It’s in the paper, so it must be true: North Korea Is a Utopia!

I was taken somewhat aback today as I browsed through my copy of Streats, a free Singapore tabloid, and came across a 4-color, full-page ad congratulating North Korea on its upcoming 55th Anniversary (September 9, in case you are planning to celebrate).

I wish I could post the whole page, but scanning it is a pain because the type is so small; I’m going to try to post a thumbnail below of the second half of the ad which is a bit easier to read. If that fails, email me and I’ll forward it on.

The ad reads like the hallucination of a crazed Stalinist. Of course, there’s the obligatory photo of Dear Leader smiling and waving in the center, adorned with tacky drawings of colorful flowers. I’ll type out some excerpts, but hopefully you’ll be able to find the whole ad somewhere; every line is precious:

The people’s government is a sturdy political weapon in revolution and construction for consolidating and developing the socialist system and and winning the final victory of the socialist cause.


The working class leader establishes and guides the socialist government, a weapon in revolution and construction, with which to put his ideas into effect. The socialist government separated from his ideas and leadership cannot conduct revolutionary and practical politics. The politics of the socialist government is nothing but the working class leader’s politics, and its might and vitality are dependent on the greatness of of his politics.

Are you following this so far? It rambles on like an old Communist textbook, ranting about the great leader’s politics of “democracy, benevolence, deep love and trust in the masses of people.” This is the sane part of the advertisement. The nutty part follows:

All taxes have been repealed. No one is out of work in the DPRK and every family is provided with a rent-free house. They are a harmonious family free from exploitation and inequality.

The DPRK is a kind of utopia.

Other countries boast of their great economic strength and welfare systems but the DPRK is the only genuine people’s country.


The DPRK shines as one of the last bastions of Stalinism socialism….It has heroically overcome its difficulties and is on the way to being a strong and successful power with a rosy future.

It is no wonder the eyes of the world are focussed on this country.

Well, that part is true — everyone’s eyes are focused on North Korea, though not, I suspect, with admiration, but with a strong sense of bewilderment that such a looney place can exist in the 21st century — and a strong sense of discomfort that it’s developing nuclear weapons.

The whole thing is a riot, that I would like to think is a parody, a colossal joke put out by Dear Leader showing us that he’s lightening up. Can you imagine Kim Jong II ever laughing at himself? No, it’s for real, and that is nothing to laugh about.

Okay, I’ll try to upload the scanned image, but it may be illegible. Click to see the whole thing, and remember, this is just half of the ad.

Utopia in N Korea.jpg

The Discussion: 5 Comments


Do you have any idea of how the public in Singapore views this sort of ad?

September 2, 2003 @ 6:02 am | Comment

I asked those in my office, and they see it as totally demented and bizarre. They say it underscores just how desperate Singapore media are for ad dollars. And no one is surprised at the ad’s content; it is, after all, North Korea.

September 2, 2003 @ 9:33 am | Comment

I couldn’t stop laughing. wow, those people are a parody of themselves.

September 2, 2003 @ 11:15 pm | Comment

The references to the ‘working class leader’ remind me of Klement Gottwald, the ‘First Working-Class President’ of Czechoslovakia.

September 4, 2003 @ 4:55 pm | Comment

I don’t know what the various distinctions are in the world of diplomacy, but I want it noted that Canada does not have an embassy in N. Korea, and doesn’t seem to have too many relations with them, contrary to the ad.

Remember, if the “democratic” people’s republic of Korea can nuke the west coast of the US, they sure as heck can nuke Vancouver. Why they would do so is another question, but since when has rational thought ever stopped Kim Il Jong?

September 6, 2003 @ 7:16 am | Comment

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