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Post: North Korea – The iron claw of the dictatorship


Propaganda, intimidation and surveillance are pillars of North Korean society. These are top secret structures that almost no one sees. Because the country is tightly closed to the outside world.

Rise of a family clan

The Kim dynasty begins with Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un. From 1948, the founder of the regime remained in power until 1994. Thanks to a personality cult like no other in the world, he creates a regime according to his own ideas. He was appointed permanent president after his death and thus officially still rules the country.

His son, Kim Jong Il, will remain in office until his death in 2011. If incumbent President Kim Jong Un dies, his sister Kim Yo Jong or daughter Kim Ju Ae will likely succeed him. It’s a family affair.

daily espionage

Ruler Kim Jong-un stands close to the public at a crowded event.

The North Korean government exercises complete control over the country and its people, using everything from repression, death sentences, detention camps to an extensive surveillance system.
From birth to death, every North Korean owes absolute loyalty to the Kim family. This means, among other things, that everyone is responsible for keeping an eye on their loved ones, spying on their neighbors. Spouses can even sue each other before the Ministry of Public Security. The regime was inspired by Soviet methods and took them to the extreme so that no one forgets to smile in official photos.

Even if Kim Jong Un now allows modernization, especially in the capital Pyongyang, the repression in North Korea is seen as unprecedented. Due to the country’s tight isolation, details are rarely made public. In the ZDFinfo documentary, among other things, refugees talk about life in a regime where everything is about keeping the Kim dynasty in power forever.

Inside North Korea

North Korea: Geopolitically, a small country is always the focus of global attention. Now three generations make up the Kim dynasty, a reign of oppression and isolation. What are their power strategies at home in their own country and abroad for the rest of the world?

Source: ZDF

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