Languages of Security in the Asia-Pacific

College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University

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North Korean – Sŏngun choŏnch’i

May 26th, 2011 · No Comments · Korean (North), Military

성군 정치 / 시대

Sŏngun choŏnch’i / sidae

‘Military- first’ policy / ‘Military-first’ epoch

Relates to military

The concept of ‘the military first’ policy or ‘the military first epoch’ legitimises the dominant position of the army and the militarisation of all the spheres of North Korean life in the name of self-defense and independent foreign policy. The motto first emerged in 1998 in an article in Nodong sinmun on the 25th of April, though North Korea’s official propaganda often provides different dates.

The ‘military-first’ policy is seen as a security guarantor against the plots of imperialism, not only for the sake of Korean national interests but also for the sake of the whole of humanity, which has been left unprotected after the collapse of the Soviet Union.



구쏘련 붕괴 이후 전 세계적으로 전쟁이 수 많이 벌어졌지만 언제 터질지 모를 화약고라고 하는 “한”반도에서 전쟁이 일어나지 않고 있다. 그것은 미국의 전쟁책동에 제동을 거는 강력한 힘이 있기 때문이다. 이젠 세상 사람들은 그 힘이 북의 선군 정치라는 것을 뚜렷이 인식 해가고 있다…북의 선군 정치는 평화를 지키는 총대이다.[1]

“After the collapse of the Soviet Union a lot of wars began all over the world. However, war did not start on the Korean peninsula – which is known as a powder magazine that could explode any time. This is because there is a strong power which puts a break on the militaristic designs of the USA. Now people of the world clearly understand that this power is the military-first policy of the DPRK…The military-first policy of the DPRK is a rifle which protects peace.”


선군 조선의 대외적 권위가 전례 없이 높아지고 우리와 선린 우호 관계를 맺는 나라들이 늘어나고 있다.[2]

“The international authority of Korea which lives under the “military first” motto has been strengthened to an unprecedented level, and the number of countries which have formed friendly relations with us has increased.”


위대한 김정일 동지의 선군 정치에 의하여 나라의 존엄과 국력이 최상의 경지에 올라서고

“Thanks to “military first” policy of the great comrade Kim Jong Il, the prestige of our country and its national potential have been elevated to the maximum level.”




[1] Kim Chu-yŏn, “Chŏngŭi himŭro p’yŏnhwarŭl chik’inŭn pukŭi sŏngun chŏngch’i” [The North Korean policy of military-first which protects peace as a rightful force], Nodong sinmun, 2005, 2th of August, 4.

[2] “Konghwakuk ch’angkŏn 60tolŭl majŭn olhaerŭl chokuk ch’ŏngsae arosaegyŏjil yŏksajŏk chŏnghwanŭi haero pinnaeija” [Let Us Celebrate This Year of the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of the DPRK as a Pivotal Historical Year which will be Inscribed in the History of Our Country”]. Rodong Sinmun, 2008, the 1st of January, 1.



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