North Koreans are one of the most, if not the most, brainwashed people in the world. The state’s incredible propaganda machine made their citizens believe that their country is the greatest nation in the world, be it in terms of military might or sports prowess, and that their leaders deserve nothing but reverence.
Starting from as young as four years old, children in North Korea are made to bow before giant posters of the country’s three supreme leaders from current leader Kim Jong Un, his father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung in a rather ritualistic display of obedience.
One Korean defector even revealed that children are taught such blind loyalty and obedience that they may not know their own mothers’ birthdays, but they are required to memorize by heart the birthdays of each of the supreme leaders.
Things may not last for long, as some observers are warning that a potential revolution could be in the offing for North Korea, to be initiated by its own citizens. For one, though unexpressed verbally due to the restrictions, there is a growing discontentment among the people as they continue to grapple with famine and starvation. People are getting impatient and enraged with the obvious imbalance in the country. The citizens are also growing more frustrated at the increased focus the state is bestowing on nuclear weapons and war even as they, the ordinary citizens, are going hungry.
Some have even taken an aim at the growing numbers of bronzed figures and paintings produced to honor the three Kims.
The belief is a civil war could break out. Thae Yong-ho, former ambassador to the UK, even went as far as to suggest than an Arab-Spring-style revolution could be in the horizon for North Korea. He also blamed Kim’s nuclear program as the trigger for people’s growing anxiety and discontentment.
Thae served as the chief of mission at Pyongyang’s embassy in Britain until he escaped from the country last year.
Thae also testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week where he told Congress in Washington that it might prove more effective to disseminate more information in the isolated country than to spend billions of dollars in military capabilities. He said that’s a better way of “educating the North Korean population.”
He said such helpful information would include destroying the myth that Kim is “God.”
Even if there’s a real threat that violent protests could spark in the country, Thae warned “that there is no doubt that Kim Jong Un would stomp it out mercilessly with his forces, even tanks.”
Thae also urged the U.S. in his speech to use “soft power” over force so that the lives of thousands of South Koreans need not be sacrificed in the event of an attack.