Many people in North Korea today believe strongly in their leadership. They are very affected by what they are told. “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history” (George Orwell).This quote defines North Korean propaganda very well. People have no understanding of what actually happened in history, so they will believe, or do anything they are told. North Korean propaganda not only affects people in North Korea, but also people outside of it. Propaganda heavily impacts the people of North Korea mentally and physically.
Propaganda in North Korea heavily impacts people in and out of North Korea today.North Korea’s propaganda is very apocryphal. “Propaganda paints a reality of North Korea as a racially pure nation surrounded by scheming enemies- led by the United States- who are bent on invasion and enslavement” (Giles Hewitt).Many citizens in North Korea believe that this is the truth, because they don’t know any better. “‘The guy in the White House National Security Council knows it’s absurd, but the guy watching TV in Pyongyang is probably roaring his country on.’ said Daniel Pinkston, a North Korea analyst with International Crisis Group” (Giles Hewitt).This quote is basically saying that outside of North Korea people think that the North Korean propaganda is baloney, while the people inside North Korea are rooting their country on thinking that these things are true.
Again, even though new technology is being smuggled into North Korea, the majority of people still believe all of the propaganda that is being fed to them (Giles Hewitt). If you were caught with outside technology, you were looking at a very gloomy future to say the least. North Korea uses control of media content as a major propaganda source. “ Radios and TV were built or adapted to only receive official state- run stations, and it wasn’t long before print publications were leading forces behind an emerging Kim Il Sung idolization campaign. And at the same time the possession of foreign especially Korean newspapers and magazines would become a serious crime” (Chad O’Carroll). The North Korean Regime prides themselves on keeping the control of the technology and media content in North Korea. As new technologies enter North Korea the number of defectors is significantly increasing (Chad O’Carroll). As the increasing numbers of people in North Korea are learning the true nature of their country the numbers of citizens defecting are accumulating.
Therefore, defectors play a huge role in propaganda skepticism. Many defectors inform their families of the outside world. (Chad O’Carroll). This goes along with the idea that more people are defecting. The people were promised food, water, shelter, space,and other things needed to survive. To nobody’s surprise the citizens of North Korea never saw these things.“‘The government never speaks about any mistakes they made. North Korea’s TV station always talks about a good harvest every year; the country’s miraculous economic growth. But if all these things are true, why are the North Korean people so miserable?’ said Sung- Guk Choi.” The TV and radio stations allow for these things to happen because they have no other choice. If they didn’t cooperate they would be imprisoned, or killed.
Going along with the previous statement, North Korea regularly keeps an eye on the media content within the country. “Every drama for television and radio has to be ratified by the highest authority, even in it’s initial planning stage” (Julia Glum). This relates to the control of media content by the government. “… The presenter goes on to harshly criticize South Korea for suppressing its people and reports what’s going on with ‘friendly countries’ like Iran” (A Propaganda Merry-go-Round: What North Koreans Watch On TV). The North Korean Regime has jurisdiction over absolutely everything in the country. They regulate everything from thoughts to who someone is going to marry. The people in the country have no rights or freedoms. As they learn this they realize that they need to leave the country. Disbelief in the country’s leadership is more and more common among people, especially young schoolchildren, now than it used to be.
Now, young people are even more skeptical of the government and their leader. “The students giggle and sneer when they watch propaganda documentaries that brag that, at the tender age of three, Kim Jong Un was able to spell difficult words like Kwangmyeongseong Changa (‘hopeful paean’)” (Julia Glum). The school children think that propaganda is absurd. Children in school are taught at a very young age to worship their leader and country. As they grow older they realize that the propaganda in their country is ridiculous. One song that is laughed upon by young people is a song about Kim Jong Il. “‘The belief that is the strongest/ the will that is the firmest/ is yours, the great iron man, Kim Jong Il/ you are strong/ so strong that you will always win, go the lyrics of the Anthem of Belief and Will’” (A Propaganda Merry-go-Round: What North Koreans Watch On TV).
Many school children and young people think that this song about their leader is ludacris. “North Koreanleader Kim Jong Un’s alleged popularity problem among residents could be starting at a young age. Schoolchildren in North Korea ‘do not even consider Kim Jong Un to be a real leader,’ Daily NK reported” (Julia Glum). This quote perfectly defines how young people and schoolchildren think of their leader.
In conclusion, propaganda heavily impacts the people of North Korea mentally and physically. Propaganda directly affects the majority of people in the country today, but there are also skeptical people. As less and less people believe in the North Korean leadership more and more people are defecting. The North Korean Regime still has a very tight leash on the people there. But, more people are realizing that the lies the country has be feeding them for decades are false. Skepticism of the country’s leadership is especially common in North Korea today among young people. Propaganda affects many North Koreans today, but less than it did a decade ago.