Day of Songun in North Korea in 2024

Day of Songun in North Korea in 2024
  How long until Day of Songun?
Day of Songun
  Dates of Day of Songun in North Korea
2025 North Korea Mon, Aug 25 National Holiday
2024 North Korea Sun, Aug 25 National Holiday
2023 North Korea Fri, Aug 25 National Holiday
2022 North Korea Thu, Aug 25 National Holiday
2021 North Korea Wed, Aug 25 National Holiday

Mark Kim Jong-il's inspection visit to the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su Guards 105th Armored Division of the Korean People's Army in August 1960

When is the Day of Songun?

Day of Songun is a national holiday in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea observed on August 25th each year.

History of the Day of Songun

This holiday was established in 2013 to mark Kim Jong-il's inspection visit to the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su Guards 105th Armored Division of the Korean People's Army on this day in 1960. 

This tank division was part of the main advance from Seoul to Taejon (Daejeon) during the Korean War, and the leaders visit to the unit is regarded as the start of the Songun revolutionary leadership by the North Korea government.

The Songun (meaning 'military-first'. ‘Son’ meaning ‘First’ and ‘Gun’ meaning ‘Military’.), or Songbun, system was devised by Kim Jong-il to assign a classification to every citizen based on the socioeconomic background at the time of liberation in 1945.

Under the system, Koreans were split into three broad classes:

  • Core:  Includes professional revolutionaries, descendants of ‘war heroes’ who died working or fighting for the North, peasants or those from peasant families.
  • Wavering: Includes people who had previously lived in South Korea or China, those with relatives who went to the South, families of small-scale merchants, intellectuals, practitioners of superstition, etc.
  • Hostile: Includes descendants of landlords, capitalists, religious people, political prisoners, those who had assisted South Korean forces during the Korean War, or were otherwise judged anti-Party or associated with external powers.

Songun, officially ‘Songun Politics’, prioritises the military in all aspects of Korean society and has boosted the importance of the Korean People’s Army in politics, society and culture.

It may seem odd that a communist regime would stratify its citizens in such a way, but it was used as an effective means of isolating and controlling perceived internal political threats by giving key leadership roles to those who were part of families who had actively supported the revolution.

The Songbun system is not pushed as hard by the current regime, probably as several generations have diluted the value of this form of hereditary loyalty.

The Day of Songun is marked by mass dance, visits to historic sites and laying flowers at monuments dedicated to the leaders and the military.

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