May 18, 2022

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Misogyny in camouflage: gender relations in Songun cinema

The "military-first" era saw DPRK culture embrace some troubling ideas about romantic relations

The ascendance of Kim Jong Il to the North Korean leadership was accompanied by the introduction of the “military first," or songun, policy. The slogan implied that from then on, the life of society had to be subject to the interests of the army.

It was claimed that in conditions where international socialism had collapsed, the DPRK was left on its own, surrounded by enemies whose ultimate dream was to destroy the People's Korea. The army, therefore, had to stay vigilant and be ready to fight the aggressors, with the full support of the nation.