Romance, humor, tension — everyone loves a good sitcom, even North Koreans. But in North Korea, TV dramas are more than mere entertainment. They play a crucial political role by serving as a key messenger of party and government policy. They aim to shape social and cultural mores in North Korean society. And in the Kim Jong-un era, they act as an advertisement for the “good life” promised to the political elite.Read More
Meticulously choreographed military parades. Strident news announcements on state television. Missile tests presided over by a grinning Kim Jong Un. Propaganda from North Korea comes to us fully formed and almost alluring in its opacity: a finished product that has been carefully constructed to convey an idealized image of strength and unity.
Carl De Keyzer, a photographer based in Belgium, offers a different and more intimate view: a glimpse of the process of indoctrination within North Korea.Read More
If President Trump thinks that his threats last week of “fire and fury” and weapons “locked and loaded” have North Koreans quaking in their boots, he should think again. If anything, the Mao-suit-clad cadres in Pyongyang are probably gleeful that the president of the United States has played straight into their propaganda.Read More
North Korea's newest batch of future soldiers scrawny 11-year-olds with freshly shaved heads punch the air as they practice taekwondo on the grounds of the Mangyongdae Revolutionary School. Students and teachers here say they're studying harder these days to prepare for a fight.Read More
An international film festival opens Thursday in what may seem the unlikeliest of places: North Korea. Held every two years, the Pyongyang International Film Festival offers North Koreans their only chance to see a wide array of foreign films on the big screen — from Britain, Germany and elsewhere (but not America). And it's the only time foreigners are allowed into North Korean theaters to watch movies alongside locals.Read More
For North Koreans, the systematic indoctrination of anti-Americanism starts as early as kindergarten and is as much a part of the curriculum as learning to count.Read More
The resemblance is striking: the full cheeks and quick smile, the confident gait, the habit of gesturing with both hands when he speaks.North Korea's young new leader, Kim Jong Un, appears to be fashioning himself as the reincarnation of Kim Il Sung, his grandfather and the nation's founder, as he seeks to solidify his hold on the nation of 24 million in the wake of his father's death last month.Read More