sung as a Soviet Puppet

The belief that Kim Il Sung was merely a Soviet puppet dates back to the time of the Korean war itself and was plausible enough until Soviet archives about Korean affairs were disclosed to the historians. Politicians in the West, particularly in the United States did not see Kim Il Sung as a powerful political player, and it did not matter what Kim Il Sung did or did not do or what kind of personality he had. He was completely overshadowed by Joseph Stalin, who was believed to pull the strings in the Korean affair (Wingrove). Kim Il Sung had “to be content” with being seen as a puppet, a marionette, a Moscow hireling, a blind executor of Stalin’s will. This is just one of the most typical descriptions of the interplay between Kim Il Sung and his Soviet masters:

His [Kim Il Sung’s] leadership and drive caught the eye of the higher-ups in the Soviet Union, and he was brought to Moscow to absorb a course in Communism.

Josef Stalin and his clique in Moscow wasted no time planting deep roots of Communism in North Korea. The Soviets proclaimed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and held “free elections” to choose a premier. Thirty-seven year-old Kim Il Sung, a protégé of Stalin, was elected in a landslide, garnering 99 percent of the votes.

[…] In exchange for gaining the exalted office, Kim would dance the Communist tune as choreographed by the Kremlin in Moscow. (Breuer, pages 14-15)

Another historian, Peter Lowe describes Kim’s installation by Moscow in the following terms:

Why did Stalin put Kim into power at the head of a regime established by the Soviet Union? The first reason is negative. Stalin had little faith in alternative candidates of whom the most conspicuous was Pak Hon-Yong. […] Kim was young, vigorous, and not too deeply involved in the past factional disputes. Stalin regarded Kim as acceptable and no doubt controllable by Moscow. (Lowe, page 15)

Being blinded by the idea that Kim Il Sung was not a politician who could make decisions or in the very least influence them, historians concentrated their efforts on trying to fathom Stalin’s possible motivations for starting the Korean War. Thus the most obvious and I would even say bulging aspirations of Kim Il Sung were simply overlooked. What was the reason for not seeing the obvious? In my understanding, it was a “weird and wonderful” vision flaw. Vladimir Mayakovski, the passionate poet and later victim of the Russian Revolution, once wrote “The Party and Lenin are identical twins, when I say Lenin, I mean the Party, when I say the Party, I mean Lenin” (my loose translation) as if they were synonyms. The same transformation happened in the minds of Western politicians and historians: where they saw communism, they saw the Soviet Union and vice versa. The expressions “containment of communism” and “containment of the USSR” are essentially the same. When “the Phantom of Communism” embodied in the Soviet Union was no longer satisfied with wandering only in Europe and headed for Asia, the fear in the West reached its apogee. Communism was perceived as a highly infectious disease: first China had fallen and now it was Korea’s turn. There was no doubt in the minds of the Western politicians that all these “epidemics” were caused by the artful machinations of Joseph Stalin alone. Local leaders and realities were left without recognition.

For President Truman this was a decisive encounter. As he saw it, North Korea’s Communist leader Kim Il Sung was not acting independently, nor was the aim of the attack simply limited to reunification of the divided Korean peninsula. In this aggressive action he discerned the hand of the USSR, and possibly that of Communist China. In Truman’s words: ‘The Reds were probing for weaknesses in our armour; we had to meet their thrust without getting embroiled in a world-wide war’. His Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, also concluded that ‘it seemed close to certain that the attack had been mounted, supplied and instigated by the Soviet Union…’ and:

To back away from this challenge… would be highly destructive of the power and prestige of the United States… we could not accept the conquest of this important area by a Soviet puppet under the very guns of our defensive perimeter with no more resistance than words and gestures in the Security Council. (Wingrove)

If the US officials refused to see and recognize the new China with Mao Zedong, Kim Il Sung really did not stand a chance of as much so being noticed. Alan Gropman in his article “Views of Korean War, from strategy to its toll” criticizes the book “Odd Man Out: [Harry S. Truman], Stalin, Mao, and the Origins of the Korean War” for precisely such blindness:

Mr. Thornton argues that the Korean War was a plot by Stalin to embroil the U.S. and China in a war that would permanently poison their relations, as if Mao (Mr. Thornton’s “odd man out”) was a puppet of no interest of his own. He asserts further, again with no proof, that Stalin deliberately caused [Kim Il Sung]’s summer offensive to fail […]

The author tells us that his account is a “political history of the American-Soviet-Chinese interaction that produced the [Korean] war and determined the shape of global politics from then to now”. Immediately one asks, where is Kim Il Sung? (Gropman)

Unfortunately, in this puppet show, Kim Il Sung is nowhere to be seen. John Stoessinger in his book “Why Nations Go to War” presenting four possible theories about the origins of the Korean War, paid more attention to Stalin’s possible agenda than to exploration of possible internal causes. Stoessinger suggested that Stalin could have decided to probe the West and the newly established NATO or could have been plotting against Mao Zedong fearing the ascendance of a new communist leader in a huge adjacent country.

Finally, it is possible, though not very likely, that the North Korean attack was an internal affair, initiated by an independent decision of Premier Kim Il Sung, as the Soviet Union would contend. (Stoessinger, page 54).

Premier Kim Il Sung endorses the July 27, 1953 armistice agreement.


Kim Il Sung as a Puppeteer

However, the fourth possibility turned out to be closer to the truth than the other three. Kim Il Sung was the initiator of the attack and he better falls in the category of puppeteers, than puppets.

[…] it would be a misnomer to call him [Kim Il Sung] a Russian puppet. In fact, it is closer to the mark to say that Kim was a Soviet-supported Korean nationalist, whose power base became to a significant extent his own organization, and who reflected Chinese ideology at least as much as he articulated Russian slogans. (Simmons, page 31)

The fact that Kim Il Sung was an ardent nationalist is important in understanding his fervent urge to reunify Korea. Given the fact that Kim Il Sung spent all his adult life fighting for the independence of Korea, it is not surprising to see that this idea became his main lifelong aspiration. When Korea was liberated and all of a sudden divided into two parts, his dream did not vanish but quite naturally transformed into a desire to reunify Korea. In January 1950, Kim Il Sung said: “Lately, I do not sleep at night, thinking about how to resolve the question of the unification of the whole country. If the matter of the liberation of the people of the southern portion of Korea and the unification of the country is drawn out, then I can lose the trust of the people of Korea” (Wingrove).

Given that Kim Il Sung was a man of action, it was very much in his character not to sit around and wait idly until the reunification of Korea happened all by itself. Kim was pushing his cause with all his energy, vigour and his flair for intricate diplomacy. He believed that reunification was only possible through military means and for that Kim needed support from his powerful allies. Thus, in March 1949, Kim suggested an attack on the South and asked Stalin for cooperation. Stalin categorically refused such a possibility and argued that the North Korean Army was by no means prepared to defeat the numerically superior forces of the South and it was unwise to provoke the US troops that were still stationed in the South. Kim believed that the South was planning to attack first and Stalin replied that in that case it would be better to wait for such an attack as it would give the North a morally justified position to repel the invasion. However, at that time Stalin did not believe in earnest that South Korea would initiate an attack on the North. Undeterred by the fact that he did not find an understanding with Stalin, in May 1949 Kim directed his steps to Mao. Mao was busy getting rid of Chiang Kai Shek and the Kuomintang, therefore he also stated that “in the near future an advance to the South would be unadvisable.” (“Subject: Korean War: How it started”)

However, later the situation changed. American troops withdrew from South Korea. Mao Zedong won an impressive victory over the Kuomintang, which provided both a perfect example and an inspiration for Kim Il Sung.

The differences in Kim Il Sung’s account were supported by additional discussions with the Chinese Leader in May and September where he made things completely clear. In the spring, North Korea would strive to put pressure on the doubting Stalin by stressing that they had the complete support of Mao Zedong for their plans: in September 1949 and again in January 1950 Kim Il Sung again strove to press the Soviet leader, but this time from another tack. By this time, the civil war in China had reached its conclusion, and that meant that the time had come for Mao Zedong to begin to carry out the previous agreement to support real action to unite the Koreas. Kim Il Sung was very crafty in his actions at all these instances, and taking into account the psychology of the Soviet leader, who was apprehensive of the surprising and unwanted independence of Mao. (“Subject: Korean War: How it Started”)

Luckily for Kim Il Sung, Stalin’s position also changed. First of all, he became convinced that a military invasion from the South was no longer a chimera, but a real possibility as the intelligence reports stated. Therefore, Stalin agreed that it was necessary to fortify the North Korean Army so that it would be able to defend itself. Stalin, however, was very much against the idea of the North attacking the South. “Having taken measures to strengthen the military power of DPRK, Moscow initially wanted to ensure that the aid provided would only be used for defensive ends, and not to strike against the South.” (“Subject: Korean War: How it Started”).

