Kim Jong-Un and North Korea

Kim Jong-un and North Korea
Succession of Kim Jong-un
North Korea and the World
Relationship with South Korea
Image from
"Maps courtesy of
used with permission"
PowerPoint Topic Index
Succession of Kim Jong-un
– Where is North Korea?
– Official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)
– North Korean leaders
– The capital is Pyongyang
– Who is Kim Jong-un? “Great Successor”
• Mystery--no picture until 2010
• Hermit Kingdom
• Cult of Personality/ Confucian traditions and Communism and state-sponsored brainwashing
• People sent to labor camps for not mourning enough for his father’s death
North Korea and the World
– Juche system==national self-reliance and extreme isolation, racial purity; cannot marry non-Koreans
– A member of Bush’s “Axis of Evil”
• 2003 reactivated nuclear reactor
• Will they sell nuclear weapons?
– North Korea (and South Korea) have been invaded often by China, Mongols, the Manchu, and Japan.
– The Korea Peninsula has been occupied for 900 out of 2000 years
Relationship with South Korea (ROK Republic of Korea)
– 1945 Country divided after WW2--Russia in the North, U.S. in the South
– 1950–1953 Korean War
– DMZ=Demilitarized Zone
North Korea Today
– Present-day situation
Group Activity
– Students read portions of a congressional report and decide “Should Japan have nuclear weapons to protect itself from North Korea?”
and “What do you think North Korea’s reaction would be if Japan developed nuclear weapons?”
Additional Resources
– Columbia University’s Asia for Educators website
Where is North Korea?
Draw a map of North Korea in your notes.
China is to the north and west of North Korea.
South Korea is to the south of North Korea.
Japan is to the east of North Korea.
Map From Google Earth,126.738281&spn=14.423854,35.463867&t=m&hnear=United+States&z
If available
to Google
and find
• Other ways to view North Korea on Google Earth:
• Place your mouse on the Satellite button and then
click on Photos option and you will see photos.
Map From Google Earth,126.738281&spn=14.423854,35.463867&t=m&hnear=United+States&z=5&
North Korea’s Name
North Korea’s official name is
the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)
•North Korea is NOT a democracy.
•A democracy is where power is vested in the people, who express it through
a free electoral system. Elections are held to decide who will be the leaders.
•The definition of democratic is favoring social equality; egalitarian (or
without social classes). Communism states that all of the workers own
everything but in reality that does not happen.
North Korean Leaders- While Kim Il-sung was elected his son
and grandson are considered dictators, which means they
were not elected but took control of the country.
• "Great Leader" Kim Il-sung,
– Grandfather
– First premier 1948-1994
– Born 1912; died 1994
• "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il
– Father
– Second premier 1994-2011
– Born 1942; died 2011
• “The Great Successor” Kim Jong-un
– Premier since 2011
– Born 1983 or 1984
North Korea’s
capital city is
Click on link to hear audio
pronunciation for Pyongyang at
Pyongyang images from
All CC/PD sources: File:Pyongyang western view April
2010.jpg File:Juche Tower.jpg File:Kumsusan Memorial
Palace, Pyongyang.jpg File:PyongYang-Arch of
Triumph.jpg File:Arch of Reunification.jpg File:Tomb of
King Tongmyong, Pyongyang, North Korea-2.jpg
The Hermit Kingdom
• During Korea’s Joseon Dynasty, around
the late 1800s, Korea kept to itself and
had limited contact with the outside
world. Other countries called Korea
“The Hermit Kingdom”.
• North Korea today continues this
isolationist policy.
• They are very secretive. They do not
allow many people into their country.
• Until 2010, there was only one picture
of their future leader, Kim Jong-un.
(To hear how to pronounce his name click on link
Only the top North Korean leaders have Internet access. Many North
Koreans do not even know it exists. Why do you think North Korea bans the
Internet from its citizens?
Cult of Personality
North Koreans are told over and over that their leaders care for
them and that they are great leaders. The following was written
about Kim Jong-un’s grandfather and father, who were both
leaders of North Korea before him.
“Journalist Bradley Martin documented the personality cults of North Korea's "Great
Leader" Kim Il-sung and "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il.[15] While visiting North Korea in
1979 he noted that nearly all music, art, and sculpture that he observed glorified
"Great Leader" Kim Il-sung, whose personality cult was then being extended to his
son, "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il.[15] Kim Il-sung rejected the notion that he had
created a cult around himself and accused those who suggested so of
"factionalism".[15] A U.S. religious freedom investigation confirmed Martin's
observation that North Korean schoolchildren learn to thank Kim Il-sung for all
blessings as part of the cult.”[16]
Listen to an example of what plays on their radios. The song is about Kim Jong-un’s
father and is called “No Motherland without you (with English and French subtitles)
Click on the link:
Reflection Questions?
