Year 2011 was certainly a bad year for dictators. Kim Jong-Il, the supreme leader of Totalitarian regime in North Korea had passed away following a heart attack at the age of 69. His place was replaced by his own son, Kim Jong-Eun. It was already predicted to find North Koreans were shedding tears over the passing of a dictator. However, what may surprise is that some of the tears shed are spontaneous and authentic (Jones, 2011). Are these people really loved their leader or it is just an aftermath of dictatorship?
North Korea that also known as Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is notorious with its totalitarian Stalinist dictatorship in the world. North Koreans are been considered by the outsides as a society that had been violated their basic human’s rights by its own regime. For many years since World War II, North Korea's economy has had double digit growth rates, while their citizens lived in poverty (Osborn, 1997). Many of the financial investment are been channel to the empowerment of the military. Political policy along with a changing world economy has left this Stalinist Dictatorship country in the dark ages.
Despite of what the regime had done to its country, the people remain idolizing their supreme leader. They even mourned the loss of their cruel leader, Kim Jong-Il. Images of weeping North Koreans have filled the western media. But is their grief real? Some have suggested that the hysterical displays of mourning were staged. Some say their griefs are authentic. The question is, are the citizens really respect and love their leader or they just fear of him? And if they do love their leader why is so?
Cult of personality
Cult of personality of the North Korea leader may become one of the strongest reasons why the citizens idolized him so much. Cult of personality itself is a system in which a leader is able to control a group of people through the sheer force of his personality and is often portrayed as a god-like figure. In fact, in North Korea, criticism of the leader is generally prohibited, and state-sponsored media are employed to ensure that the masses are giving a consistent picture of the leader's perfection. It consolidates North Korea’s political power through elaborated myths and propaganda about the DPRK leaders. Kim Jong-Eun and DPRK’s predecessors are been idolized and becoming heroic father figures (Haggard and Noland, 2010). Kim Jong-Il, former North Korea leader maintained his authority and image his "cult of personality" through sophisticated propaganda techniques as well as extreme brutality. For decades, North Korea’s leadership is dependent on the cult of personality. Journalist Bradley Martin documented visiting North Korea in 1979 he noted that nearly all music, art, and sculpture that he observed, are glorifying "Great Leader" Kim Il-sung, whose personality cult was then being extended to his son, "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il, and these days to his grandson, “Young Master” Kim Jong-Eun. Nevertheless, Kim Il-sung rejected the notion that he had created a cult around himself (as cited by Osborn, 1997). Myers (2011) mention a US religious organization had done a freedom investigation on North Korea and unsuprisingly had supported Martin's observation where they claimed North Korean school children learn to thank Kim Il-sung for all blessings that they have everyday. The cult of Kim Il-Sung continues into the 21st century despite his death in 1994, with the erection of Yeong Saeng (eternal life) monuments throughout the country, each dedicated to the departed "Great Leader". In addition, citizens are expected to pay annual tribute on his official birthday or the anniversary of his death. Hwang Jang Yop (2002) proposed that North Korean leaders claimed that socio political life form was a society that moves under a unique ideology of the Great Leader. In addition, the Great Leader is at the centre of this...