September 29, 2020

Kim Jong Un and the children: developing ‘their own way’

The third Kim pays special attention to children in fiction, rewarding a surprising individuality

The cult of North Korean leaders is based on the postulate of the leader as the father of the nation who, as with any good father, does not discriminate between his children. According to the official mythology, the Father Leader (the title applied to all three Kims) spreads his protection over all strata and generational groups of North Korean society; the geography of his “on the spot guidance” covers the whole territory of the DPRK.

A closer look at the practice of North Korean leadership shows, however, that every North Korean “father” had his own soft spot: an area of leadership which he enjoyed or interested more than others. For Kim Il Sung it used to be heavy industry, for Kim Jong Il culture and cinematography. As for Kim the Third, in addition to his affinities for sports and pop culture, he so far has demonstrated particular interest to the world of North Korean childhood.