Kim Ilsung – A Song of Praise for The Bright Star


North Korea is once again in the news, having launched its first satellite into space. The name of the rocket that the satellite was on is “Gwangmyeongsong” (光明星, 광명성; Kwangmyŏngsŏng). It is in reference to a poem composed by Kim Ilsung (金日成, 김일성, 1912-1994) published in the Workers’ Newspaper (勞動新聞, 노동신문; Rodong Sinmun) in 1992 as Kim Jongil’s (金正日, 김정일, 1942-2011) birthday present.

光明讚訟歌 광명찬송가

A Song of Praise for the Bright Star

白頭山頂正日峯 백두산정정일봉
小白水河碧溪流 소백수하벽계류
光明星誕五十週 광명성탄오십주
皆贊文武忠孝備 개찬문무충효비
萬民稱頌齊同心 만민칭송제동심
歡呼聲高震天地 환호성고진천지

On the summit of Mount Baekdu is Jeongil Peak;
In the waters and streams of Mount Sobaek flows a blue brook.
Since the Bright Star’s Birth, it is the Fiftieth anniversary.
All praise for his readiness in the literary and martial arts and loyalty and filial piety.
Ten thousand people praise and laud and all are same in heart.
The cheery acclamations sound loud and heaven and earth tremble.

Disclaimer: This post is not to intended in any manner as sympathizing or promoting North Korea and its cause. It is the author’s hope that the picture selected gets this point across.


  • 齊(제) – Here, it means “all together” (儕, 제)
  1. I will be starting my own blog myself about Hanmun. I hope I can study in Korea next year. How did you manage to get a copy of that poem? Are North Korean resource materials easy to find?

  2. 歸源 said:

    Kim Ilsung banned the use of Hanja from North Korean official documents, including the Rodong Sinmun, and banned Hanja education in 1946 (You can find South Korean official documents in mixed script still). Although North Korea re-started Hanja education in 1968, it still remained out of official documents and was not used by the public. Very few North Korean refugees — as I have read — know how to write their name in Hanja.

    Having said that, I found this poem online on Daily NK. As for other North Korean materials, I am not sure how readily they are available.

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