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Korea Economic Institute of America Presents:

North Korean Policy Objectives through the Lens of the “Strong and Prosperous” Era in Literature

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Event Date

December 4th 12:00pm - 12:00am EST

Event Description

By April 15th, 2012 – the centennial of founder Kim Il-sung’s birth – the North Korean people were promised a “strong and prosperous nation” in which they would finally be able to enjoy the fruits of the communist utopia they had worked so hard to build. Many outside observers predicted that the regime’s over-promising would lead to internal unrest, particularly under the guidance of an untested young leader who had suddenly been thrust into power just months before the deadline. But when 2012 came and went with no signs of unrest, the slogan was quickly forgotten by the outside world.

By April 15th, 2012 – the centennial of founder Kim Il-sung’s birth – the North Korean people were promised a “strong and prosperous nation” in which they would finally be able to enjoy the fruits of the communist utopia they had worked so hard to build. Many outside observers predicted that the regime’s over-promising would lead to internal unrest, particularly under the guidance of an untested young leader who had suddenly been thrust into power just months before the deadline. But when 2012 came and went with no signs of unrest, the slogan was quickly forgotten by the outside world.

By April 15th, 2012 – the centennial of founder Kim Il-sung’s birth – the North Korean people were promised a “strong and prosperous nation” in which they would finally be able to enjoy the fruits of the communist utopia they had worked so hard to build. Many outside observers predicted that the regime’s over-promising would lead to internal unrest, particularly under the guidance of an untested young leader who had suddenly been thrust into power just months before the deadline. But when 2012 came and went with no signs of unrest, the slogan was quickly forgotten by the outside world.

However, within the pages of North Korea’s literary magazines and other state-produced agitation materials, the slogan kept popping up for years afterward. Rather than sweeping the idea under the rug or moving the goalpost to a new, more distant future date, the regime seems to have doubled down and proclaimed that the “strong and prosperous” era has indeed arrived.

However, within the pages of North Korea’s literary magazines and other state-produced agitation materials, the slogan kept popping up for years afterward. Rather than sweeping the idea under the rug or moving the goalpost to a new, more distant future date, the regime seems to have doubled down and proclaimed that the “strong and prosperous” era has indeed arrived.

Please join KEI for a presentation by North Korean literature expert Meredith Shaw on her analysis of how the “strong and prosperous” phraseology is being deployed in stories about Kim Jong-un and what it can tell us about the state’s policy priorities.

Please join KEI for a presentation by North Korean literature expert Meredith Shaw on her analysis of how the “strong and prosperous” phraseology is being deployed in stories about Kim Jong-un and what it can tell us about the state’s policy priorities.