Kim Il Sung’s determination grew only stronger and stronger with time. In August 1949 during his visit to Moscow, Terentii Shtykov, the Soviet Ambassador in North Korea, on behalf of Kim Il Sung, clearly voiced the aspirations of the North Korean leadership before Stalin. This time, the Soviet administration took more time to prepare the formal official response to Kim Il Sung, which was delivered to the North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Pak Hang Yen. (“Subject: Korean War: How it Started”.)

The position of the Soviet side was very clearly laid out in a directive from the Central Committee of the CPSU to the USSR Embassy in Pyongyang. This document categorically rejected the possibility of a North Korean attack on the South. It stressed that in case of an attack on South Korea, it would become inevitable that the Americans would militarily intervene under the UN flag on the side of Syngman Rhee, permanently occupy the South, and perpetuate the division of the peninsula.

[…] Finally, it directed that the possibility of peaceful reunification of the country was far from exhausted and that the North must begin to actively mobilize societal opinion […] to include materials which supported the societal position of Pyongyang towards peaceful reunification. (“Subject: Korean War: How it Started”)

Being contrary to the initiatives of the North Korean leadership, these directives naturally were seen as unfair restrictions. Kim Il Sung made the decision to proceed with his plans even without getting consent from Moscow. He managed to solicit the indirect support of Soviet Ambassador Shtykov. When in mid October 1949, the North Korean Army took “several important heights along the 38th parallel [,] Shtykov, knowing what his orders stated, did not report this event to Moscow.” (“Subject: Korean War: How it started”). Informed “via other channels” about Kim’s adventurism and Shtykov’s connivance and, essentially, insubordination, Moscow was furious. Shtykov was reprimanded in no uncertain terms and eventually that misdemeanor cost him his high post. It was stated very clearly that Moscow was totally against any hostilities along the 38th parallel and that the North Koreans had to be restrained from it by any means. (“Subject: Korean War: How it Started”).

The determinative turn in the development of the future Korean War took place in January 1950, when Kim Il Sung was in Moscow and was able finally to get support from Stalin.

[Stalin] expressed the opinion that in light of the changed international situation, they agree with the proposal of the Koreans to move toward reunification… In this regard a qualification was made … that the question should be decided finally by the Chinese and Korean comrades together, and in case of disagreement by the Chinese comrades the decision on the question should be postponed until a new discussion.” (Wingrove)

Undeterred by the fact that “Mao gave a rather lukewarm support to Kim’s plans” and unperturbed by Stalin’s unwillingness to be directly involved in the military conflict especially if Americans decided to intervene, Kim finally got what he wanted. “Kim took the view that since ‘all his requests were satisfied in Moscow’ there was no need to bother Mao too much. This meeting [with Mao in May 1950], which ended with Mao’s muted approval for the enterprise, cleared the way for the June 25th attack.” (Wingrove)


Kim Il Sung played a very significant role in the Korean War and that role was to convince his allies, the Soviet Union and China, to support an attack by the North Korea on the South. It took Kim one year of diplomacy but he was able to fulfil his aspiration. As historian Robert R. Simmons put it “although there was certainly some congruence of plans made in Moscow and P’yongyang, the final stamp on the war nonetheless reads “made in Korea” “(Simmons, page107).


  1. Blair, Clay. The Forgotten War: America in Korea 1950-1953. New York: Times Books, 1987.
  2. Breuer, William B. Shadow Warriors: the Covert War in Korea. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996
  3. Gropman, Alan. “Views of Korean War, from Strategy to its Toll.” Washington Times (November 5, 2000). May 3, 2002 <http://proquest.umi.com>
  4. Judge, Edward H., and John W. Langdon. A Hard and Bitter Peace: a Global History of a Cold War. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1996
  5. “Kim Il Sung.” May 3, 2002 <http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~korea/kimilsung.html>
  6. “Kim Il-Sung.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica. May 3, 2002 <http://search.eb.com/eb/article?eu=46519>
  7. “Korean War.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica. May 3, 2002 <http://search.eb.com/ebi/article?eu=297282>
  8. Lowe, Peter. The Korean War. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000.
  9. “North Chief of General Staff Hails “Brilliant Victory” in Korean War.” BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific – Political (July 27, 2001). May 3, 2002 <http://proquest.umi.com>
  10. “North Korea Full of Heroes.” Cincinnati Post (November 21, 2001). May 3, 2002 <http://proquest.umi.com>
  11. Simmons, Robert R. The Strained Alliance: Peking, P’yongyang, Moscow and the Politics of the Korean Civil War. New York: Free Press, 1975.
  12. Stoessinger, John G. Why Nations Go to War? 7th ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998.
  13. “Subject: Korean War: How it Started.” 30 August 1995. 3 May 2002. <http://www.kwp.org/html/kdata/zveda.htm>
  14. “Who Was Kim Il Sung?” May 3, 2002. <http://www.kimsoft.com/korea/kimilsun.htm>
  15. Wingrove, Paul. “Who Started Korea?” History Today (July 2000). March 22, 2002 <http://proquest.umi.com>

Final Words

I included Bibliography as a list without links because I have no access to proquest database anymore. This research paper was a serious effort on my part and it was accepted very well. Whether you will find it interesting or worth reading, I have no idea, but it seemed worthwhile to share it.

  • Kim Il-Sung - Telegraph
    Kim Il-Sung, the North Korean leader who has died aged 82, failed in most of his political endeavours - notably in his prime aim of reuniting North and South Korea - but succeeded spectacularly in promoting a personality cult under which he became th
  • The Marxist-Leninist Daily

Hubs on Korean War

  • The Korean War
    The Korean War is called "The Forgotten War." It began when North Korea launched an unprovoked attack into South Korea in June, 1950. The United States rushed in to defend freedom and democracy. The...

© 2011 kallini2010


kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 19, 2011:

Thank you, Mckbirdbks!

Those two essays (no, more than two) are my works from DeVry, they are quite old by now. Now I indulge mostly in humourous and lyrical essays. You are welcome to read anything. Most of them need to be rewritten, but I am not quite sure what I will do first, try my "new" writing style or will go back and edit my old hubs.

Maybe what I want to do is to be able to write, dance and sing. That is the combination. And to have a rich husband that will let me do what I want.

Strange comment, but it is the truth.

Thank you for your kind words again.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on April 18, 2011:

Hello, kallini2010. I see you have gathered about you most of the best of the Hubpages crop. Your writing is in depth and off beat. I have a sense that you will teach each and every one of us many things.

Thank you for the invitation here, I am glad I accepted.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 16, 2011:

Thank you, Kathy!

You have no idea about DRAMA. Famous? Yesterday I could not answer a question "What are you writing about?"

Then I said, "Don't worry, if I make it (become famous), you'll know!"

I'm involved in so much drama in my life right now that it is not even funny. "Kim Il Sung" is only a part of it.

I even called myself "Kim Il Sung-era" - analogy with salsera (female salsa dancer in Spanish). This "Kim Il Sung" dance goes for too long.

But this month brought a lot of changes and a lot of material to write about. If I ever do this... then I will write about "Drama", too.

In short, "stay tuned, I'll keep you posted!"

Kathy from California on April 16, 2011:

I must leave a final comment on what may now the longest hub page in history ;-) Who knew? 4 weeks ago when I left my first comment and marveled at your remarkable knowledge and writing gift that you would become a famous & celebrated hubber, LOL, and with all the drama that it brings-funny how things turn out. Congratulations & take good care of yourself my friend!

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 15, 2011:

Thank you, Ian!

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 15, 2011:

A stunningly well organised and researched hub; fascinating reading. Thank you.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 15, 2011:

Thank you, Sligobay! I think it is the legacy of Kim Il Sung - nobody believes he was a great man, LOL. He had to fight and yet remain unappreciated by historians...

Life is like that, things happen, fair or not fair. A lot of great deeds remain in obscurity, other people take credit for what they have not done.

I am not trying to say that Kim Il Sung created a state that is worth admiration or I am such a fantastic writer and person who deserves the most attention and recognition, I only try to claim back something I was entitled to the first time around. Voting was in my favour, so I have the right to be the winner in this contest at least.

Thank you again,

And I am not quite sure that everything will go right this time. But this is the last time I am trying before I move on.

sligobay from east of the equator on April 15, 2011:

Sorry about the contest miscount. When I looked at the results last time you were the clear leader. Great Hub article that I enjoyed reading again.

Bishnu on April 15, 2011:

A great article to read!

peter law on April 15, 2011:

you are truly an exceptional person and deserve to win.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 13, 2011:

Thank you, Ona. I am glad you liked it.

ona on April 12, 2011:

Excellent article. Very indepth. It shows us a different perspective of Kim II Sung.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 10, 2011:

Judging by your comment, you have read all the comments, too? Oh, my goodness... You did not have to! Besides, if I write for myself, it means you have the same right to read what you want to read and what you like to read. No obligation here.

