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Pyongyang’s Seoul-bashing over publication of Kim Il Sung memoir

Pyongyang’s Seoul-bashing over publication of Kim Il Sung memoir

Posted May. 04, 2021 07:23,   

Updated May. 04, 2021 07:23


North Korea’s propaganda outlet inveighed against the latest controversy over the publication of “With the Century,” a memoir of North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung, in South Korea, labeling it “Hysterical craze” and “Fuss from impure forces.”

“Abnormal developments are unfolding in the South, which are far from common-sensical,” said Urimizokkiri, the North Korean propaganda website, on Monday about the controversies around the publication of the 8-volume memoirs of Kim Il Sung in South Korea. “The legal circles and the conservative media in South Korea are making a fuss and showing a hysterical craze over the publication of the memoirs, citing “breach” of national security law and “act of benefiting enemies”, the website added.

It was an overt expression‎ of dissatisfaction about the fact that “With the Century,” which is categorized as materials beneficial to the enemy in the South, has become the target of investigation with charges of violating national security law. “(Stopping the publication) is like trying to block the sunlight with hands; it is an absurd bravado and a fascist rashness from the reactionaries,” the website retorted. “It is a national disgrace that such encyclopedic guide of truthful life for the nation and the entire humanity has not been published in the South yet.”

“It is questionable how much freedom and democracy is actually allowed in South Korea,” said Meari, another North Korean propaganda website, in an article titled “Liberal Democracy without Freedom of the Press.” Even citing the burning of books and burying of scholars during the Qin dynasty, Meari claimed that it was denial of the freedom of the press, which is “the most rudimentary freedom of all for human beings.”

Experts say it was a carefully calculated move by the North as such harsh Seoul-bashing came up a day after the announcement of Kim Yo Jong statement. “The ultimate goal of Pyongyang’s propaganda is to bring discords and conflicts to South Korean society,” said Jeon Seong-hoon, a former head of the Korea Institute of National Unification. “Starting with Kim Yo Jong’s statement on Sunday, the North appears poised to gradually ratchet up pressure against the South.”

Oh-Hyuk Kwon hyuk@donga.com