Interesting to note that the thing with the bird was a standard event in ancient times when a deified tyrant snuffed it.
Juche is the only government-recognized ideology within North Korea. Not traditionally considered a religion, but more of a combination of philosophy, educational strategy, and religious practices, Juche could be described as a nationalist, secular, ethical ideology. Juche, literally “main body,” has often been translated within North Korea as meaning “independent stand” or “self-reliance.” Created in 1955 by North Korean President Kim Il-Sung, traditional Juche holds that even though humanity is independent and the primary agent in its own destiny, it also contains a collective unconsciousness grounded in the “Great Leader.” Juche teaches that the North Korean people need to be organized and guided by the “Great Leader,” who was Kim Il-Sung himself. Many consider Juche to be a personality cult created by Il-Sung to promote himself, his family, and his ideas. As a social and political ideology, many of the components of Juche are similar to Marxism as well as some Communist ideologies of China (Maoism) and the former U.S.S.R. (Leninism). Originally constructed as an ideology to assist North Korea with its independence, Juche also claims to be an ideology to assist other developing countries with understanding and developing their true independence. Juche ideology developed further in 1994 when General Secretary Kim Jong-il, Kim Il-Sung’s son and successor, added some of the ethical components of Confucianism to Juche, including doctrines addressing material possessions, family values, and self-sacrifice. Even though small pockets of Juche have developed in other countries, the great majority of Juche followers live in North Korea.
The North Korean government and associated organizations use a variation of the Gregorian calendar with a Juche year based on April 15, 1912 CE (AD), the date of birth of Kim Il-sung, as year 1. The calendar was introduced in 1997. Months are unchanged from those in the standard Gregorian calendar. In many instances, the Juche year is given after the CE year, for example, 27 June 2007 Juche 96. But in North Korean publications, the Juche year is usually placed before the corresponding CE year, as in Juche 96 (2007). Calendar schemes based on political era are also found in the Japanese era name (Nengo) system and in the Minguo calendar used in the Republic of China (Taiwan), though these are not based on the birth of an individual as in the Gregorian and Juche calendars. Incidentally, the year numbers of the Juche calendar, Minguo calendar, and Japan’s Taishō period correspond to each other even though they were not meant to be related.
In August 1997 the Central People’s Committee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea promulgated regulations regarding use of the Juche Era calendar, according to which for dates occurring before 1912 the Gregorian calendar year is used exclusively, so that there is no “negative” Juche year, or “Before Juche” concept. For example, 1682 is rendered as “1682”, while 2011 is rendered as “Juche 100, 2011” or as “Juche 100 (2011).” Critics of Juche charge that the “Juche dating system”, as it is based on a person’s birth date rather than a political era, reflects a dynastic tradition where era names are specified for ruling Emperors of Japan and China, as well as the Korean sovereigns.