February 25, 2024

In Kim Jong Un’s speeches, Marx returns to North Korea

Reappearance of communism in country's discourse suggests regime's loss of ideological control due to pandemic

About a decade ago, North Korea took down the portraits of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin from Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, and the last vestiges of Marxism-Leninism in the country were suddenly gone.

The disappearance of the portraits followed the 2009 removal of all references to communism from the North Korean constitution, as the DPRK’s cultish leader worship system, known as Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism, became “the only guiding idea of the Party.”