Lunes, Hulyo 23, 2012

Kim Jong-un’s North Korea

“Powerful and prosperous nation” is North Korea’s motto when translated in English. With guiding principles from its legendary founders, NoKor closed its door to foreign influences as part of its self-prescribed process of becoming a well-built nation in the Korean peninsula. NoKorhas become a “private” country in Asia, with essential information kept secret from the rest of the world.

Until today, no good number of pictures or videos is available to give a glimpse of what is happening inside the country. News media bodies, the leading sources of facts about a country, are not given full access to cover stories in Pyongyang, the country’s capital city. Foreign volunteers, who bring donations from international organizations, are required to surrender their recording devices as to control the disclosure of information about the current situation of North Koreans.

 Kim Jong-un: the New Face of NoKor After the death of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in December last year, the young Kim Jong-un took the highest position in their government. The moment he was installed as the new head of NoKor, everyone started asking “who is he?” Kim Jong-un’s exact age is unknown. News reports, with sources from China and South Korea, say that the leader was born on January 8, 1983. Others claim he was born in 1984. The new leader was educated in Switzerland. He was described as a shy student, and a huge fan of basketball. He was not even the first choice of his father to succeed in the throne.

The first choice was his eldest half-brother Kim Jong-namwho was caught attempting to enter Japan using a fake passport. Kim Jong-nam’s plan was to visit Tokyo Disneyland. Speculations about Kim Jong-un continue trending, with North Korea state media not giving any confirmations or clarifications about the hearsays. The “Disneyfication” of North Korea In early July, pictures showing Kim Jong-unand other military leaders being entertained by Disney characters during a concert called “Moranbong” surfaced on the internet. As seen in the pictures, members of a North Korean band were dressed up as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Minnie Mouse and other Disney characters. According to news reports, state-run Korean Central News Agency never mentioned about the Disney characters during its coverage of the concert. As everyone knows, Disney is an American brand.

Everyone was then wondering what the American characters were doing in a country that once closed its door to western culture.According to the Disney management, North Korea has not obtained any right to use the characters. Moreover, it was not just the use of Disney characters that was put on hot seat. The world was also wondering about the lady who was beside the young leader in the pictures. The woman might be Kim Jong-un’s Mrs. Right, sister or simply a workmate. Later on, it was said that the lady is a divorcee and an admirer of Kim Jong-un. In the past few years, news about North Korea revolved around its nuclear power plants.

In fact, NoKor is the latest country to join the nuclear club in 2006. The tension between the North and South Korea became an international headline when NoKor released statements saying it can use its nuclear resources to turn South Korea into ashes. One of the latest nuclear-related news reports about NoKor was its failed missile test that gained international opposition.As long as North Korea has its doors closed; the rest of the world keeps on digging for more information about the country. The unexpected reports are a sign that the once private country is starting to welcome changes.

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