One of the most dangerous things for a dogmatic ideology – like the state ideology of North Korea – is its internal contradictions. If the doctrine is attacked from the outside, the blind faith of a believer is very hard to overcome. However, when one points out that it simultaneously teaches things which contradict themselves – faith is likely to start wavering. This article intends to do just that – point at the issues in which North Korea disagrees not with the outside world, but with itself.
Unification through confederation vs Supremacy of socialism
North Korea claims that the socio-political system of the DPRK is vastly superior to that of the South. North Korean citizens, they say, are free and live their prosperous life sponsored by the state, thanks to the great socialist system established by the Great Leader comrade Kim Il Sung himself. Meanwhile, South Korean citizens apparently live in living hell, suffering everyday under the yoke of American imperialists.
If the Southerners are suffering and you want to ultimately preserve the system which makes them miserable for all eternity – are you really the loving father of all Korean people?
So what would comrade Kim Il Sung – apparently, the wisest and the kindest being in human history – teach us about unification? Would you expect him to express desire for the malevolent South state to be destroyed, so that the Southerners will enjoyed the same happy life as the Northerners?
Hell no. The Great Leader instructed that unification should be done through creation of a confederation in which both systems would be preserved. Forgive me, Great Generalissimo, but this is just outrageous. If the Southerners are suffering and you want to ultimately preserve the system which makes them miserable for all eternity – are you really the loving father of all Korean people?
Puppet nature of South Korean state vs Necessity of direct talks between Seoul and Pyongyang
South Korea, the DPRK asserts, is a puppet state, created by American imperialists. Being such, it has no legitimacy. It is a fake, a charade orchestrated by Washington in its evil desire to rule Korea. Logically one would assume that the talks about unification should be conducted with the United States – pretty much like the issue of the border between Manchukuo and Mongolia in the late 1930s, which was decided not by Xinjing and Ulaanbaatar, but by Moscow and Tokyo.
But no. The DPRK likes direct talks between the Government of the Republic and the “traitorous puppet clique” – i.e. the Republic of Korea’s government. From the point of view of the North Korean ideology, these talks make as little sense as trying to talk to a dog which bites you instead of the dog’s owner.
De-jure multi-party system vs Single-minded unity
One of the DPRK’s central doctrines is that all its society is as one. It is a single-minded unity (ilshimtangyol) of all the population around the figures of the Great Generalissimos and the Beloved Marshal. This is, essentially, a society free of conflict and with no necessity of political competition, since the proposed candidates always enjoy 100 percent support of the population.
Meanwhile, North Korea also says that there are three political parties in the country. Apart from the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), which guides the Korean people from victory to victory, there is also a Social Democratic Party and the Party of Young Friends of Chondogyo. This does not make any sense. If there is no competition, since the perfection has been achieved, why are these two parties needed? If the society is united around the WPK and the Leader, who are these people, who at some point of their life decide: no, I don’t like the idea of joining the WPK, I would rather submit my application to the Social Democratic Party instead? The DPRK offers no answer.
The liberation of Korea by the KPRA vs The existence of the Liberation Monument
As every North Korean modern history textbook says, the Korean people were enslaved by the Japanese imperialism for decades, but the Great Leader comrade Kim Il Sung assembled the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army (KPRA) and, in August 1945, struck a death blow against the Japanese in the final offensive for the liberation of the motherland.
North Koreans cannot ask these questions, of course, since openly exhibiting doubt in the state ideology would result in imprisonment or execution.
Meanwhile, there is still a monument with the inscription which says literally the following: “The great Soviet people crushed the Japanese imperialism and liberated the Korean people” standing in Pyongyang. It is open to the public and every Pyongyang resident can pay a visit to it. Surely, the North Korean books – not all, but most of them – still mention the fact that the Soviets were participating in the war against Japan – but North Korea says that they merely assisted the KPRA and their role in the war was not significant. So the Liberation Monument from the DPRK’s point of view would look as awkward as a monument to French soldiers who died in the American War of Independence saying something like, “The great French people crushed the British imperialism and liberated the American people.”
The ever-victorious nature of the KPA vs It’s lack of desire to liberate the South
The Korean People’s Army (KPA), North Korea asserts, is the apex of military development, the organization of invincible might, armed with Great Leader’s thought, Songun Idea and the principle of “one against a hundred.” Should the Supreme Commander issue the order then the final war will begin, the American imperialists would be smashed and Korea would be united.
The question is: Why would he not? Since the KPA is vastly superior to both the American army and the “puppet army” of South Korea – why not crush them and liberate the suffering brethren? Still, there is no answer.
The defeat of the American imperialists in the Fatherland Liberation War vs Their continuous occupation of the southern half of the Republic
This contradiction is very close to the previous one. As North Korea teaches, the Korean War (called the Fatherland Liberation War in the DPRK) ended in glorious victory for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Meanwhile, while evil Yankees singed the instrument of surrender in Panmunjom, not only they have not disarmed themselves and the DPRK flag was not hoisted at the White House, they did not even withdraw from the South Korea. Moreover, a small part of the DPRK which was under Pyongyang’s control before the war, was taken by the South after 1953 – like the city of Sokcho, for example. Why was that allowed, if the war ended in utter defeat for the Americans?
North Koreans cannot ask these questions, of course, since openly exhibiting doubt in the state ideology would result in imprisonment or execution. However, people still think about these postulates – and for those who try to approach them logically, the contradictions within the ideology may be as damning for it, as the truth from the outside world.
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Featured Image: Tower of Juche Idea, Pyongyang, North Korea by yeowatzup on 2008-09-25 13:40:59