Kim Jong-un’s state “completely destroyed” an empty office used for inter-Korean communication as part of an overblown public display on Tuesday. The “terrific explosion” happened in Kaesong around five miles from the demilitarised zone, which serves as a border with South Korea. White and later black smoke could be seen billowing from the building from the southern state in a warning of further military action against the state. The climactic scenes came amid soaring tensions between the two nations, which were heightened when anti-Kim Jong-un pamphlets were sent into the hermit state. Since North Korea’s inception in 1948 under the current leader’s grandfather Kim Il-sung, have remained in power through exerting control over its nation. They have done so through propaganda, censorship and restriction of what citizens can and can’t do. But in recent times, the “false reality” painted by the nation’s rulers has come under threat from the outside world. In response the Supreme Leader’s sister Kim Yo-jong decried attempts to interfere with their state and spread dissent. This isn’t the first time in recent months that the regime has felt threatened by outside influence – and the state’s efforts to isolate itself even further on the international stage could suggest growing resentment domestically.
In March, the Workers’ Party Newspaper, which is run by the North Korean government, warned of “imperialist cultural poisoning” and “invisible enemies”.
They told citizens that outsiders were “desperately scheming to cleverly hide their rotten ideology and culture in texts, melodies, and daily necessities”.
The government claimed that young people were being especially targeted by the opponents of the state, who wanted to get them “addicted to the punk-style” – where people rebel against their government.
US-backed Radio Free Asia claimed that parents faced punishments if teenagers were found to have western pop music on their mobile phones.
They also reported that government officials had launched a war on sex, after one source said: “More high school boys and girls are engaging in immoral sexual deviance.”
Outside influence on the hermit state’s society has provoked anger from Pyongyang officials, which only worsened after the recent discovery of South Korean parcels.
Items sent over the border included radios, Bibles, food, US currency and leaflets that they believe were intended to poison the public against the Kim dynasty.
Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korea’s Supreme Leader, blasted the defectors who reportedly sent items as “human scum little short of wild animals who betrayed their own homeland”.
She told the newspaper Rodong Sinmun that South Korean authorities should “take care of the consequences of evil conduct done by the rubbish-like mongrel dogs”.
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Yo-jong added: “I detest those who feign ignorance or encourage more than those who move to do others harm.”
Last week, their anger peaked in a statement that the department in-charge of affairs with the “enemy” had been instructed to “decisively carry out the next action”.
At the time, many speculated that it was a military threat that would see North Korean soldiers edge closer to the border before the explosion on Tuesday.
One motive behind such a visual demonstration – that was visible inside South Korea – might be the outside world exposing propaganda and lies spread within the state.
In previous years, the nation has suffered with crippling famine and starvation, while their leaders have spent millions on expensive wines, cheese and chocolate.
Chris Mikul, who wrote about North Korea in ‘My Favourite Dictators’ last year, believes the regime’s eventual collapse will horrify citizens who will finally see reality and how their leaders have lied to them.
In May, he told Express.co.uk: “I don’t think it will end any time soon but when it does fall it could be disastrous.
“The country will suddenly open up, allowing the populace to be exposed to the truth and they will realise that they have been living in a ‘Wizard of Oz’ situation.
“I think it will be a nightmare for a lot of people, there could be a lot of suicides because of the devastation from finally seeing reality for the first time.”
‘My Favourite Dictators’ was written by Chris Mikul and published by Headpress in 2019, it’s available here.