The North Korean response to the passing of former “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il was well executed, almost too well executed to be genuine. Behind the country’s thinly veiled PR stunts lies a leader who is inexperienced and scared. I guess that this is a good time to remind everyone that the views and opinions found in this post are my own and do not represent those of PRowl Public Relations.
Kim Jong-il was an interesting man, to say the least. Many have gone as far as to call him paranoid and possibly deranged. He has been a consistent thorn in the west’s side and has issued numerous nuclear and chemical threats against neighboring South Korea.
Kim Jong-un, Jong-il’s 27-year-old son and the “great successor,” led the ceremonies on Tuesday morning as the country bid farewell their former dictator. The death of Jong-il means the potential end of an era marked by increasingly authoritarian policies, state-sponsored brainwashing and attention-hungry PR stunts.
However, it doesn’t appear that North Korea is giving up on its PR stunts quite so fast.
On Monday, North Korea released footage of thousands of citizens publicly crying over their former leader’s death. The tapes showed masses of mean and women neatly lined up and violently weeping.
I don’t mean to sound crass, but this kind of stuff just doesn’t happen naturally. It seems to me that this public spectacle must be a product the years of brainwash or some brand of state-sponsored propaganda released after the passing of their Dear Leader. I mean, Jong-il’s rule didn’t exactly do much good for North Korea. I doubt that recent famine has boosted the public’s moral to the point that they’d freely weeping for him.
North Korea then launched off at least one short-range missile into the waters near South Korea, North Korea’s long-time enemy and an ally of the west. This missile test was supposed to be a show of strength but to me it was just a thinly veiled PR stunt trying to mask Jong-un’s cowardice.
North Korea is no stranger to these publicity stunts but I think the country’s bark is worse than its bite. Jong-un is inexperienced and he has just inherited a world full of enemies and problems, including humanitarian crises within his own country. North Korea’s thinly veiled PR stunts don’t fool me for a second. Jong-un is unprepared to deal with the realities of leading a country, especially one as besieged as North Korea. Keep launching test missiles North Korea, because that’s all you’ll be able to do for a long time.