Sino-North Korean Propaganda

A couple of small items of note came across the Huanqiu Shibao transom this past week, most interestingly (though not necessarily significantly) as relates to mutual encouragement and propaganda.  Every so often North Korea obviously plays China’s game for a Chinese audience, and Xinhua gladly feeds NK propaganda on an unfiltered chain to a mainland audience, even though that audience is probably more likely to guffaw or ignore than to say what the North Koreans want them to say, e.g., “What thoughtful and respectful North Korean allies we have!”

I’m referring to this rather obvious photo-op gallery in a Pyongyang middle school (entitled “Secret!”)  wherein the students are allegedly having a “Mao Zedong” class as part of an exchange program that has been going on since 1959, which is when China is said to have started “Kim Il Sung class” in certain Beijing schools.  Right…Perhaps we could also recall that at the same time in 1959, during the disasterous Great Leap Forward, Chinese peasants in Northeast China were in fact fleeing to the DPRK for food, and the DPRK paid only the most passing obsequies to Mao Zedong Theory.

Students at East Pyongyang #1 Middle School in "Mao Zedong class"

And then there is a collection of photos implying that Chinese should bow to Kim Il Sung , a collection whose very existance argues for the wonders of Chinese tourism in North Korea.  As most people know, the DPRK is increasingly reliant on Chinese money, and, as a counterbalance to the need from capital from South Korea, Chinese tourists might work wonders in allowing  Pyongyang more latitude.

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