April 22, 2024
Columns

How North Korea’s bizarre propaganda could outlive the Kim dynasty

Example of post-Soviet states suggests DPRK’s mythology may not disappear even after unification or regime collapse

North Koreans are fed a steady diet of propaganda and mythologized versions of their history, placing the Korean Peninsula at the center of world events and elevating Kim Il Sung as the greatest leader of the 21st century.

For outsiders, it is natural to think these fantasies glorifying a non-existent past or lionizing the Kim family will vanish once the Koreas reunify or the regime collapses. Once correct historical information is readily available, the falsehoods will disintegrate from exposure to direct sunlight — or so such thinking goes.

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