March 04, 2021

Why Kim doesn’t love Hitler, and why this matters

Crude rumors to demonize Pyongyang will backfire, and will ultimately strengthen the regime

Over the last 20 years various international media have several times issued a sensational report: The North Korean leader, they say, is a fan of Adolf Hitler. The most recent report of this kind came from the outlet New Focus. New Focus asserted that Kim Jong Un had distributed a limited print of Hitler’s Mein Kampf amongst the political elite and that Choe Pu Il – the general leading the Ministry of People’s Security – said to his subordinates: “Stop focusing on ways of making money in the markets, and mold yourselves after the Gestapo. In the Kim Jong Un era, the Ministry of People’s Security is the most powerful section – be proud.

This – along with all similar reports – looks like a hoax to me. Apart from the idea of the head of the criminal investigation agency wanting his subordinates to resemble the Gestapo – and not the Kriminalpolizei, its analogue in Nazi Germany – there are several more reasons not to trust the message of Hitler being loved by the North Korean elite.