Saturday, February 14, 2015

North Korea, “a Country of Mushrooms” with 310 New Slogans


SEOUL – “Make women assist their husbands,” “Defend Kim Jong-un by forming human rings around him” and “Build a country of mushrooms” are a few examples among the 310 new propaganda slogans launched by the regime governing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), commonly known as North Korea.

There are no private advertising spaces along the streets of North Korea.

Instead, their place is occupied by propaganda boards with words praising the Kim dynasty, the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and the socialist nation’s progress, or marking the 70th anniversary of the end of Japanese colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula.

“Let all the service personnel and people form rings and rings of fortress around the respected comrade Kim Jong-un!” reads one of the new slogans, which, according to the regime’s Friday announcement, will be displayed on billboards along the streets and distributed throughout every corner of the country.

The slogans praising the Kim dynasty are prioritized to promote loyalty towards the family that has ruled the country with an iron fist since its foundation in 1948, South Korean analyst Chang Yong-seok told Efe.

Chang, an expert on North Korea at Seoul National University, underlines that many of the new mottos show the regime’s will to improve the economy and tackle the chronic food scarcity that has plagued the country since the 1990s.

Some other slogans on the list are “Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms by making mushroom cultivation scientific, intensive and industrialized!” and “Make fruits cascade down and their sweet aroma fill the air on the sea of apple trees!”

A chauvinist touch can also be found in the slogan “Let the wives of officers become dependable assistants to their husbands!”

In this regard, Chang explains: “In contrast to the original ideas of socialism, North Korea is a very patriarchal and sexist society.”

Jang Jin-sung, a North Korean writer who is now a refugee in Seoul and was former propagandist for Pyongyang, believes that these slogans mainly serve to inform subjects about the Workers’ Party’s political direction, as well as glorify the nation’s army and warn of the harsh punishments awaiting dissenters.

Jang is extremely skeptical about the effectiveness of such propaganda, and says that people have become indifferent to these types of measures.


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