January 21, 2021

A sign of the times: North Korea adds COVID-19 fighter to stamp depicting heroes

A man in personal protective gear joins workers, farmers and intellectuals in state propaganda artwork

North Korea is known for corralling artists to make iconic propaganda that relays the government’s core messages — and now, state media has unveiled a new postage stamp that’s certainly a sign of the times.

Pyongyang released a stamp featuring an anti-epidemic sanitation worker wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE), adding to a recent trend of including COVID-19 imagery in the country’s “socialist-realist” artwork. (As one expert put it, this type of art “attempts to show reality by expressing the subtlety of human’s inner emotions.”)