Kim Jong-il (16 February 1941 – 17 December 2011) was the supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from 1994 until his death, holding the offices of Chairman of the National Defense Commission, Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, and General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea.
- Independence is an attribute of man, the social being; it should not be viewed as the development to perfection of a natural, biological attribute of living matter. This is, in essence, an evolutionary viewpoint. Of course, we do not deny evolutionism itself. Science has long established the fact that man is a product of ages of evolution. Man is a product of evolution, but not his independence. Independence is a social product. Independence is an attribute given to man by society, not nature; it is not a natural gift, but has been formed and developed socially and historically.
- "On some questions in understanding the Juche philosophy", speech delivered to theoretical propagandists of the Party, April 2, 1974
- Nothing is impossible for a man with a strong will. The possible is in store only for a man who loves the future. There is no word "impossible" in the Korean language.
- "Unification of the fatherland is an act of supreme patriotism" (1970s), quoted in Kim Jong Il Handbook (2011) by International Business Publications USA
- All exploiting classes, after all, constitute a reaction against history; they are the target of revolution.
- On the Juche Idea, treatise submitted to the National Seminar on the Juche Idea held to mark the 70th birthday of the Great Leader Comrade Kim II Sung (31 March 1982)
- The core in the Juche outlook on the revolution is loyalty to the party and the leader. The cause of socialism and communism is started by the leader and is carried out under the guidance of the party and the leader.
- On the Juche Idea
- It's all a lie. They're just pretending to praise me.
- Remark to kidnapped South Korean director Shin Sang-ok (7 March 1983); quoted in Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader
- In their day, Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin represented the aspirations and demands of the exploited working masses, and the cause of socialism was inseparably linked with their names.
- The physical life of an individual person is limited, but the life of the masses united as an independent social-political organism is immortal.… Only when an individual becomes a member of this community can he acquire the immortal social-political life.
- "Theory of the Immortal Social-Political Body" (1986)
- Glory to the heroic soldiers of the Korean People's Army!
- Military review on the 60th anniversary of the KPA (25 April 1992), the only occasion of Kim's voice being broadcast in the DPRK
- Calling socialism, under which the popular masses are the masters of everything, "totalitarianism" is, ultimately, a preposterous lie which identifies the most progressive idea that reflects the demands of the popular masses with the reactionary idea of fascist rulers.
- "Abuses of socialism are intolerable," article in Central Committee magazine Kulloja (March 1, 1993)
- Whenever such practices as failing to carry out the Party's ideas and policies unconditionally, abusing one's authority, acting bureaucratically, enjoying privileges and being corrupt are revealed among cadres, we should nip them in the bud through ideological struggle. Those who fail to remould themselves in a revolutionary way through an ideological struggle should be sent to labour-intensive fields to be trained through labour.
- "Let us further consolidate the position of the socialist revolution through effective party work," speech to the Central Committee (January 1, 1994), in Selected Works vol. 13
- The "human rights" advertised by the imperialists are privileges of the rich, privileges to do anything on the strength of money. The imperialists do not recognize the right of unemployed people to work, or the right of orphans or people without support to eat and survive, for instance, as human rights. As they do not grant working people elementary rights to existence and as they pursue anti-popular policies and policies of racial and national discrimination and colonialism, the imperialists have no right to speak about human rights. The imperialists are the most heinous enemy of human rights.
- "Socialism is a Science", article in Rodong Sinmun (1 November 1994), also in Selected Works vol. 13
- Karl Marx made a great contribution to the liberation cause of mankind, and because of his immortal exploits his name is still enshrined in the hearts of the working class and peoples of all countries.
- Rodong Sinmun (25 December 1995) "Respecting the forerunners of the revolution is a noble moral obligation of revolutionaries", also in Selected Works vol. 14
- Our country is suffering from the lack of food. We don't have rice for the military. Our country is in a state of anarchy because of the dysfunctional food rationing system. The administration department is responsible for this mess, as well as the Party officials. The Party's Central Committee members have failed their duty in generating a revolutionary spirit, diminishing the Party's effectiveness. We must solve the food problem according to socialist principles, and we must not rely on individuals. If we let the people solve the problem on their own, only merchants and markets will prosper. Then, selfishness will rule our society and destroy our system of true equality.
- Reported speech at Kim Il Sung University in December 1996, as quoted in Exit Emperor Kim Jong-il (2012) by John H. Cha and K. J. Sohn. Domestic collections of Kim's works do not confirm the speech or the wording, but an April 1996 speech to the Central Committee began with similar observations, and a "state of anarchy" arising from privatization in former socialist countries was a theme in earlier works. See Selected Works vol. 14
- Whenever they [the Jagang people] saw my car passing by, they would run towards it cheering and shedding tears. This feeling cannot be manufactured or bought with money. It is a phenomenon that can be witnessed only in our country, where the Party and the people are united single-heartedly.
- "Let us bring about about a fresh turn in economic work and the people's standard of living by following the example of Jagang Province," collected remarks during field guidance visits to Jagang (1998), in Selected Works vol. 14
- The US imperialists … are resorting to every conceivable scheme to stifle us. They are not only bringing political pressure and military threats to bear on us but also imposing economic sanctions. This is why our Party and people have had to undergo the Arduous March and suffer hardships.
- "Let us bring about about a fresh turn…"
- I am the object of criticism around the world. But I think that since I am being discussed, then I am on the right track.
- Conversation with Konstantin Pulikovsky (Summer 2001), quoted in his book Orient Express
- Variant: I know I'm an object of criticism in the world, but if I am being talked about, I must be doing the right things.
