[imText1]The North Korean media has released a poster emphasizing the value of the June 15th North-South Joint Declaration. Of particular interest is the appearance on it of three intellectuals carrying a blue flag bearing the words “North-South Joint Declaration”.
The appearance of blue on a North Korean poster, as opposed to red, is very unusual. In North Korea, blue is reserved in propaganda circles as a symbol of autonomy and peace. Therefore, the poster can be said to represent North Korea’s most recent calls for dialogue, independent reunification and the establishment of a peace system on the Korean Peninsula.
Uriminzokkiri, the propaganda website run by North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland released the poster today under the title, “The North-South Joint Declaration is an unchangeable milestone for national prosperity and a banner of independent unification that must be implemented by the whole nation!”
Looking in more detail, each of the three intellectuals on the poster is bearing a book with the title of one of reunification principles (from top): the July 7th 1972 “Three Grand Principles for the Unification of the Fatherland”; July 4th 1993 “Ten Basic Principles of People’s Unity for the Unification of the Fatherland”; and October 1980 “Founding Plan for the Democratic Federal Republic of Korea”,
The three lie at the core of past “plans for unification” put forward by North Korea. Pyongyang is currently pressing for a dialogue with the South both at home and abroad by emphasizing its past efforts to achieve unification. Ultimately, therefore, the poster represents part of North Korea’s basic effort to present itself as the man of peace on the Korean Peninsula.
In a phone interview with The Daily NK, Cheong Seong Chang of Sejong Research Institute agreed, “It is rare for North Korea to use blue in posters and suchlike,” adding, “It was written to water down concerns by saying, ‘this is not to achieve a Communist takeover’.”
Cheong added, “It could have been deliberately written from the perspective of efforts to undermine our sense of vigilance.”
Kim Sun Cheol, who arrived in South Korea in 2009 after a long spell working in propaganda and agitation for the Chosun Workers’ Party said, “In North Korea, blue is called a symbol of autonomy and peace. However, this is the first time it has appeared on an official poster.”
“The appearance of a blue flag on this poster is not just for South Korea’s benefit, it seems to be to present the ‘man of peace’ image to international society as well,” Kim added.