The unsuccessful attempt to oust Kim Il Sung in 1956 triggered signiÞcant changes in North Korean politics and society. North Korea began to drift away from the Soviet patterns, slowly developing its own brand of "national Stalinism." North Korean relations with the Soviet Union and China also underwent deep transformation. These changes met resistance, but all dissenters were wiped out during large-scale purges, reminiscent ofStalin's "Great Purge" of 1937. This article, based on previously unknown material from Soviet archives, traces the history ofthis purge as well as the social, political, and cultural changes ofthe late 1950s.