Nation Branding: North Korea Wants to Be “Full of Laughter” and Luxury Goods

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There’s a new sheriff in town in North Korea — supreme leader Kim Jong Un, who took over office when his father, Kim Jong-il, died last December — and he’d like the world to think that the nation isn’t half as bad as everybody thinks it is.

But now the son, who is in his late 20s, wants to shake things up and modernize the nation’s branding. Since taking the reins, according to the UK’s Daily Mail — which lifted the story from ABC News — “more women are wearing trousers, platform shoes and earrings, while more mobile phones have been made available.” Live it up, North Koreans! 

Pizza, hamburgers, and French fries, previously banned, have now been endorsed by the Supreme Leader, ABC noted, while kids have been given “free trips to zoos and amusement parks.”[more]

“The powerful and prosperous Korea of the future in which you will be the masters, will be a most powerful country where every home will be full of laughter and everybody lives in harmony,” he reportedly told a crowd of 20,000 youths.

While the son wants to create a warmer image to his subjects and the rest of the world than his father ever cared about, North Korea isn’t exactly planning to just open up the gates and let people and information flow freely. And the DPRK has been chastised by a UN panel for defying sanctions, including illegally importing luxury goods. 

And in another “just like dad” twist in the region, the daughter of slain South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee wants to lead her people, too — and if she wins, intends to resolve differences with the North. According to Reuters, Park Geun-hye “will launch a bid to become the first woman to lead this Asian economic powerhouse on July 10 and is likely to pledge to broaden welfare and offer to mend relations with a bellicose North Korea.”

Also planning to make a presidential bid, according to CNBC — a human rights lawyer who was once imprisoned by Park’s father.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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