London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

North Korean fashion, North Korean hagiography. Two recent articles worth reading

In the last couple of weeks we’ve had wall-to-wall coverage of succession issues in the DPRK, and there’s been far too much to read even half of it. Some organs which previously have had little coverage of the Korean peninsula have had to publish some platitudes just to show willing, while other publications have wheeled out their big guns. But when the DPRK spin doctors are creating their own mythologies around the background of the new leader it’s as difficult as ever to figure out what’s going on.

Amongst all this deluge of stuff, one of the more interesting and entertaining reads is over on Adam Cathcart’s blog. In a post entitled Songun, Tangun, Son of Paektu, etc.: Kim Jong Un Documentary he annotates the above hour-long hagiography of the new North Korean leader shown on North Korean TV, available on YouTube.

A brief taster:

39:00 – Does the music while Kim is in the computer room have an association with CNC technology? It’s orchestral and grand; he could have a worse theme song. Kim Jong Un then proceeds to manipulate a computer mouse, single-handedly surpassing both of his predecessors.

If the video comes across as rather tedious after a while, try something completely different: take a look at some North Korean fashion from the decade of the new leader’s birth over on Choson Exchange. The author of the article, Tad Farrell from NK News, is rather sniffy about the North Korean fashion sense. But to be perfectly honest I’d rather be wearing the more timeless Juche inspired garments than the ephemeral fluff that the Southerners were wearing at the time (there’s an amusing photo of women’s fashion in the South in the same article).

A sample of fashion items produced by North Korea in the 1980s - from Choson Exchange website
A sample of fashion items produced by North Korea in the 1980s - from Choson Exchange website

Make sure you check out an earlier article on the same topic by Choson Exchange’s Geoffrey See. There are more photos on Choson Exchange’s Facebook page and their Twitter Feed is here.

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