Changing perceptions on the Korean War

North Korea has up until this day
maintained it was South Korea that invaded its territory, sparking up the
Korean War, but over the past few years, more people in the North are coming to
understand this is not the case.

In the month of June, Pyongyang has been
extensively propagating that the June 25th Korean War was an act of aggression
initiated by the United States and South Korea, but many members of the public
have been criticizing this, Daily NK has learned. 

“The number of people who have
concluded the Korean War was started by us (North Korea) is growing gradually,
a source from South Pyongan Province recently informed Daily NK
through a phone conversation.
Ever since the General
(Kim Jong Un) came to power, the frustrations of residents have been building
up. And they are criticizing propaganda claiming the Korean War was started by
the U.S. and the South, calling it a lie.

Sources in both North and South Hamkyung
Provinces reported the same sentiments to be pervasive in their respective regions.

“Claims that we (the North) invaded
the South have been around for a long time. Most men who have served in the
military say it does not make sense that we would have conquered most of the
South in a matter of days if we had been invaded,

explained the source.
By asserting it would have been
impossible to do so without us launching the attack, they are in fact
acknowledging we initiated war.

There are signs of growing dissatisfaction
among residents, and since Kim Jong Un took power such sentiments are taking on
different forms of expression, he said. Despite authorities holding all
kinds of anti-U.S. rallies and events at factories and school nationwide, in
light of the June
anti-American month, most people have snubbed such efforts by saying we started the war.” 

During the month of June, streets have been
plastered with anti-American slogans, lectures and classes are being shown on
television, and photo exhibitions are taking place as well. Schools and the Chosun Democratic Women
s Union
have even organized poetry readings and are screening movies on the Korean War
every day, according to the source.

“They also propagate that the Korean
War, which broke out 65 years ago, was a war of aggression led by the United States,
and that Americans are still looking for the right opportunity, while drawing
in massive weapons and military equipment to the South,
he asserted. “They encourage all residents to
participate in an
all-out resistance movement against
American Imperialists and their new provocations for war.’

However, people now see through the
hypocrisy of the leadership, commenting on how it so easily accepts rice and
medical support from its sworn enemy. According to the source, some younger people go so far as
criticizing the invasion itself saying the North was in fact defeated having
not been able to achieve its goal despite invading the South.

Although the Kim Jong Un leadership has
been trying to use the month of June to rally up loyalty from the public, as
communication methods improve and residents continue to rely more on and trust
each other, such efforts serve only to garner blunt criticism from the people, the source concluded.