Thank you for your compliments. Computer is fixed, thank you, now I have to get on with my life. It is a challenge!

epigramman on April 10, 2011:

....well what can I say - the epi-man is speechless at the epic length and the epic content of this hub and its comments - it took me so long to get down to the bottom of this screen I had to put the scroll on automatic pilot pointing down and I did 10 things while waiting:

10. I read James Joyce's Ulysses - backwards

9. I watched CNN announce that Obama is back in for his 2nd term

8. I watch the sun rise and the moon rise and children grow

7. I learned how to dance the salsa

6. North Korea is no longer a communist nation

5. I counted the rings in tree trunks

4. World peace too!

3. Charlie Sheen finally went away! YAY!!!!!

2. They found a cure for cancer!

1. I write for myself too - that's makes two of us - and yes it takes one to know one.

How are you feeling these days my favorite salsa dancing intellectual? Computer back on the mend?

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 07, 2011:


kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 06, 2011:

Nellieanna: On top of all the benefits that I got from the contest, I have this feeling of freedom - I will write the way I want - not that I did not do that before, but now more than ever I feel "Do your personal best for yourself, maintain your personality, voice and integrity". Trying to please others is futile. I am writing for myself.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 06, 2011:

Bear in mind that rejection is a boomerang on those who send it out. It actually has very little to do with the "target" person or persons. It may be disappointing but nothing really is changed about oneself either way, whether accepted or rejected by another person. It's more of a loss for the one who does the rejecting, actually.

Anyway - preserving your energy when it's at a low ebb makes a lot of good sense now.

My heart is heavy over it and the absurdity of it, but you matter so much more than any of that folderol. Get rested and feel better.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 06, 2011:

Thank you, Nellieanna for being supportive as you always are. The choice is very simple, to ask for explanations or not to ask. Then, of course, in what form? And how important is it to me on each scale?

When it comes to feeling like I do now - I have to preserve my energy for the most important things. The mood (the tide) will change. Going for a battle like Kim Il Sung or Mao Zedong? One has to be fully ready.

I have not made the decision yet. But what have I lost really? A pat on the shoulder? I've got a plenty from people who matter. Being rejected? Yet another time? Well, I can take it.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 06, 2011:

Of course you must - and will - decide that for yourself!

But I do not consider choosing to not jump to one's own defense as either accepting a status quo or making assumptions about it. Quite the opposite, in fact. There is something about allowing outside forces to stir one into otherwise unthought of action which seems more like giving up one's own self-directives and/or inner peace in order to react to it.

Being assured to begin with, what possible difference can those prods from inevitable external irritations matter, unless those are accepted on their terms and reacted to accordingly? Reaction, to me, signifies a kind of tenuousness in one's self-assurance, rather than a strong statement of it or confidence in it.

If an honest righteous indignation is involved, of course, that is different. We do need to speak up and oppose injustice and cruelty. But, to me, that will be effective if it is in behalf of someone else, rather than as a sort of feeble self-defense, as though one needs it. Being a "big person" allows one to assimilate life's vicissitudes with grace and equanimity rather than jumping through hoops set up by others. But how it unfolds is not a matter individual needs and choices rather than a bunch of rules. And each situation is different. When one is already feeling down and lacking in energy probably isn't the best time to go to bat for a cause anyway.

In any case, I know lots of folks who see it differently and are quick with reaction to any and all provocation. So - as you say - which is right? Depends only on one's own best choice for herself at the time and in the specific situation. One must know herself and be true to herself. I know personally that had I reacted differently and as possibly expected to one of my own most trying and challenging situations, I could have accomplished nothing so much as loss of the one thing I actually had the power to salvage then: - myself.

Also, one must weigh the personal values involved. Only oneself can weigh those.

The appearance of over-valuing what may not be worth one's effort may be a consideration. This thing which has already cost you more than it may be worth except as it has already benefitted in new-found friends and admirers and expansion in a certain sense - what more is it worth - to you? That is the only real question.

Sure - there are two faces to tolerance. We may not even be totally aware of our own inadvertent intolerances. It's definitely not mine to judge. And you are correct that there are no crystalline "right" or "wrong" decisions, though I must add that if it feels right or wrong for oneself and one ignores it, that can often create tangles and undercurrents which could just as be easily have been avoided. There are so many things which can't be avoided, it seems little value in ignoring what one can prevent or promote in the feeling of more centeredness and in syncness with oneself. And for anyone else that is not necessarily the same choice. It is totally personal. So I only want for you what you decide for you - in this context.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 06, 2011:

Thank you, Nellieanna. While I agree with one strategy, - be patient and not contact HP, I am pondering whether it is my usual mistake - accepting status quo. Making assumptions and predicting outcome without doing anything, without probing. Which scenario is right, if any? There is a theory that there are no wrong decisions - there are different paths leading to different outcomes.

Maybe I will wait till the end of today and meanwhile try to fix my computer. Things can be fixed and they should. I must always remember to be proactive and push myself - quite a chore when I feel so down and without any energy. This is my reality.

Tolerance? I can be tolerant and quite intolerant at times, like most people - there is a switch

"Tolerant" / "Intolerant" ==> Danger Zone.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 06, 2011:

ps - I know you will win the real value in this experience, regardless of the twists and turns of outrageous fortune!! :-> And giving "benefit of the doubt" is a major key to tolerance. If not in real situations, for what does it count? You're doing great!

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 06, 2011:

OK - Here is my reply to the reply posted while I was writing my former one! haha.

1) Fooey about your computer's antics. I understand that. My MAC has a mind of its own and jumps from where I am writing to some other hub or comment or email spasmodically. I'm getting accustomed to writing on "TextEdit" little offline pad and copy and pasting, instead of on the direct screen wherever I am. That way I can at least have it to copy and paste, either again or to begin with. It saves some frustrations.

And your being sick and having been without your computer for a time all contribute to the frustrations. Please don't feel badly about it besides all that!

2) Really? Oh my (not b-----) - lol. If that's the worst comment to be dealt with, the HP membership is astonishingly civil! haha

3) Well - if the contest were not titled "This Week's Contest" - it would not be presumed to have the deadline of the week in which it is launched. If beta means it is open-ended, perhaps the fair thing to call it would be that!

I quite agree that you wouldn't want to appear eager or concerned about winning by asking, though. I wouldn't. I'd just sit tight and let the crumbs fall where they may - and count it as the way it IS. I wouldn't worry about it one way or the other - if, indeed, I even knew I had a hub IN a contest. The only time I was nominated, I really was unaware of it till it was almost over. I came very close, but didn't win. It was my hub "Following Other Hubbers" - very early in my hublife. The nomination did bring attention to that hub and from it, interest in my others, so I felt quite good about the results. I also noticed that HP attention is quicker to focus on hubs about Hubs and Hubpages than other subjects. I neither focused on that fact or didn't. I came on here to write and share, never considering winning or earning from it. So it really doesn't matter much to me. I enjoy good attention but it's secondary to just doing my thing and doing it well. I admire your sense that it has been a positive experience, no matter what. And I truly admire your objectivity to think that there are possibly logical reasons for the delay. (I may email you further thoughts on that subject, since I have gotten carried away here and choose to omit and not to post it all here. It could do neither of us any good! :-)

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 06, 2011:

Oh - you and I posted comments almost simultaneously. That wasn't a reply to your just-now reply. I'm about to read and reply to it.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 06, 2011:

Ian - you're more fun! What an idea. It could be like a "non-reality show" script. tee hee -

Perhaps we should all focus on foolishness more and leave the seriousness to the pundits, who always seem to grab the ball and run with it anyway, no matter how sensible our input. :-> I love the supply of the right designation for our exchange, were it to be put into a book. Epistolaire or epistolary. It's such a delightful genre but I didn't know its correct name either. It makes all sense - a letter is an epistle, after all. I love the actual letters of my favorite poet, Emily Dickinson, even more than her poems, in fact. They are as poetic, and even more spontaneous. Lovely. One of the loveliest quotes of hers comes from one of them: "Morning without you is a dwindled dawn." I should have quoted it i my hub on morning. . . hm . . .

Dear, dear Svetlana - please don't give a second thought to leaving comments when you're feeling sick helicopterish. Not necessary. We understand.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 06, 2011:


1) I was leaving you a comment for your newest hub, but because I haven't dealt with my newest computer hiccup - it got deleted. I will come later. I am so behind in everything - when I got sick it makes things worse.

2) I sent Ian an e-mail informing him that HP disapprove of comments like "Oh, bugger!" Well, formalities, but I am letting you know.

3) The fact that contest is still on - it does upset me - unpredictability of it. HP did not inform me of deadlines - neither the first time, nor the second. First time I could have won because there were only about 25 votes and getting a few to win would not have been a problem. This time... But I am not quite sure how it would look if I would approach Simone asking the question why it is still on. I would appear to eager to win and too desperate, not the image I want to convey.

My assumption is that HP may not have found another six hubs to nominate. Or the project was in Beta-testing stage - Week 20 and it is over - the voting will be open indefinitely?

Even if I win - I receive a praise and a pat on a shoulder. I have to learn my lessons, move on and find the pleasure in the results that I got from the interaction with people, from the process of getting votes and the proof that when I wanted I could persevere. I guess that is the best approach.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 06, 2011:

Ditto - Oh Bugger!

