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2010/02/18  Hyelim Kim, Translated by Jihye Lee
Kim Jong-Il Idolized as Supreme Leader in North Korea’s Word Processor

- Special Characters only for Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jung-Il
- Shortcut Keys for Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jung-Il
- Font-styles demonstrating NK Regime Personality


Changdeok, North Korea’s primary word processor like Hangul in South Korea, is a true mirror of the idolization of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il.


When Changdeok was first launched, the version 1.0, had April 15th, 1990 marked as the release date. It is Kim Il-Sung’s birthday.


As a word processor, Changdeok was developed to a 7.0 version in 2002 and has as superior quality of its functions, such as Hangul or MS-Word. It provides Korean, English, Chinese, Russian, and Japanese characters and other various functions such as 2 or 3 dimensions character effects and complex arithmetic calculations.


It has special characteristics devised especially for Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. KPS 9566-2003 legislated in 2003 is the most recent version of North Korean industrial standards. 22 of a total 16,776 KPS 9566-2003 characters are not included in Unicode set, a computer standard for encoding characters expressed in most of the world’s writing systems. 16 of KPS 9566-2003 are special characters. And the rest 6-- “Kim”, “IL”, “Sung”, “Kim”, “Jong”, and “IL-- are reduplications only uses for Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il.


Therefore, “Kim Il-Sung” and “Kim Jong-Il” are recognized as special characters on Character Map and automatically switched to Bold text. But there is nothing wrong with this system because nobody has the same name as Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il in North Korea.


Another Changdeok system indicating the absolute power of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-il are CTRL modifier keys. for “Kim Il-Sung” and for “Kim Jong-Il” are only modifier keys allowed in the Changdeok system.

These special characters and modifier keys is one side of Kim Il-Sung’s and Kim Jong-Il’s idolization. But, considering “Kim Il-Sung” and “Kim Jong-Il” in North Korean published works must be in bold text, special characters and modifier keys are for convenient editing processes as well.


The last distinct feature of the Changdeok system aew font names designed and systemized by the Korea Computer Center and Pyongyang Program Center for convenient electronic publishing. Chollima, Kwangmyong, and Cheongbong are major ones among those interesting fonts. 


Chollima font is named after the Chollima campaign which led to North Korea’s economic development in 1950s and 60s. It is often used for posters and advertisements.


Kwangmyong is the second famous font. Kwangmyong means Kim Jong-Il, and it was named after ‘Baekdu-Kwangmyong legend,’ a novel written to deify Kim Jong-Il.


Cheongbong font is a memorial for celebration of Kim Jong-Il’s victory in the battle with Japanese troops during the colonial period. This font is often used for long body paragraphs of texts as well as titles and subtitles. 


As the Cheongbong system shows, the status of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il are special, even in a word processor program. In other words, a field of software is also used as a means for promotion and instigation of the North Korean dictatorship.

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