- It is not communists but imperialists who oppose nationalism and place obstacles in the way of the independent development of nations at present.… The manoeuvres of the US imperialists for "globalization" and "integration" are aimed at turning the world into what they call a "free" and "democratic" world styled after the United States, and thus bringing all countries and nations under their domination and subordination.
- "On Having a Correct Understanding of Nationalism," Talks to senior officials of the Central Committee (February 2002), in Selected Works vol. 15
- Korea and Japan are geographically close countries, and they had maintained relations from olden times exchanging visits with each other. But in the past century discord and confrontation has brought the relations between the two countries to an extremely abnormal state. The abnormal relations continuing between them are, in every respect, harmful to either of them. Normalizing the relations between the two countries and developing good-neighbourly relations accords with the aspirations and interests of the peoples of the two countries, and it is an urgent demand of the times.
- Remarks to Kyodo News Service before a visit from Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi (September 14, 2002), in Selected Works vol. 15
- Our Party’s Songun-based revolutionary leadership, Songun-based politics, is a revolutionary mode of leadership and socialist mode of politics that gives top priority to military affairs, and defends the country, the revolution and socialism and dynamically pushes ahead with overall socialist construction by dint of the revolutionary mettle and combat capabilities of the People’s Army.
- "The Songun-based revolutionary line is a great revolutionary line of our era and an ever-victorious banner of our revolution", address to the senior officials of the Central Committee of the Worker's Party (29 January 2003), in Selected Works vol. 15
- I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired.
- "North Korea Dear Leader Kim Jong Il: "I'm an Internet expert too"". Ars Technica. 2007-10-05. Retrieved on 2008-01-01.
- Although the Great Leader told us that we have to let the people eat rice with meat soup, wear silk clothes and live in a tiled roof house, we have not accomplished his will.… We have already reached the status of a strong country in the military field, let alone politics and ideology, but there are still quite a number of things lacking in people's lives. I am trying to implement his will by solving these problems.
- Rodung Sinmun (9 January 2010) 
- To make the whole Korean peninsula nuclear-free was the behest of the great President Kim Il-sung, and it is the consistent stand of the government of our Republic. The nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula arose as a result of the United States constantly threatening the sovereignty and security of our people. Sovereignty is the lifeline of a country and nation. We have possessed nuclear deterrent to protect our sovereignty from the blatant nuclear threat of the United States and its increasingly hostile policy.
- Response to questions from Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency (13 October 2011) 
- It is my greatest wish to enable our people to live with nothing to envy at the earliest possible date, and it is my greatest pleasure to work energetically, sharing my joys and sorrows with our people, on the road of translating my wish into reality.
- Response to questions from Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency (13 October 2011) 
Quotes about Kim Jong-il
- Kim [Il-sung] wanted his system to last, and his place in history to be assured. Since the fate of Stalin (and later of Mao) showed that he could not entrust those goals to the Party, he turned to his own family. His son, born in the Soviet Union in 1942, returned to Korea to complete his schooling and graduate from Kim Il Sung University. He rose rapidly in the Party hierarchy and was put in charge of propaganda in 1972. The Sixth Party Congress of 1980 ratified the choice of Kim's son as his successor. Kim Jong Il entered the Party Secretariat, the Central Committee, the Politburo and the Military Commission. For the first time, a Communist state was being turned into a hereditary monarchy.
- Clive Foss, The Tyrants : 2500 Years of Absolute Power and Corruption (2006) p. 150
- Kim Il Sung remains venerated, and due to the luck of dying in time, has a remarkably good reputation in death. The opposite is very much the case with his unfortunate son, Kim Jong Il, who inherited power in 1994 and reigned for 17 turbulent years, till 2011.
- Andrei Lankov, "Kim Jong Un’s popularity, explained: Despite purges, third generation of Kim rule maintains approval" (27 September 2015), NK News
- You pushed away the severe storm.
You made us believe, Comrade Kim Jong-il.
We cannot live without you.
Our country cannot exist without you!
- North Korean song, "No Motherland Without You"
- When General Kim Jong Il shouts to the mountains / Lightning strikes and valleys shatter! …
With General Kim Jong Il's wondrous strategy / Enemy lines collapse and our foes wail! …
Under General Kim Jong Il's amazing leadership / Korea goes forth and Juche goes forth!
- North Korean military anthem, "Thunder Over Jong Il Peak"
- Chukjibeop! Chukjibeop!
The Dear General uses it! …
Once the Great Leader also used chukjibeop.
Today the Dear General does it for him.
- North Korean popular song, "The Dear General Uses Chukjibeop [Distance-Shrinking Magic]"
- He kills our people, arrests people who are against his administration. He produces drugs. It's a national industry. He kidnaps other people from South Korea, or other democratic countries. He is doing all sorts of bad things, like the devil. Do not trust him, never, ever.
- Kim Duk Hong, former Korean Workers Party Central Committee worker, in PBS Frontline: Kim's Nuclear Gamble (companion web site)
- When it comes to the orchestration of terror, Kim Jong-il is a natural born genius.
- Kim Duk Hong quoted in BBC News (21 July 2003) "Inside the mind of Kim Jong-il"
- North Korea's Kim Jong-il is often portrayed as crazy or as a clown. In reality, although he is certainly eccentric, he is a clever politician who carefully follows world affairs and chooses his tactics accordingly. Most of the coverage given Kim Jong-il in the mainstream media deals with his nuclear ambitions and his threats to build weapons of mass destruction. But domestically he runs the most tightly controlled society in the world. While Kim Jong-il himself might watch satellite television news, most North Koreans have absolutely no access to information about the outside world. The normal kinds of political rights and civil liberties that are squashed to one degree or another by other dictators are simply non-existent in North Korea.
- David Wallechinsky, Tyrants: The World's 20 Worst Living Dictators (2006), p. 2