Anti-U.S. Messages Promoted in North Korean Children Cartoons

The tension between North Korea and the USA is becoming more and more apparent as time goes on. With the promise of “fire and fury” from Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un’s threatened missile strike on Guam, it isn’t hard to see why.

As most people have realised, North Korea isn’t a pleasant or just place to reside. Once you take into account the lack of electricity, water, heating, etc. that most of the population experience, the strict military regime, the overwhelming amount of propaganda that is enforced onto the citizens and of course the many other communist, fascist and dictatorial qualities Kim Jong-un and his ancestors have enforced on their society during their rule, you realize why. The propaganda I previously talked about can be split into 4 basic categories:

  1. The greatness of their leaders, with an emphasis being put onto Kim Il-sung.
  2. The North Korean military and its strength.
  3. The North Korean people going about their lives in a joyous way.
  4. Negative depictions of the USA and South Korea.

The conflict between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump is certainly multiplying the amount of propaganda that shows negative depictions of the USA, but at what point has the North Korean government taken it too far?

On Wednesday, August 9, a children’s cartoon, called ‘The Hedgehog Defeats The Tiger” aired during Korean Central Television’s Children’s Hour. It is a normal kid’s cartoon in which a small hedgehog uses its underlying strength and wits to defeat a big, burly tiger, who bullies the hedgehog and his forest friends.

To anyone not properly acclimated on the current political climate between Pyongyang and Washington or North Korea’s unwavering and infamous use of propaganda, the hedgehog’s sweet, old tale might come across in a positive light. Unfortunately, that is before you remember a recent interview under the headline “US Had Better Refrain From Running Amok” with Kim Jong-son, a worker at the Pukchang Thermal Power Complex. He told KCNA that, “Current American ‘ignorance’ of North Korea, makes me remember the fairy tale ‘The Hedgehog Defeats the Tiger'”. He goes on to say, “In sharp contrast to the brave hedgehog, the characters of big animals winced at the swashbuckling tiger, reminding me of the present reality where no-one questions America. Watching them, I am very proud of the invincible might of my country”.  So, with this being said, it seems even children’s cartoons aren’t free of propaganda and anti-US messages in North Korea.

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Pippa is a British high school student who is interested in social justice, intersectional feminism and international issues.

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