The Korean Communists face a troublesome problem in recording their hiswtory. The first years of the Korean Communist movement are now regarded as a gigantic skeleton in the closet. Official party publications brush over them in a few paragraphs. Individual Communist leaders are almost all identified as petty bourgeois intellectuals, sectarians, deviationists, or factional wreckers. The Communist movement itself is recorded as a “failure” and a “disgrace” by contemporary Kim Il-sŏngists. When praise is meted out, it generally goes to the broader nationalist movement, and the only truly “good guys” turn out to be “the people.” Only when the omniscient Kim arrives on the scene in 1931, do Korean Communist historians begin to panegyrize their past.

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