Myers, Brian
December 2008
Acta Koreana;Dec2008, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p161
Academic Journal
The only significant part of North Korean propaganda that is uncritically accepted in the foreign research community is the regime's claim to be guided in its policy-making by Kim I1 Sung's Juche Thought. Oddly enough the Western consensus regarding Juche's crucial importance to Pyongyang has never been accompanied by much research into the doctrine. Usually it is described in a sentence or two as a cult-like ideology of self-reliance. The following article sets out to show that the conventional wisdom is mistaken: Juche Thought exists to be praised and not read, let alone implemented. The little paraphrasable sense that can be extracted from the official sources is not only distinct from, but in many respects incompatible with, the paranoid, race-based nationalism that has always constituted North Korea's true dominant ideology. In addition, the article seeks to explain how it was that the outside world accepted the Juche myth no less readily than did the North Korean people themselves.


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