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Propaganda is when Western media tells you that the people of NK think the Kim family is full of gods, but it just isn’t true. They have a high reverence for the family that, in their minds, liberated the country and people, but they’re not brainwashed, as the media would have us believe.
The hate of all things American had its beginnings many years ago. North Korea blames the United States for dividing it from South Korea along the 38th parallel, right after World War II. It also has bitter memories of the 1950 U.S. invasion when American planes burned villages with napalm and U.S. tanks and troops pushed North Korean forces nearly to the Chinese border.
It is estimated as many as 4 million Koreans died in the fierce fighting and bombing, including an estimated 25 percent of the North’s population. “North Korea was flattened,” said University of Chicago historian Bruce Cumings.
“The North Koreans see the American bombing as a holocaust, and every child is taught about it.”
Ever since the war hatred of America has been a cornerstone of North Korean identity. The regime is organized around its massive military — 1 million strong in a country of 25 million — whose explicit goal is to prevent U.S. invasion at any cost. Anti-U.S. propaganda is a constant, and “Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month” is observed every year.
It’s going to take a lot more than a treaty with Trump to make the people of this secretive kingdom change their minds about the United States. After all, North Korea has repeatedly pledged it would make peace and abandon its nuclear programs. What makes this time different?