[imText1]Following the Six-Party Talks Feb 13th Agreement, North Korean media has been publicizing “Mt Baekdu General’s courage and audacity.”
On the 25th, North Korea’s national website “Uriminzokkiri (Just between Korean Nation)” upheld the greatness of Kim Jong Il by applauding, “Through General Kim Jong Il, our nation’s pride and revolutionary confidence is shining at its best. We will not accept threats or the interfering schemes of other imperialist nations who are trying to trample our nation’s dignity and autonomy.”
Further, “Pyongyang Broadcast” a broadcast company that targets the South, announced on the 23rd “Zealous bravery and forceful power. This is the nature of our heroic General (Kim Jong Il) who takes on the form of Mount Baekdu” and proclaimed “Even in the early 1990’s, our General used invincible power and confidence to force the U.S. to withdraw from making inspections on our nuclear facilities. With vigor, he has protected our nation and the autonomy of our people.”
In the past, North Korean propagandists modified Kim Jong Il idolization to that of military-first ideology. Most recently, post the last round of Six-Party Talks, the words “Baedu Mountain’s audacity and strength” has been added to the monotonous Military First Politics song.
This trend is similar to propaganda instigated after the Geneva Conference in `94. At the first nuclear threat in `93, North Korea was in such a menace state of war that rumors spread claiming that “Yongbyun will be blasted by 200 enemy planes.”
At that time, while on the verge of war, it was agreed that 50,000 tons of fuel would be given to North Korea according to the Geneva Agreement. In response to this, North Korean propagandists focused on Kim Jong Il’s honorability arguing that it was “A gift from the U.S. to the great General.”
People’s response to idolization propaganda
It is clear that North Korea is trying to utilize the recent Feb 13th Agreement to further amalgamate the people’s regime with propaganda idolizing Kim Jong Il. Having received economic support from the outside for agreeing to begin the preliminary stages of dismantling its nukes, on the inside, Kim Jong Il’s bravery and audacity is being praised for having made the imperialists bow down to him.
However, unlike `94, North Koreans are responding with a different attitude. Contrary to the past, today discrete sentiments are being made across the social classes.
After the missile launch (July 15) and nuclear experiment (October 9), citizens responded “Whether or not a missile is launched or a nuclear experiment is conducted, it is no relevance to us. Living is hard enough!” whereas, those in power and the elite argued “Since we have become a nuclear possessing state, we can now fight and win against the U.S.”
In another sense, North Korean authorities seem to be trying to re-integrate the disparity of feelings between the people on the outcome of foreign affairs. Hence, advocating the nuclear experiment ensured economic gain.
We can confirm these premises by observing reports by governmental broadcasting agencies such as the (North Korean) Central News Agency, who are extracting phrases such as “freezing nukes” for “temporary suspension of nuclear facilities” and placing greater emphasis on economic aid such as a million tons of fuel and energy support rather than the true reality.
It seems that propagandists are trying to utilize the foreign system and unify the disintegrating inner North Korea by promoting Kim Kye Gwan’s attitude of anti-U.S. as well as concluding that “Kim Jong Il’s audacity” led to the visit of a U.S. high official and improvements to the U.S.-North Korea relationship.