But now I see that I misread and thought you said that this contest HAS BEEN SWITCHED to another week (but it reads "has not been switched"). Switching to another week would seem extraordinarily inconsistent to me and leaving it as it was doesn't. So now I'm totally confused (more than usual, that is!) It could just be a minor typo - or not. eek!

I went to the contest to see what was actually the case but found no evidence whatsoever. But anyway, whichever it is, I very much CARE if it's upsetting you, Svetlana! You've been through enough about the entire contest thing already!

In case it was just a minor typo, here Is what I wrote when under that impression that "this week's contest" had been extended another week:

I know how eager you are to have this contest over and done with, Svetlana! Me, too! Perhaps the "powers that be" thought it too unfair for one contestant to win so handily and by such a percentage. Why have a contest if not to see which is really best? Honestly! I hope the truth will still "out" and the results will prove the truth as it now stands. It's really quite disgusting. The deadline was set and it was no secret! Setting it forward shows a spirit that is not in the spirit of fairness, if one is going to sponsor contests at all. GRRRRRR!


Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 05, 2011:

Oh bugger!!!

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 05, 2011:

Ian, it is so sweet. Correspondence-style novels or genre is called epistolaire or epistolary. I read your new hub and Nellieanna's, but I have not yet left comments.

I cannot get up the whole day - I truly hate days like this. Talk about sick helicopter. This contest has not been switched to another week - HubPages are inconsistent to say the least. But...

Hoping to come to normality... as always...

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 05, 2011:

I don't know what the correct term is, but when correspondence between two people is published, it can be fascinating.

Title of book: 'Letters, Opinions, Philosophies, Thoughts' by Nellie and Svetlana.

I'd buy it, and it would be required reading at the best Universities.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 05, 2011:

I understand! You have a wonderful, incredible mind and imagination and you revel in all its twists and turns. :-) Best of all, you understand yourself as you do it. Dancing is vital to you at so many levels. I can fully understand that, too, I think.

ShortStory on April 05, 2011:

He was a pawn of forces and personalities greater than himself who carved out a space where he could create the worst hell on earth the modern world has ever known.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 04, 2011:


I see myself as that helicopter - it is simply a mood - I have a vivid imagination. It is sheer poetry of the moment, it is poetic thinking, it is my melody inside. Unexpressed. I am not a pessimist. I love stories. A helicopter with broken wings is a story. To put a label on myself is not. Creating illusions is very lyrical. I love stories and I create them out of thin air (that is your element) and then drown in my emotional pool (my element). I prefer it this way.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 04, 2011:

Actually both an optimistic realist and a realistic optimist seem to stretch ordinary categorization confines a bit. They're traits not usually linked in the same person, especially simultaneously. But being neither optimist or pessimist - or realist (?) is REALLY defying categorization! I think I have different modes but not too many actual moods. It may be an Aquarian thing.

Haha - I love the realist also seeing the train. But I can't venture an explanation of why you feel like that helicopter, but I will say that it doesn't sound optimistic.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 04, 2011:

Yes, Nellieanna, I agree. It takes a long time to come and see things differently.

Self-fulfilling prophesies, absolutely! As far as optimism goes: I have a friend, he is a walking joke, he tells the jokes all the time - it is in fact exhausting. He does not have such vivid imagination as I do, so when sometimes he tells a joke I might laugh so much - I cry.


A pessimist sees a dark tunnel.

An optimist sees light at the end of the tunnel.

A realist sees light at the end of the tunnel and the oncoming train.

I am neither - as you said so correctly - I am beyond categorization. It all depends on my mood.

Another joke he told me and I was laughing - about a big person being in a small room (usually, a bull in china store), in Russian, an elephant, but the same story. No, he said "he is like a helicopter with broken wings) -- takes up a lot of space, but is useless. Why do I feel like this helicopter?

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 04, 2011:

By the way, I've analyzed it and realize that I really LIKE to put off a task I desire least till the last minute in order to avoid spending too much time on it! Yup. I know two things: one, that I CAN get it done in a reasonable time and two, that I Will be likely to keep fussing with it for more perfection if there is time to do so.

But I am learning to go on and hit the "publish" button here on Hubpages, though, so maybe I'm conquering some of that endless perfecting tendency. When I am satisfied (not the same as being perfect), I can go ahead with it. SO - I have decided to give myself a deadline BEFORE the actual deadline and work as fast and efficiently as I normally must do when I've waited till almost the real deadline. :-) I'll let you know how it works out. Another thing I'm learning is to give myself some breaks from a project. I tend to keep at it till it's done, ignoring all other distractions. So I'll be popping in to HP while working on the taxes. I may be "quite mature" but I am still learning!!! :-)

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 04, 2011:

I define myself as a realistic optimist and an optimistic realist. There is no sense in ignoring the actual facts, as you say, but neither is there sense in setting our expectations negatively when they can be set positively and it is not make believe that we do draw to ourselves that which we envision and expect. So optimistic expectations do tend to draw those to us in reality, and vice-versa. Yes, we must do something to achieve what we expect, and yes, positive expectations tend to require more positive action that negatives do. If we have negative expectations, very little effort is needed to achieve them, but meanwhile, our doom and gloom does attract more of its kind in the relative vacuum.

But nothing positive happens totally without effort. Hence - a realistic optimist and an optimistic realist. But also, the attitudes accompanying optimistic, positive expectations are also empowering and tend to create more creative energy and use of time for achieving a positive, well-anticipated goal.

Of course we tend to feel more energy for activities we really enjoy and anticipate with joy. But that is the proof of the matter. We can see in ourselves that our same physical conditions can produce a feeling of exhaustion when anticipating an unpleasant task or a feeling of elation when anticipating a pleasant one. It is in one's mind more than not. And it's also possible to set one's mind and focus one's anticipation on a more positive note even when approaching less desirable activities. We may have to look for the "good" in them, but usually that is an element we introduce into an activity anyway! I'm about to go start taxes (yeah, I really am! haha) - and I've been anticipating the good feeling of the process as well as the conclusion when they're done. Not as attractive as writing this comment or a new hub, but I know that when I get started, I will enjoy it. I EXPECT to and it tends to be self-prophesying. So - - that's my take on this subject for what it's worth. I don't wish to boast - but look at me - almost 80 and full of life and vitality! So I feel a little validated in recommending some things. hehe.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 02, 2011:

@ Arb:

Thank you for wishing me to win this contest. I was only trying to state one point - things exist in perception only. If we are capable seeing drama in moving triangles, when there is none - I can imagine how far we are from the truth in far more complex issues. That was all.

Winning the contest - hoping and doing nothing would be irrational. I had to put a lot of effort to collect votes.

To hope that I will be able to find a career is slightly (slightly?) irrational. I have to do something, but I don't know what. The rationale - until I know "what", I won't be able to achieve that.

Believe me, if anybody is accused of thinking too much or analyzing too much - I have to take the 1st place. For being rational - but that is not a fault of mine - I was born that way, too analytical and too emotional. It is genetic, what can you do?

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 02, 2011:

@ Wayne Brown:

Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

I think super powers always have problems with concepts - they just don't know when to stop. The USA or the Soviet Union - I don't see much difference. The extent to which the USSR was involved everywhere - in Asia, in Africa, in Europe - leaving military goals aside - Russia was drained by all this activity. Who lost in the end?

Russia and its citizens. I am not too fond of either political system - socialism or capitalism, but when wars (hot or cold) bring nations to demise - it is a pity.

What happens in the end? It is different for each country. Afghanistan? Afghanistan is not Korea. I am sure local specifics play a huge role in their history. The war just doesn't stop there. It is important who local leaders are, too. In fact, people have a tremendous power to make a difference. That was my major point about Kim Il Sung.

Cuba? Amazingly, they survive, they are still up and running. You can think about Fidel Castro whatever you want, but I think he proved the theory of a Great Man. For better or worse, he made a difference. I think Che Guevara was less successful than Fidel, but he also left his legacy and a legend which I admire for its romanticism.

As far as foreign policy goes - there are theories, yet first come the goals and goals are only formulated within the framework. Super powers are super powers because they dominate and they want to continue their domination. There is no such thing as "Live and let live" (let other countries take care of themselves, let them handle their problems).

I'm not in a poultry business, yet I always think about this allegory.

If in a henhouse, one perch will be placed above others, roosters will kill each other to be on the top one.

That is what wars are all about - trying to secure the top spot.

Wayne Brown from Texas on April 02, 2011:

The Korean War was as misunderstood as the Vietnam War. In many ways they were conflicts in civil idealogy with one side wishing to dominate the other...not very different from our own Civil War. At the same time, in those years of the late 40's and early 50's, the USA was developing a foreign policy aimed toward containment of all communist aggression using a rationale rooted in the "Domino Theory" and the "Rimland Theory" in the Asian regions. In the end, we came away with miserable results in both wars. Maybe we should have also had a policy of deciding on what our objective should be and working toward it. Instead, we elected to confront communism yet not defeat it. This article was excellent and very well written. Thanks much! WB

arb from oregon on April 01, 2011:

Thank you for your reply to my comment. "Hope entails irrationality" I would diffe, although I understand the premise which advocates the notion. Hope by nature is optimistic, just as love is hopeful. I suspect the object of hope must determine whether it is irrational or not. My hope that you will do well in the contest is not irrational and it is surely optimistic, but, it is also deserving and based on the other entries, should do better than the others, therefore a rational hope. I am just as certain that there are irational hopes such as a lottery ticket. Rational or irrational, I love hope; it is so optimistic! Be well

Merlin Fraser from Cotswold Hills on April 01, 2011:

We all strive to be great, sometimes we make it, most of the time we have to settle for the compramise.

