Juche is not at all offensive or abusive as you might think. On the contrary, “chu” means “master”, and “chhe” means “body, essence, substance, nature”. Thus, "Juche" means a situation where a person is the master of himself and the entire world around him. Juche is also a North Korean philosophy-ideology, proclaimed in 1955 by Kim Il Sung.
According to the 1972 Constitution, the DPRK is a sovereign socialist state, which in its activities is guided by the Juche ideas. In accordance with these ideas, all questions of inner life should be resolved from the standpoint of independence, relying on one's own strength.
In the 1980s, Kim Il Sung published a series of articles on Juche ideas that finally shaped it as a philosophical system. However, there is no foundational text that outlines the essence of the Juche teaching. Although the term appears constantly in the works of Kim Il Sung, the work titled "On the Juche Idea" was written by Kim Jong Il and resembles a short course of basic postulates rather than a serious theoretical work.
The general Juche ideas are:
- The masses of the people are the subject of the social movement.
- A nation with a high sense of national pride and revolutionary dignity is invincible.
- Unlike a capitalist economy that seeks profit, the main goal of a socialist independent economy is to meet the needs of the country and the population.
- The people of each country are obliged to fight not only against aggression and enslavement, for the consistent defense of their independence, but also against imperialism and dominationism, which encroach on the independence of the peoples of other countries.
- In order to establish a national and nationwide system of defense, it is necessary to arm the entire people and turn the whole country into a fortress.
- A revolution is a struggle for the realization by the masses of their needs for independence.
- Sitting with folded arms, waiting for all the necessary conditions to mature, is tantamount to giving up the revolution.
- In order to develop a correct view of the revolution, it is imperative that education be based on a sense of selfless devotion to the leader.
On July 8, 1997, North Korea adopted a new Juche calendar, which began in 1912, the year of Kim Il Sung's birth.
Interestingly, the Juche Ideas have received international recognition. Juche committees were established in 26 countries, and a thousand Juche circles were active in 67 countries. Juche lectures are given in 200 universities on five continents. Pyongyang hosts the annual Juche World Congresses.
In popular culture, the word "Juche" or "Juche cult" is often used to describe something incomprehensible, perverted, or inaccessible to understanding.