• How would you feel if you could only listen to
music about how great your leader is?
• What part of the Constitution prevents this
action from happening in the U.S.?
• After reading the paragraph, what is another
reason that North Korea bans Internet access?
• Using evidence from the paragraph and the
song, what do you think is the definition of
“cult of personality”? What examples did you
use to understand the phrase?
Cult of Personality
image from
• A cult of personality arises when an individual
uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods,
to create an idealized and heroic public image,
often through unquestioning flattery and praise.[1]
Cults of personality are usually associated with
For example Kim Jong-un’s grandfather,
Kim Il Sung, called the “Great Leader,”
had 34,000 statues of himself built in
North Korea.
Kim Jong-un punishes people
for not crying at his father’s death
• YouTube video of North Korean mourners
• North Korea To Punish Mourners Who Were Insincere—
An anonymous source tells the Daily NK, a South Korea-based publication
in opposition of the North Korean regime, that "authorities are handing
down at least six months in a labor-training camp to anybody who didn't
participate in the organized gatherings" to mourn the death of Supreme
Leader Kim Jong Il, and to those "who did participate but didn't cry and
didn't seem genuine.”
• “Every day from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm they have vehicles for broadcast
propaganda parked on busy roads full of people going to and from work,
noisily working to proclaim Kim Jong-un’s greatness,” the source
What part of the U.S. Constitution prevents a person from being
grabbed from the street in the U.S.?
Juche system
North Korea believes in the Juche system.
(Pronounced choo-CHAY or click on link to hear
The Juche system stresses
national self-reliance, extreme
isolation, and racial purity.
North Koreans are not allowed
to not marry non-Koreans.
The picture says “Long live the
great Juche idea!”
North Korea and the United States
President Bush first calls North Korea part of the
“Axis of Evil" in his 2002 State of the Union Address.
• President Bush called North Korea "a regime arming with missiles and
weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.”
• President Bush was concerned that North Korea would sell nuclear
weapons to terrorists. This announcement came right after September 11.
• In 2003, North Korea withdraws from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,
which was an agreement not to create or test nuclear weapons.
North Korea’s Aggressive Actions
From March 2011,
U.S. Department of State’s Comment about North Korea
“Despite the tremendous opportunities in Asia that have
become part of our popular discourse, one country stands
out as an outlier, and in fact an impediment, to the region’s
promising future: the Democratic People’s Republic of
Korea’s (DPRK). The DPRK’s brazen attack on the ROK
(Republic of Korea) corvette Cheonan in March of last year,
its recent disclosure of a uranium enrichment program, its
shelling of Yeonpyong Island that resulted in the tragic loss
of South Korean lives, and its ongoing human rights
violations underscore the threat that the DPRK’s policies
and provocations, including its nuclear and ballistic missile
programs and proliferation activities, pose to regional
stability and global security.”
Corvette Cheonan
Click for video of shelling of
Yeonpyong Island
Reading for Understanding: What five items did North Korea do that could
destabilize the region? What does destabilize mean? What is a corvette? (Hint: it is
not a car in this context) How could you find out the meaning of these words? What
does provocations mean? What are proliferation activities? What other words are
difficult? Look up the definitions of these words and then reread the passage.
• North Korea spends the most money,
compared to its gross domestic product,
of all the countries in the world on building
up its military. Why?
Koreans often use the proverb 'when whales fight,
the shrimp’s back is broken' to describe their
country’s attack by larger, more powerful
neighbors, China and Japan, throughout its history.
Out of its 2,000-year-history, it has been invaded
and occupied for 900 years by foreign forces—
China, the Mongols, the Manchu, and Japan.
Japan invades Korea
in 1910 and rules it
until 1945
• Japan treated the Koreans
very harshly.
• They took jobs that Koreans had and many
Koreans were unemployed.
• They made Koreans speak Japanese and made
them change their Korean names to Japanese.
• How would you feel if you were told you
couldn’t speak English anymore and had to
change your name?
In 1945, Korea is liberated from Japan
The USSR (Russia) arrives from the
North to attack the Japanese.
The USSR wanted Korea to be a
communist country.
The U.S. arrives from the South to
attack the Japanese.
The U.S. wanted Korea to be a
democratic country.
They divided Korea at the 38th
Parallel to avoid more fighting.
They did not ask the Koreans if they
wanted their country divided.
Korean War
• In 1950, North Korea’s leader, Kim Il-sung, (grandfather
to Kim Jong-un) orders the North Korean military to
attack South Korea.
• The YouTube video shows how at first North Korea was
winning but as the UN forces enter into the battle
South Korea starts to win. The dynamics change again
when China enters the battle. After watching the video
answer the question “Why do you think China entered
the war?”