Would it help if I explained I have visited and worked in Russia, I have a few Russian friends and a great respect for the people.

As an outsider I had no idea of their struggles until my visits.

Never be ashamed or apologise for your passion it is the fire that drives us and yes like you I too would fight for what is precious to us.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 01, 2011:

@Merlin Fraser:

I reread my comment and I see nowhere defending Kim Il Sung. I don't think people of North Korea are happy and I am not a supporter of North Korean "prison camps socialism". But historians should be objective and it is almost impossible. Not almost, it is impossible, because things only exist in perception. I prefer philosophy to history. All history to me is fiction writing. Facts (Facts?) mixed heavily with opinions.

When I say "Great", I mean a person who made a difference. "Great" does not mean "Good" or "Bad".

"Bad dog!" I don't paint in black and white. I even prefer some mist, things out of focus, especially in photographs. I love imperfections, they feel more real to me.

Russia was far stronger a state and it collapsed, it is in fact moving along a death spiral. North Korea stands. Can you imagine the pressure they have to withstand? To be so alone? In fact, the whole world is against that country and they still survive. Is it not something worth at least ... I don't want to put a label.

My judgment does not go further than my own life - if I were in Kim Il Sung's place - I would have never even survived. I am somewhat a Greenhouse Plant. I have my struggles and I fail. And I don't have a publicist.

“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Am I great? I can be, if I finally start believing in myself, because it is about time. Those are, however, only words.

I admire character in people, and I try to see something beyond labels.

If you hear me being defensive, you may not be too far from the truth - but it comes from my passion, from my past, from my upbringing, from my convictions - ready to fight for what is precious to me. I see revolutionaries differently - I see them as idealists.

I am not fond of labels. I know that to understand, I have to know things in its entirety and I don't know enough. So I don't judge.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 01, 2011:


Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

I hope I covered everything in my comments so far.

I don't want to appear as a history buff or a heavyweight to be reckoned with. This essay is one of a kind. I may never come back to writing about history. Not in the foreseeable future at least.

I love humour and psychology (not that I am an expert in the latter). You might find my other hubs very different from this one. Because they are.

Just to lighten things up - because I have already drowned in the intensity and I am the one who lives and thrives in intensity, even for me, it is too much.


In the 1940s the psychologists Fritz Heider and Mary-Ann Simmel produced a brief animated film portraying a small triangle, a small circle, and a large triangle that moved around and into a large rectangle. The film was nothing more than these swirling geometric shapes, yet everyone who viewed it "saw" a social drama unfold, complete with intentions, plans, and an emotional subtext. This is simply the human brain doing what it does best - constructing a "reality" out of whatever sensory data it receives.


the emotional system [...] can be extremely naïve. It is impressionable and prefers shallow, social and anecdotal information to abstract data.


Hope entails irrationality. [...] Without an optimistically biased weighing of the odds, few people would start new ventures.


Bias also can result from the simple need to take cognitive shortcuts. Confronted with more information than we can possibly process, we tend to economize on thought when forming beliefs that are not immediate to our survival: beliefs about politics, culture, or religion.

At other times we make choices while remaining completely unaware of the embedded images, preconceptions, and prejudices that govern our preferences. But it is the confluence of the rational and the emotional/irrational that determines much of the narrative of our lives. The same experience can be a challenge or a nightmare depending on how we frame it, the same glass half-empty or half-full.

from "Loneliness" by John T. Cacioppo & William Patrick


How can I judge? I cannot and I won't. Maybe what we see in Kim Il Sung - is not unlike deciphering meanings in moving triangles. What do we know?

Was is a labour of love? I was not too eager to do it, but after completion I was happy.

My grades were fine, I had all A's with one exception - public speaking. But my history teacher, Terry Davis, yes, the one who taught this history course told me I was an excellent public speaker. The same human drama - it all depends on how you frame it.

Merlin Fraser from Cotswold Hills on April 01, 2011:

Thank you for the additional information, although I'd like to assure you it was not necessary to return with a defence of Kim ll-Sung.

History, not I, will judge his greatness or lack of it I merely wished to make the point that only by the will of a free people and that leaders willingness to put his people first.

By my definition Sung failed on both counts, his legacy to his people was great suffering and poverty.

By other definitions and in other spheres he may well have been considered great but I doubt history will consider his leadership of North Korea among his achievements.

As proof of my observations and argument I offer the present state of the North Korean people and ecconomy when compared with their near neighbours.

The other small point I would like of offer you is do not be too overwhelmed by those in History you may feel are worthy of the title Great... You may find that the only great thing about them was their publicist !

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 01, 2011:

This excerpt is better read in full and it is for anyone who would like to read it:

I am giving the link


And some part of it:

Vladimir Voinovich "Monumental Propaganda":

[Russians were not too fond of the regime, we are a strange strain of humankind]


The world outlook was uniquely correct, and it was promulgated by the only political party (there was no need for any others). But while all the members of the Party accepted the Sole Correct Scientific outlook, they were divided among themselves into two hostile tendencies. One tendency was Marxist-Leninist and the other was Stalinist. The Marxist-Leninists were good Marxists, kind people. They wanted to establish a good life on earth for good people and a bad life for bad people, but it had to be done in accordance with the World Outlook. And therefore they killed bad people, but whenever they could, they left the good people alive. The Stalinists, however, were essentially democrats – they killed everybody without distinction, and they regarded the World Outlook not as a dogma but as a guide to action. Consequently, the Marxist-Leninists were regarded as humanists and devotees of the Sole Correct Scientific World Outlook (SCOSWO), while the Stalinists were devoted to Stalin and were prepared to follow him in any direction, wherever he might lead them.

[…] so our Admiral, being a man of immense learning and absolutely independent views, who always had his own original opinion on everything, regarded SCOSWO disrespectfully even in those times when very few people could even conceive of such a possibility. Under his influence I also began to ponder and to doubt things that had seemed incontrovertible to me only recently. I began to wonder why SCOSWO was regarded as exclusively true and scientific and why the cause of the people’s future happiness required so many of the people to be killed, hounded, ruined, starved and frozen. And whether it might not have been better to invent some Uniquely Incorrect SCOSWO that would be a bit less hard on people. To this very day, however, the devotees of SCOSWO claim that the theory was good but the practice was bad. Lenin devised it correctly, but Stalin applied in wrongly. But who, where, in what country, has ever applied it correctly? Khrushchev? Brezhnev? Mao Tse-tung? Kim Il-Sung? Ho Chi Minh? Pol Pot? Castro? Honecker? Who? Where? When? What is so good about this theory if it can never be confirmed in practice anywhere under any conditions?


It think communism and socialism is least possible in Russia.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 01, 2011:

@ Merlin Fraser:

Thank you for reading and your comment. There is a problem with words that we use. We may utter the same word, yet what meaning we assign to it, is a question of perception.

The word "Zero" is not applicable to any of us, least of all to political leaders.

It is hard for me to explain things so fully as I wish. You might know the theory of "Butterfly Effect". A butterfly flatters its wings and there is a Tsunami in Japan. It is an exaggeration, yet it is true, every action has a reaction, a consequence and we don't know what kind.

I was looking for a quote by Russian poet of 19th century only to find another one of his - very famous. Not about Korea, of course, about Russia, but I think it makes the point about understanding.


Fyodor Tyutchev, Russian Poet,

* Russia cannot be understood with the mind alone...

Russia cannot be understood with the mind alone,

No ordinary yardstick can span her greatness:

She stands alone, unique –

In Russia, one can only believe.


I am saying this not because I want you to believe in the greatness of Kim Il Sung. I am saying this only because - understanding is very elusive. We don't understand ourselves, we don't understand and we don't know to a great degree people around us.

I will try to translate the piece I was looking for.

It is not given to us to foretell

How our words will be echoed,

What is given to us is grace (or abundance)

In the same fashion as sympathy (empathy) is given to us.

We don't know how words will be echoed. Let alone of our actions.

As far as heroes and consequences go. Could I foretell in 2002 when I was writing this paper, to be here, sharing and discussing it?

I did not know Ian and Nellieanna and the credit goes to her for bringing this piece to the light of day.

Frankly, I already feel overwhelmed thinking about great men again and history. I will wrap my comment and I will give you a quote from another famous Russian writer (modern one this time) - it is lengthy, but it is up to you to read or not.

Thank you, so much again for reading and commenting.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 01, 2011:

@De Greek:

Thank you for reading and thank you for your comment.


