The revolution that began in North Korea in 1945 displayed a blend of generic and specific characteristics. The generic lay in the lessons Kim Il Sung and his colleagues drew from the universal laws of Marxism, the revolutionary organisational and tactical framework developed chiefly by Lenin, and the practical experience of Communist parties in power, most notably the CPSU under Stalin. In the context of seeking rapid economic transformation, external economic and political relations also assume greater significance. Such regimes typically define themselves in terms of a broader international struggle between imperialism and socialism, and regulate their foreign dealings accordingly. Kim's innate psychology and his socialisation in a harsh environment among ruthless and violent men crossed with his Leninist attraction to the necessity of revolutionary violence to develop an outlook that seems to have rendered him extraordinarily callous and indifferent to suffering.