This letter was found on the desk of the North Korean Premier on 2 September 2020 and declassified by the United States Government on 12 September 2048. The Premier was found dead, succumbing to a self-inflicted gunshot wound, after an apparent murder-suicide plot to kill members of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s ruling family.

[U.S. Government Translation – Not For Distribution]

September 10, 1948

To my family,

I write this as both your elder and instigating leader. What I am about to do will no doubt shock you. For that I sincerely apologize; however, I hope you will abide by my plan upon reading this.

Yesterday, September 9, 1948, my leadership team and I officiated over the establishment of this infant nation: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We did not enter into the struggles of running a country blindly, nor alone. On the contrary, we’ve no doubt worked tirelessly towards the creation of a society that would benefit not only the whole of the nation but also those individuals that make up that whole.

During the onset of occupying this country with our partners from the Soviet Union, it was agreed that I would be the leader of the new Korea along with my family and my future family. In turn, I, and you would limit our ruling occupation to only ten decades. With this arrangement, the Soviet Union, in turn, has agreed to assist our government, in secret, while ensuring this family remains in power. However, after one-hundred total years, which I agreed would not extend beyond 9 September 2048, our family will step down from power.

I know this is not what you were expecting. Many things need not be written concerning this arrangement. Do know that I’ve done this for the better of our family, and our family alone.

As I write this, there has been no suggestion of a plan as to what will transpire on 10 September 2048 nor how to prepare my future countrymen for the end of our rule as a family. Regardless of my future offspring’s desires to continue rule beyond this date it is gravely imperative that they or you, step down. If the Soviet Union remains the power they are today, or more so, then it shall behoove the future generation of the Sŏng-ju bloodline to remove themselves from power and seek exile; perhaps to the Soviet Union.

What becomes of this nation, this great nation to be shall be of no concern to my ruling family as of 10 September 2048. Again, I wish not to convey the terms of the agreement between my staff and the Soviets in this letter for this is a personal plea to leave.

I have yet to name the family that will hold this secrete aside me. I do not know my future sons or his sons and thus have taken steps to ensure my wishes- the wish to ensure my bloodline continues- are upheld. On 9 September 2043 you, a blood born son of the Sŏng-ju line, should be reading this. You should also begin preparations immediately to exit this nation in five year’s time. Do not seek where this message arrived from, you will not succeed. To that end, the family I choose will remain a secret until two days before the end of the tenth decade. On this day, if it is seen that the ruler, if of my own blood, has not made preparations to leave, the care-taking family will be charged with reminding my family of my wishes. If it is deemed that my family will not comply with my wishes the entire bloodline will be exterminated.

The regime won’t last forever; I know this. My families survival is of the utmost importance to me. However, if my family is to disobey, the consequences will be dire.

You should be in possession of my Tschistopolsky wristwatch. Remove the back cover from the watch; you’ll see the number 297790 engraved by myself on the inside cover. This should suffice as the authenticity of this letter.

Adhere to my wish and our family will live.

  • Kim Sŏng-ju (Kim Il-sung 김일성)

[U.S. Government Translation – Not For Distribution]

Categories: Short Story

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