Why does North uses Propaganda?
People have the power to overthrow the regime, whose only recourse is to keep them uneducated and docile. No matter how much military power the North Korean Communist Party has, if the people turn against their government, the government will fall. Once people are exposed to liberal or independent ideas, they can spread such ideas to others, who will then feel the limitation of the state and thus initiate a revolution. Furthermore, if people are educated, they will sense the indoctrinating effort of the ruling party and thus go against the party. Historically, dictators like Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and even Vladimir Lenin, were well-aware that the masses posed the greatest threat and that anti-intellectualism and indoctrination were crucial in maintaining dominance over them. Therefore, schools provided only fundamental education and taught youngsters to praise the state and its leader. Youth organizations like Hitlerjugend indoctrinated younger generations to become puppets of the state with no independent thoughts. Dictators know that indoctrination and controlling the flow of information are the only ways to maintain tight control over their people, and the way to indoctrinate people and manipulate information is to utilize propaganda.
How does North uses propaganda?
The North Korean government constantly reminds people of the threat from the United States and South Korea. it puts people in a state of fear that the enemy might invade at any time. At the same time, the North Korean government uses propaganda to glorify Kim’s family and to exploit people’s labor. The types of propaganda can be separated into 5 categories below:
War propaganda was used frequently in the mid 1900s, but it is used quite often today to generate a war atmosphere in the country. As shown in the image, the propaganda portrays America as the country’s prime enemy. The sense of emergency and danger generated by the propaganda provides good excuses for the party to exert greater control over its people. It also acts to rationalize Kim’s plan to strengthen military instead of taking care of people’s livelihood.
2. Loyalty Propaganda
Loyalty Propaganda is often used to commemorate North’s past leader Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jung-il. It often glorifies the policy/achievement of the party or the Kim’s family.
3. Fear Propaganda
The fear propaganda is usually distributed not through the common medium we think of but through the news media and through hearsay. The best example of a fear propaganda is Jang Song Thaek’s (Kim Jung-Un’s uncle) execution. Jang Song Thaek was Kim Jung Un’s uncle and he was the main competitor of Kim Jung Un after Kim Jung-il’s death. By executing Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jung-Un aroused great fear among the elites in North Korea, establishing himself as the unchallenged supreme authority. Usually, fear is spread through public execution of both well-known and unknown personnel. As the words of cruel execution are spread from mouth to mouth, people remain subordinate to the party.
4. Amity Propaganda
Amity propaganda are used to emphasize the humanly aspect of Communist Party or the North Korean society. It often emphasizes the goods that the party has achieved for its people, or what Kim’s family has done to help out the citizens. Just like any other propaganda, the amity propaganda may look natural but in fact contain artificial contents to over-emphasize the good deed of the leader and the party.