Thank you for your comment. I neither cherish nor detest Kim Il Sung. I wish I knew more, but I don't. History is not my favourite subject. It saddens me to admit that I don't even know the history of Russia all that well. There are too many myths and often enough "Oh, Russia was not important, it was so backward, it made no contribution to the history of the world". Oh, well.

What I know and believe in, that each of us makes a difference. And that when people who fail to act and prevent certain historical events are no less responsible than great leaders.

What if you refuse to go to war and kill? In Russia, when soldiers went attacking Germans -- they had two choices - go forward facing Germans and being killed by a German bullet or being killed by a bullet from behind by Red Commanders. What were the choices? To die or to die? Were they heroes? I don't know. They were humans not willing to die.

The same "training" was devised for Japanese soldiers. They were given bayonets and asked to kill a Chinese prisoner. Either you kill or you are killed. They became monsters. Yet for Japan, the story of the war between Japan and China has not been told. It is a taboo still. It is not a communist country. It brings me back to my major point - we don't know.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 01, 2011:


Thank you for reading and thank you for your comment!


Thank you for your comment. I don't really think history teaches us too much. In my view, all history is creative writing, nothing else. There are many examples. When the World War I ended, the way it ended sent Germany straight into another one. For the Soviet Union, the lesson of Vietnam was not enough, it had to get bogged down with Afghanistan. If anybody could tell me why our boys had to die there? For what? When Soviets left, you know what happened. Taliban. Now Canadian troops are there. Helping. I am not being cynical, I only want to see what will happen next. That is history in the making. People die there still.

One of the reasons I left Russia was that I did not want my child (what if it would be a boy?) to be sent somewhere to die senselessly for nothing. Of course, I have only one child and he is a boy. And I don't want to send him anywhere to sort anyone's trouble with a machine gun in his hand.

A war is close to my heart, not the Korean War, it was too far, too long ago, yet I can understand - a war is never an answer. Never.


Thank you for your comment. As I said before, it is almost impossible to know the truth. I don't treat my research as the truth in its final instance. Far from it. I wrote it based on what I read. When I started reading, I was not too fond of Kim Il Sung, yet I knew next to nothing about him. I still don't know enough.

It was as much a surprise to me as to everybody else. But I have already had an experience with history being turned upside down. Until 1985, before perestroika, our history was written according to party line. After 1985, history changed so dramatically - I was sick to my stomach to learn that revered heroes of the Revolution were bloody criminals. They killed and robbed in huge numbers. Stalin inflicted famine on Ukraine. Too many things -- but I was growing up not knowing as if it did not happen.

How can I trust any historical accounts after that? Or anything. And I don't. Propaganda is propaganda. There is plenty of it in the East and in the West. Don't kid yourselves thinking that you know the truth. A lot remains behind closed doors, never seeing the light of day.

arb from oregon on April 01, 2011:

Hello Kallini, Nellieanna forwarded your link and asked me to take a read. I am somewhat familiar with the propositions of your essay so it was a delight to read your perspective. Obviously, the extent of the accompanying research was either a labor of love or necessary to secure a grade proportionate to the labor involved. I suspect some of both. Either way, The material was offered to the reader as to be easily digested. Whether the Soviets receive too much credit or not enough for interfering in the political trauma around the world the last 50 years is probably equal to our own. Your proposition that in this case, North Korea was entirely capable of creating mischief on its own, although not the prevailing theory, is proably the correct theory. This was especially well written which adds to the joy of reading tedious material. I found it well delivered and its makes a compelling argument for your case. I shall aquaint myself with your other hubs. It is always a delight to meet other writers who employ such skill in their craft. Be well.

Merlin Fraser from Cotswold Hills on April 01, 2011:

I too was guided here by one of your growing list of fans and as an ancient student of history I enjoyed reading your well researched and well written piece.

However I was a little confused as to whether you see the man as a Hero or a Zero !

Surely he was only a hero to his people because he wrote the script, was also the producer and director.

His dream of Korean unification, whether the Korean people wanted it or not, goes without question. However, I think he ran a huge risk starting a military conflict so close to the end of the second world war inviting the same sort of response as Japan received.

For that he needed Russia's blessing.

His dream and gamble ended in stalemate in 1953, where it remains to the present day. To me that's nearly 60 years of hardship suffered by the North Korean for one man's lost dreams. Hardly the definition of a hero...

However, having said all that, this is only a personal historical opinion of the man and what I believe to be his true worth to his country and people.

This is still a great piece of work, well written and I willc ertainly vote it up.

saddlerider1 on April 01, 2011:

BTW I scooted over and voted for this excellent Hub, good luck my new friend, I hope you win.

saddlerider1 on April 01, 2011:

This was an amazing journey to a part of the world and history I am not to familiar with, however I enjoyed the research and time you took to describe this leader. History is full of colorful characters and many have left and indelible footprint in the sands of time.

Many of whom we cherish and many we detest. I was delighted to read this hub and it's great details of the man and his beloved North Korea. Many westerners struggle with communism and countries who profess and carry it out to the letter. The West has fought against communism, yet never really have been able to halt it, yet at the cost of so many young men who died trying.

Thank you for sharing this piece of history with us, I felt like a student all over again. My dear friend Nellieanna sent me for a read and I am glad she did, Bravo, you did a wonderful job of presenting this man.

De Greek from UK on April 01, 2011:

I am thankful to my friend Nellieanna for sending me the link to this. Well done :-)

Tony McGregor from South Africa on March 31, 2011:

I love history and I love seeing the other side of things. So this essay is a delight to me. Thank you for posting it here.

We in the West tend to get a "sound bite" view of historical events which encourages very little thought and understanding. In particular the mythology around "containing communism" led to much distortion of the truth and the propping up of evil regimes like the South African apartheid state. It also led to the demonisation of people like Kim Il Sung and Ho Chi Minh who really wanted, as you say, to liberate their people. I'm sure this kind of propagandistic view of history went the other way too!

So an essay like this one is a very useful antidote to the shallow "sound bite" view of history, and I thank you for it. It has given me a broader view of the Korean situation than I had before.

Love and peace


Dallas W Thompson from Bakersfield, CA on March 31, 2011:

You have earned your "identity!" Your in-depth research reflects a keen intellectual mind. Flag up and awesome!

Your Simmons quote set the tone. Great introduction. Most of us, generals included, fight our next war based upon the last war's results... Not taking the opportunity to learn from the past... and doing the same thing and expecting different results...

sligobay from east of the equator on March 31, 2011:

Thank you for describing the complex relationships between nations preceding the Korean War. Kim Il Sung was certainly an interesting historical leader whose true metal was forged in the struggles of war. You have an excellent writing skill that I will follow.

Peter Law on March 31, 2011:

Great job. I was very much impressed.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 31, 2011:

Thank you, Nellieanna, it is quite a story - it is a hub on its own.

Typos are OK, as I said, I don't expect perfection.

I must apologize for being brief, as I said my access to the internet is limited, therefore, I am trying to optimize my time. I don't even have MS Word on this computer.

Russia went through too much in the 21st century - WWI, Revolution, Civil War, WWII, Afghanistan, Chechnya...

But I don't think that we should blame politicians only. There is an expression, that every nation deserves its leaders. To say it was only Hitler's fault - or Stalin's - it is not even close to the truth. They did what they did with the support of many others.

It is surprising to me that resentment in the South still lingers, but if it is a reality, there must be good enough reason for it.

I am well-read and there were different authors that I love, but at the moment there is my absolute favourite - the best modern Russian writer - Victor Pelevin. He writes in a philosophical manner with a good sense of humour.

He likes the idea of Buddhism and in Buddhism, there is a concept of void. Everything is void and what you fill your void with is up to you.


Victor Pelevin “The Sacred Book of the Werewolf”

‘and when you feel happy for someone else, you fill emptiness with love.’


if you want a meaning for life, you’ll never find a better one.’

‘But love – isn’t it that emptiness, too?’


‘Then what’s the difference?’

‘The difference is emptiness, too.’

He thought for a moment.

‘But can you fill the emptiness … with justice?’

‘If you start filling emptiness with justice, you soon end up as a war criminal.’


And that is what I love about him. Sometimes (often enough) wars are fought for ideals, justice and God knows what, but what a horrible way it is to achieve the goal.


You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.

~Jeanette Rankin

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

~Voltaire, War


And with that Nellieanna, I am going to wrap it up.

I hope to return to normality in my life and on HubPages soon enough.

I am so grateful for having met you,


Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on March 31, 2011:

Ah - yes. Of course you knew of war from first-hand perspective in your country. I haven't read "All Quiet on the Western Front" but I recall hearing of it. My father was in the military during WW1, though he didn't leave the States. His heritage was German, Dutch and Swiss, though they migrated here in the 1600s for religious reasons. But he spoke German in the home until he started to first grade. In his latter years, he reverted to speaking it when stressed.

I have online friends in Ontario and even in Toronto. Yes, my impression of Toronto is that it's quite a hub of peoples from everywhere, as you say, very cosmopolitan and "anything goes". Some of my online friends are from further north in Ontario, where it is more sedate and rural, though. So there is much variety.

