September 19, 2020

The revolution that wasn’t: is North Korea really a “revolutionary” state?

Despite official claims, early DPRK history was not marked by radical change to the status quo

Earlier this month, Kim Jong Un made the worldwide news when he made a triumphant return to the base of the Korean “revolution”: Mount Paektu. Although Korean communist guerillas never actually fought Japanese colonialists in this mountainous terrain, the Kim family regime has made this area a central point in its propaganda due to its mythical status in Korean tradition.

According to North Koran propaganda, Kim Jong Il was supposedly born at a base camp in Mount Paektu. Thus, Mount Paektu, with its beautiful scenery and lake, became a source of legitimacy for the North Korea government. It was Mount Paektu where the supposed Korean revolution was born. However, did North Korea truly undergo an anti-colonial revolution?