Photo Gallery

Tower of the Juche Idea

The tower of the Juche idea was unveiled on April 15, 1982, on the occasion of the 70th birthday of the North Korean leader Kim Il-sung. The 150-meter tall tower is tipped with a torch made of "rare materials". The body of the tower is faced with 70 granite slabs, one for each year of Kim Il-sung's life up to that time. The tower represents the idea of Juche (roughly, "self reliance") in that its architectural form is derived from obelisk-type stone pagodas built in premodern Korea.

The sculpture group in front of the tower is a trio of figures, with a worker, peasant, and intellectual holding a hammer, sickle, and writing brush. This is in character with the nature of the Party's class structure.

The tower sits at the edge of the Taedong river running through downtown Pyongyang.


All images copyright 2002 Charles K. Armstrong, professor at Columbia University.

Chong, Bong-uk (editor). A Handbook on North Korea.
  Naewoe Press, 1998. Seoul

Pyongyang Review (no authors listed)
  Foreign Language Publishing House, 1988. Pyongyang

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