With thunder in his voice

Thu Dec 7, 2006

This topic interests me because I lived for a year in South Korea in a little town close to the border. I went up to the border on more than one occasion and even have a piece of the barbed wire fence dividing North and South Korea. I’m waiting for re-unification. That piece of wire could be as momentous as having a piece of the Berlin wall. Anyway, if you have a minute to spare, check out this hilarious example of North Korean propaganda. In North Korea, legend has it that Kim Jong Il was born on top of a sacred mountain. The clouds opened up, and he came down from heaven…

In reality, Kim Jong Il was born in a Russian military camp. I should point out that the above video would be taken quite seriously in North Korea. If you have more time, then be sure to watch this fascinating documentary on Kim Jong Il and the Nuclear arms conflict. What I found especially fascinating is the way he infuses spiritual determinism into his political platform. He has set himself up as a sort of deity who is a father figure to the North Korean people. This representation is entirely congruent with Confucian ideology on hierarchical family structures where the nation is equal to a family and the father must always be obeyed.

Kim Jong Il started out in the communist party making propaganda movies and musicals and was said to have a lot of “girlfriends” in the industry. It’s incredible that there are still dictators like this in the world.

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