Why They Love Their Oppressive Leaders

Dec 19, 2011

South Korean troops are on high alert today after the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong iI. Kim’s chosen successor and third son, Kim Jong Un, now becomes the figurehead of an exalted dynasty that is revered by the citizens, despite a dismal quality of life inside of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea or D.P.N.K. Such abject devotion is a puzzle to us, and to baffled foreign policy experts who’ve tried to make sense of the isolated country that glorifies its leader as “our Great Mother.” Over the next few days, we’ll likely hear about a nation in deep mourning…the transfer of power…maybe some saber rattling…and again wonder how Kim manage to inspire and oppress at the same time. We spoke to North Korea analyst B.R. Myers last year about his book, The Cleanest Race. He sifted through decades of propaganda to better understand the paranoia, nationalism and racism fueling the D.P.N.K's brazen behavior on the world stage.