Comrade Kim Goes Flying

No nation is as demonized today as North Korea. Portrayed on corporate media as a belligerent and militaristic “hermit kingdom” ruled by a mad man, it is said to be one big gulag labor camp guarded by nuclear weapons and perpetually suffering from famine.

Of course, as a country that challenges US imperialist hegemony, this antagonism from the world’s leading capitalist powers is to be expected. This is bound to intensify as the US continues its pivot to the Asia-Pacific and entrench its military forces in the region.

ckgf_posterA 2012 joint British-Belgian-North Korean film called Comrade Kim Goes Flying challenges these crude distortions. Telling the story of a North Korean coal miner who dreams of becoming a trapeze artist, the film offers valuable insights on life in North Korea.

Instead of the usual fare served by US imperialist propaganda we are shown how North Korea upholds  the rights and welfare of the workers and the empowerment of women as equals of men under socialism. We are shown the huge importance given to cultural performances, physical sports, and the arts and its popularization along an anti-imperialist, scientific, and mass-based orientation.

All these shed light on the often untold story of North Korea as a workers state seeking to construct socialism amidst international isolation in the world capitalist system and the constant threat of US imperialist aggression from military bases in its puppet regime in South Korea.

Comrade Kim Il Sung, led the Korean people in the struggle against Japanese imperialism during and before the Second World War. He led the people’s revolutionary government after liberation, founded the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1948, and defeated US imperialist aggression during the Korean War of 1950-1953 which killed millions of Koreans.

Comrade Kim Jong Il and now Comrade Kim Jong Un have succeeded Kim Il Sung in taking over leadership of the North Korea government. North Korea persists in defending the North Korean people’s independence and national sovereignty against US imperialism.



  1. Reblogged this on Radical Polemic and commented:
    This is extremely problematic. It reminds one of the propaganda that used to emanate from USSR even when it was at its repressive best. I think it is about time communists and other socialists start paying some attention to the harm that blindly supporting “actually existing socialisms” brings.
    Even if one ignores the reality [or debate] regarding what the North Korean regime is truly like, one cannot overlook the usage of individual glory, which is very uncommunist-like. Marxism and other theoretical tool for social transformation speaks of the masses being the prime movers of history and not some individuals.
    But it is no surprise, because in a regime where the supremo simply chooses the next one in line, as it happened in some damn monarchy, individualism of the most dangerous type is being practiced. Glorifying the leader and indeed glorifying any individual and then using it for political gains is definitely bourgeoisie individualism. The culture of personality cult in several such “really existing socialism”s is refused to be seen by many Maoists and many other brands of socialists.

    1. Withholding support for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea just because of its so-called “personality cult” misses the point. The role of the Kims as national symbols of the North Korean regime can be traced to Kim Il Sung’s real role in the anti-Japanese resistance as well as the post-war reconstruction. While indeed problematic, this extreme glorification cannot be separated from the historical specificity of the legacy of a strong soviet influence as well as the constant threat of US military aggression from the south.

      Nevertheless, North Korea is a country, now composed mainly of workers, which implemented land reform and stood up against foreign monopoly capital. It has a strong state which provides the essential needs of the people from food, housing, healthcare, and education and ensures women empowerment. And it is perfectly capable of defending these gains and its sovereignty with a strong military. This is the other side of the story that is depicted in the film Comrade Kim Goes Flying.

      In spite of the contradictions inherent in the North Korean project of constructing socialism in accordance with the Juche idea of self-reliance, it is a progressive aspect in the struggle against US imperialism. It is in this context necessary for progressives to take a stand for North Korea against US imperialist aggression.

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