Korea Economic Institute: Soap Operas and Socialism: Kim Jong-un’s Policy Priorities through TV Dramas in North Korea

November 30, 2017

Soap Operas and Socialism: Kim Jong-un’s Policy Priorities through TV Dramas in North Korea

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 the party and government policy. While Kim Jong-il famously made films aggrandizing revolutionary ideals, Kim Jong-un’s medium of choice seems to be TV. Although the messages in these new dramas under Kim Jong-un may be less overt than those traditionally in North Korean films, they are nonetheless present and convey values unique from those of his father.
Please join KEI and veteran North Korea watcher Jean Lee for an interactive discussion of her new research on North Korean TV dramas and what we as outsiders can glean from them about Kim Jong-un’s policy priorities. 


Jean Lee
Global Fellow
The Wilson Center
Moderated by:
 Kyle Ferrier
Director of Academic Affairs and Research
Korea Economic Institute of America