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.
A 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.