This study analyzes the division and change of North Korean nationalism from 1980 to 1997. During the period, the most dramatic changes were made in the details and official status of North Korean nationalism. This study focused most on comprehensively analysing the two interrelated contexts. The first is to understand the political dynamics that have brought about such differentiation and change. This is why we believe that this will allow us to conduct a predictive analysis beyond retrospective assessment. The second is to specify the nature and content of North Korean nationalism in more detail. It is essential to analyze the process in which North Korean nationalism, which has changed and developed amid various political dynamics, affects North Korean politics in reverse. The study, in particular, noted that the 20-year period from 1980 was when North Korea had to overcome the new and threatening conditions of a reversal of the balance of power between the two Koreas under the dual leadership structure of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, accumulating the achievements of its heir apparent and proving its ability to establish the legitimacy of its political succession. As a result, such a political structure has caused North Korean nationalism to diverge and change around the dynamics of political succession.