Millions of People Died
during the Korean War
Korean War Armistice
• In 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed.
• An armistice is when both sides agree to stop
fighting, however, North Korea and South
Korea are still officially at war.
DMZ- Demilitarized Zone
• The DMZ is a buffer
zone between North
Korea and South Korea.
• It is 160 miles long and
2.5 miles wide.
• There are 1 million
land mines in it.
• There are 2 million
soldiers guarding it.
3 minute video about Korean War and DMZ
North Korea Today
• Bush's 'Evil' Trio Holds Sway Over U.S. Decade Later
By BRIAN MURPHY Associated Press, February 4, 2012 (AP),
“Bush's speech came less than two years after a landmark trip to
North Korea by Madeleine Albright, President Bill Clinton's
secretary of state. North Korea reacted to the “Axis of Evil" label by
calling it "little short of declaring a war," and it went on to twice
detonate nuclear devices and to test-fire missiles.”
“While the relationship with the U.S. remains tense, the death in
December of Kim Jong Il, who led North Korea during the Bush
administration, opened the way for his young, inexperienced son,
Kim Jong-un. His government has recently suggested through state
media that it remains open to suspending uranium enrichment in
return for food aid.”
North Korea Today
• “While China is North Korea's major economic and political backer,
relations with the U.S. are a high priority among officials in
Pyongyang. North Korea's willingness to make a deal with
Washington is seen as a crucial pointer to how the country will
behave as it extends the Kim dynasty into a third generation.”
• “All eyes are on Kim Jong-un to see how he consolidates power.
There are fears that North Korea could seek to bolster his credentials
and strengthen national unity by conducting a missile or nuclear test,
or by picking a fight with South Korea.”
• “The current nuclear crisis began in October 2002 when the Bush
administration said North Korea admitted to a secret uranium
program during U.S.-North Korean talks in Pyongyang. North Korea
long rejected the uranium allegations, but in 2010 it unveiled an
industrial-scale uranium enrichment facility.”
Bush's 'Evil' Trio Holds Sway Over US Decade Later By BRIAN MURPHY Associated Press,
February 4, 2012 (AP),
North Korea Today
• “South Korean analysts differ about the importance of Bush's now-famous
• “Jeung Young-tae of the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul said it
was part of Bush's "realistic North Korea policy" responding to North Korea's
tactic of disavowing nuclear ambitions to get aid while covertly breaking its
• "The Bush administration came to understand the true nature of North Korea,"
Jeung said.
• “Yoo Ho-yeol, a professor at Korea University, said, however, that the “Axis of Evil"
designation "considerably undermined" ties with North Korea. "It was a turning
point," Yoo said. "In the following ten years, North Korea and the United States
have failed to build mutual trust between them.“”
• Bush's 'Evil' Trio Holds Sway Over US Decade Later
By BRIAN MURPHY Associated Press, February 4, 2012 (AP),
North Korea Today
• People debate about how to handle the North
Korea situation. How do you deal with a country
that is aggressive to other countries?
• Hillary Clinton comments as the U.S. Secretary of
State “We both share a common interest in a
peaceful and stable transition in North Korea as
well as ensuring regional peace and stability.”
• The United States and Japan are partners in the socalled Six Party Talks, which, along with South
Korea, China and Russia, aim to rid North Korea of
its nuclear program
• Double click the link below to hear a 30 second
longer speech.
How would you deal with North Korea if you were the U.S. President?
The Future?
• In April and May of 2011, The United States and
the Republic of Korea (South Korea) plan to
conduct military exercises in the area.
• No one knows for sure what will happen.
What do you think could happen? Why?
Reflection Questions
• The “Hermit Kingdom” was a name used to
describe Korea prior to 1900. Why could North
Korea be called a “Hermit Kingdom” today?
• What are some of the differences between
North Korea and the United States?
Group Activity
Pretend you are a member of Congress.
• Japan is nervous about the possibility of North Korea attacking them with
nuclear weapons.
• Read “Japan’s Nuclear Future: Policy Debate, Prospects and US Interests” (page 1 “Introduction”, page 2 to
3 “An Evolving Security Environment in Asia”, page 9 “International Diplomatic
Consequences, and p 12 “Future of the Korean Peninsula) and decide if you
think it is a good idea or a bad idea for Japan to develop nuclear weapons.
Why did you make your decision?
What do you think North Korea’s reaction may be if
Japan creates nuclear weapons? Why?
• If there is time, create a PowerPoint justifying
your analysis. Be sure to include facts for your decision.
See Columbia University’s Asia for Educators site for more information and
lesson plans about Korea’s past and present and other Asian countries.
Free classes are offered to teachers in certain States.