I understand what you mean about the concept of communism, in which people ideally truly would share and be "equals". Of course, - as you say - reality is at odds with that. From the moment of birth, people are unequals by reason of genetic differences and then the different customs into which we are born begin to widen the gulfs of differences. A society could not totally change that, and certainly not within a generation. I'm not sure it would even be wise. People might become too much like robots; and whose standards would be deemed the most valuable and who would decide? And then - who would impose them?

Of course, in my country at the time, the concept of communism was so totally different from the idea of free enterprise and unlimited opportunity upon which this country was founded only a little more than a couple of centuries ago, that the 'idea' of communism seemed totally at odds with it. But actually this country is socialistic in many ways. Our two political parties each lean in opposite directions on these issues, with one leaning toward more socialistic practices and the other, toward less. In a perfect world, these would balance each other and the true will of the citizens would be reflected in elections. But it's not an ideal world and there is inevitably some friction which carries over! But, again, it is part of the "intricate embroidered fabric of society" which is humankind! I love your description for that! And the U.S. is made up of peoples from everywhere, too!

Here, we had a Civil War in the 1800s which was so wrong, but there were major principles at stake. What is sad, to me, though, is that there are still bad feelings between the South and the North from it, especially in the South, where I live. It was a sad war and even sadder that it is still such a factor, after the issues were resolved. The nation was settled by human beings and things were far from perfect. But it's moved on now. One would think people could learn from the mistakes and let go of past animosities.

You are so correct that human beings all share many mutual feelings and traits. To me, that is what is sad about war and other combative situations in which those commonalities are ignored and differences are highlighted. If the differences weren't emphasized by leaders, the ordinary people will be unwilling to fight for causes which are most often decided upon at another level and then the people must be indoctrinated enough to be willing to hurt others in order to install them. It seems to me that people could work out the normal differences and live in harmony. In fact, it seems to me that it is necessary if we are not to destroy ourselves and our planet. No other species behaves with such animosity toward its own. Sigh.

Anyway - thank you for being such a great person, Svetlana. As for my typos and other errors, so many factors! I'm a fast typist but my little fingers don't always hit the keys strongly so I miss a letter and then spell check decides what it should be. Or, like i did above, I just clicked "Select All"and highlighted both messages and copied and pasted them. Human frailties. So thank you for your kind understanding!

Hugs - Nellieanna

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 30, 2011:

Ian, you are truly one of a kind!

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on March 30, 2011:

You have no idea how happy this makes me to have introduced two such fascinating, interesting and articulate women to each other.

Yay! For HubPages, I knew it would come good one day.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 30, 2011:


Don't worry - I figured that out. Besides we all make mistakes. That is the whole idea of rewriting. The first draft is never perfect - but comments are nothing but first drafts.

I miss words - especially the word "not" and it affects the meaning. It is O.K.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 30, 2011:


Thank you for saying that my name is pretty.

I agree with mostly everything you said.

One of my interests is names and their meanings and their influence on people who have them. Actually, if everything goes by the plan - the next hub will be about names. I plan to write a few on the topic.

I do write only about my own interests - because my writing is a hobby, nobody gives me assignments any more.

I am writing for myself. I told Ian, that I am reading a book "On Writing Well" and it is a classic and the advice is the same as yours. A writer has to be true to his own voice and personality. When I said I want revision of my hubs, it is because I agree with the advice from the book. I plan to improve, but it will take time.

As far as labels go - communists, friends or foes, I don't really see people like that. I lived under socialism (there is no communism anywhere in the world for it is impossible to achieve such a dream) and people are people: the good, the bad and the ugly.

I live in Toronto, Canada, and I call it Babylon. There are people from everywhere. I learned a lot and I changed a lot. Certain things are harder to accept, certain things I never knew existed, but I am glad to be exposed to such intricate embroidered fabric of society. Where else could I meet so many different people?

There was a moment in my life when I understood that people are the same and it was heart-rending. You know about the Second World War. But for Russia, the war was not somewhere, it was happening on our territory. It was between Germans and Russians. After the war Germany was divided, as Korea was divided in two halves. I had to learn German in school and though I did not hate it, I must admit I had mixed feelings. When I was nineteen, I bought a book "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque. It is about WWI - written by a soldier. He was nineteen when he was in the Army. Never again I thought about Germans as monsters. I realized - they are no different. Their pain is the same. Actually I have an article on this book as well and it is another essay from DeVry and I plan to share it.

Unfortunately, for a few reasons I cannot write now and I don't have time to read anything on HubPages. But as soon as I can return, I will be happy to read what you write.

Thank you so much for your interest and kind words.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on March 30, 2011:

Sorry about that. I have to write my comments offline because they tend to disappear in the middle of writing or posting. This time I hadn't deleted what I wrote before and ended up copying and pasting it all and discovered it too late to edit and fix it. Oh well. Maybe you could deny it and I could post just the new part!

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on March 30, 2011:

Outstanding work, Svetlana, (if I may call you that, since my good friend, Ian, does). It is so well researched and, frankly, fascinating reading. I became quite involved in it as I read. It did not seem the least too lengthy or detailed. I was almost lost in it, in fact.

I enjoy history, plus this was a major period of my life. My fiancé at the time was called to join the military, joined the U.S. Air Force and went to Korea early in the conflict, though we had broken our engagement by then. I was in college and he sent me pictures while there, so that I felt affected by that war. I knew little of its background, though, and you have supplied that, for which I am most grateful. My elder brother had been in the military in the Philippines in WWII, as well, so I was already interested in the South Pacific, and the events following WWII. I didn't know my late husband yet then, but he was even more involved in the countries involved in the events after the war, especially China. He would have enjoyed your essay, too.

I want to thank Ian for sending me the link. Of course, I vote for it!!

Ah - I prefer the areas of most subjects involving people, too! They do make the difference, but also, - it's where my interest is. Also, I agree how interconnected what seem like independent events are and they do connect and form a whole. It is similar to a jigsaw puzzle - and I love jigsaw puzzles. It's fun to see the connections and match them up.

In those college days I mentioned before, there were exchange students from Korea. As far as I knew, there was just "Korea" - not North and South. These guys were pleasant and friendly; always called me what sounded like 'Naily", with their accents. They were cheery and likable. So I couldn't get used to thinking that we were at war with Koreans. But of course, in this country, "communist" was a term which simply superseded any other affiliation the people may have had. I tended to question such overriding categorization, but it was truly overriding and rather confusing for an inquiring young mind. I always wondered about the "real people" involved.

Your writing is good. Anytime people can read an article like this one and follow along so smoothly, it is because of excellent writing!

I'm simple not in favor of trying to fit my style into current expectations. First of all, expectations are fickle and change all the time. But, more, one does what one does better than when doing others' styles or fulfilling their expectations. It is who one is. So I hope you just write from your own internal directions, subjects you find interesting and feel are worthwhile to you. Those who like it, will. Others may not, or may learn to! But so what? Other than that, I would have no advice. If you feel you WANT to unpublished any, fine. But you certainly don't have to.

Thank you for the permission to call you Svetlana. It's so pretty.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 30, 2011:

Thank you, Nellieanna! When I uploaded this essay, I thought it would never have enough attention because HubPages is not about academic subjects. I did not expect nomination either.

It became too arduous to collect votes because it is a job on its own. The contest should be about writing, not marketing. I so appreciate Ian's help and your participation.

As for the subject, I had to write a research paper on Korean war, but there were a few topics to choose from. I chose Kim Il Sung because I was always interested more in people than events. You see it is people who make difference. Ian and you. Every vote counts.

One would think that Korea is so far from me and my life, yet my first friend in Canada was a girl from South Korea. One of my doctors in Russia was Korean, of course Koreans settled in Russia by the time I was born. I wrote this paper in 2002, one year before my ex-husband and I saw a documentary "Japanese Devils" - absolutely horrifying film. It was about the war between Japan and China, but Korea was invaded first. You see bits and pieces, you collect them, recollect them, all of a sudden when you try to put the puzzle together, everything becomes connected. Doing the research was hard, but the final product gave me pleasure and the best part was that my history teacher praised it very highly. I felt proud. Possibly, as far as writing goes, it is my best piece. I even consider unpublishing my least successful hubs or start writing differently.

Thank you for your support and voting, I appreciate it very much. And yes, by all means, you can call me Svetlana. What names are for?

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on March 30, 2011:

Outstanding work, Svetlana, (if I may call you that, since my good friend, Ian, does). It is so well researched and, frankly, fascinating reading. I became quite involved in it as I read. It did not seem the least too lengthy or detailed. I was almost lost in it, in fact.

I enjoy history, plus this was a major period of my life. My fiancé at the time was called to join the military, joined the U.S. Air Force and went to Korea early in the conflict, though we had broken our engagement by then. I was in college and he sent me pictures while there, so that I felt affected by that war. I knew little of its background, though, and you have supplied that, for which I am most grateful. My elder brother had been in the military in the Philippines in WWII, as well, so I was already interested in the South Pacific, and the events following WWII. I didn't know my late husband yet then, but he was even more involved in the countries involved in the events after the war, especially China. He would have enjoyed your essay, too.

