November 29, 2023

Why North Korean films depict foreigners as ditsy Kim family worshipers

State narratives twist history to avoid glorifying outsiders, portraying even Soviet heroes as dependent on DPRK peers

It’s no secret that North Korean propaganda takes a harsh view of the U.S. A recent state-organized rally featured citizens vowing to kill Americans. The infamous Sinchon Museum of American War Atrocities depicts U.S. soldiers as brutal murderers who tortured Koreans and massacred innocents.

By comparison, the DPRK’s portrayals of people from the former Soviet Union and China are far more positive. But a closer examination shows that even with friends, state propaganda has long been wary of depicting foreigners too favorably.