I want to thank Ian for sending me the link. Of course, I vote for it!!

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 30, 2011:

Thank you, Kkalmes, for your feedback and voting. I know this is a long hub, this is a research paper and in my opinion it is only complete in its full length. The parts would be fragmentary or unjustified on its own. Why are you writing about Kim Il Sung's childhood? Who cares?

Even though this nomination is a mixed blessing, the parts would have not been nominated either. I agree with you that writing for HubPages is different than writing for other websites or other purposes, some of my work will remain lengthy. But I consider revising old hubs according to my new approach to writing. I haven't started yet, because I don't have my computer back from being repaired, but one of the improvements would be shortening/editing articles as much as possible. At least I hope.

Thank you very much for your support, your suggestions and I am grateful to both of you and Ian, my dear friend.

kkalmes on March 30, 2011:

Hello Svetlana, Ian recommended I stop and read which I appreciate it is not always easy to filter through the thousands of hubs to find those which are interesting and learned.

I think if I were to make any suggestions for improvement it would be to have broken this subject into multiple hubs with an RSS to steer readers through the journey of Kim Il Sung's life.

I will be sure to vote for your hub in "Top of the Class Hub".

Thank you for the read and the sharing of history which is always worthy of a read.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 24, 2011:

Thank you, Stacie. I may not return to historical essays because this research is really time-consuming. But I had to write it and once it was done, sharing it was more or less effortless.

I hope you would like my other hubs, I don't have a particular niche, I only write about what strikes me at the moment or what keeps me coming back time and again. My only signature is sense of humour, I hope you will enjoy it.

All the best,

Stacie L on March 24, 2011:

well I like history and learning about something I didn't already know..;-) good writing..

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 23, 2011:

@Epiman: Thank you, Colin, for your high praise, but I don't really think that I can relate that well to CN Tower, LOL! I am feeling much better now, thank you again, yet as far as writing - not having a computer is a sheer torture. I don't even know when I will get it back, so it might be quite a while before I will be able to post something new. Unless... I even don't have time to read here - I just "fake" activity - post a question and write a few answers just to show - "user is still active or "kicking and screaming". In agony, that is. LOL


Thank you, Kathy, "brilliance" is a bit too much, LOL! I just want to express myself and find who the hell I am. I don't really know still. Just yesterday, I learned something about myself that can send anyone into clinical depression. I am taking my time to adjust to the thought and find my balance "So what?" Still being afloat. It is only a stage, a stage in the growing process. Growing is painful, yet staying in this limbo may be just as painful, but with no prospects of change. In a sense I understand Kim Il Sung - he believed that he could make a difference and he made it. For better or worse. I admire his courage and persistence. If I have to learn one thing it would be - stay true to yourself.

Thank you, guys, again, your support means a lot to me.

Kathy from California on March 22, 2011:

So now it is official Kallini - You see? You have the Epi stamp of "brilliance" approval (LOL) and I must agree with him 100% - You are such a talented writer with a wealth of knowledge and layers of depth as genuine as your words. Take good care of yourself - first and foremost so you can continue to share your gift with the world.

Be Well!

epigramman on March 22, 2011:

...well my CN Tower friend - you never cease to amaze me with your intellectual poise and scholarly depth in the choice of your hubs subjects - and your cerebral comments to me are the stuff of legend!

Please accept my sincre best wishes for your continued and improved health situation - and keep dancin' the salsa - and thank you ever so much the video link enlightenment of some most arresting music and its different personalities .....

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 18, 2011:

No worries, Kathy, it happens and it isn't really a big deal. Thank you for the compliments,

Kathy from California on March 18, 2011:

Kallini - My talented writer and poet friend, I must apologize - I addressed you earlier as "Katie" and I have no idea why but I didn't realize it until now, so I am very sorry about that! Again- this is a very well written and well researched piece. Bravo!

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on March 18, 2011:

Don't be gone too long.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 18, 2011:

You are right, Ian, but it has been nine years. I don't know where she is, by the way her name was Terry Davis. I often wonder, if I "publish" those essays that I wrote at DeVry, will any of those people I met or was in contact with during those years, come across it? Especially instructors? Given that "Six Degrees of Separation" theory is right?

I think one day I will write these "open thank you letters". Strangely enough, DeVry was a turning point for me more than I care to admit.

P.S. I have to get my computer fixed, so I might disappear for a while. I hope it will be "a short" while.

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on March 18, 2011:

If your professor was worth remembering, and if you think you owe her a Thank You letter, please do it. I get a lot of feed back from my ex pupils and every one makes me feel just so wonderful. I feel that my life has really meant something to so many people... maybe she would feel the same.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 18, 2011:

That was the first thing I ruled out when I was still at school. I don't know what it is about me that is not compatible with teaching. I love kids. You know, a lot of people assume I am a teacher, and a lot of people suggest I become one. But I still seriously doubt it is such a good idea for me.

I have enormous respect for teachers and mentors. The professor who taught this History course at DeVry was phenomenal, I still feel like I owe her a "thank you" letter, even if only on HubPages. But for me? Our Canadian schools? Too much redtape.

But thank you for suggesting,

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on March 18, 2011:

Have you thought of teaching?

Just a thought

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 18, 2011:

Thank you, Ian. But you know, it is not my goal to put anybody to shame. I was reading a lot because, frankly, I was always lonely. Was? Am. Then I watched a lot of movies. It is all escapism in a sense.

As far as intelligence goes, if I am so intelligent, why am I so poor? I wish I could make money and to hell with all that intelligence. But it does not work like that.

We are who we are. People dislike me for precisely the same reason. Too much. I am stuck in adolescence - I still don't know what to do with my life. In a sense this paper reminded me that I can do better than work in retail, where intelligence is frowned upon.

Just a thought.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 18, 2011:

Thank you, ChatKath, for your comment, as I said I did not expect my regular audience (two people?) to suffer from reading it because it is quite long and outside of my "niche". I don't even have a "niche". I like history, but as Twilight Lawns said, I find it difficult. I tend to skip a lot.

One question always burns: is it all true? Or is it something "they" want me to believe?

I picked "Kim Il Sung as a Great Man" topic simply because he reminded me too much of either Lenin or Stalin. Stalin was denounced by the time I was growing up, but Lenin wasn't. He was portrayed as a super human being, the most alive of people ever lived (posthumously!) He was dead, embalmed and shown as an exhibit and yet "the most alive". I was no older than seven, but I was already questioning - I could not believe a real person could be anything close to the descriptions given and dithyrambs he was sung to. I did not become cynical, it was not my style, I only could not stomach all that propaganda. (That is another word for "history".)

One thing I believed though, that the Soviet Union is the best place to live. It was easy to believe when you have nothing to compare it with. When I look at the pictures of North Korea - it is all so painfully familiar - it reminds me of the Soviet Union of my childhood years.

But to speak of a Great Man and his role. If each and every one of us makes a difference in the world (the butterfly effect) - then there is no need to question whether it matters who leads the country - this man or that woman. Whether it Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, Mitterand, Bush, Clinton, Obama - of course, all of them make a huge difference. The question is what kind of difference?

But the question is the same for all of us - what kind of difference do we make in this world? Did my research make a difference? Did my publishing it make a difference? I hope so, even if it is as ephemeral as a flutter of a butterfly wing.

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on March 18, 2011:

You are just so bloody well read and intelligent. You put most of the people I know in this country to shame.

kallini2010 (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 18, 2011:

Thank you, Ian. I was afraid that you will find it difficult to read and frankly you did not have to. I did not write it now, it was my research for the History course at DeVry. I had no choice in the matter, it was Korean War and then there was a list of suggestions.

I did not know that much myself about it either, it was never brought to our attention in Russia. Except that I knew that many Koreans fled Korea and settled in Russia or the Soviet Republics, but still I had no idea why. But I usually accepted the fact that "wherever you go", there is "a hand of Moscow", I did not even want to challenge the fact.

But when I writing this paper, Russian archives were disclosed and things started to look differently, so I found it interesting. It was easy to blame Soviets for everything. History is never that simple that it appears and my true conclusion was we never really know what happened, when and how. History is a subject of creative writing as much as fiction.

But, in fact the only reason, I pulled out this research and published it, I have no energy for writing right now. So, I just publish the remnants of .... I cannot even come up with a word.

Thank you for reading it, Ian, I really appreciate it.

Kathy from California on March 18, 2011:

Thank you Katie for a Hub rich in history! Like they say - you learn something new everyday, well that's an understatement. I knew nothing about this and find it incredibly interesting! Glad you shared.

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on March 18, 2011:

Your words: "Whether you will find it interesting or worth reading, I have no idea, but it seemed worthwhile to share it."

Yes, I did find it interesting. I find this difficult to accept that fact that I do, because I find many subjects in this genre to be tedious and I tend to battle through for a while, eventually to give up. It was a very learned and well constructed piece, Svetlana, and certainly worth reading. I lived through this period and knew nothing about it; now I do. Thank you.

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