Nationalism Meets Socialism: North Korean Propaganda Extols Racial Purity

As one who takes the position that our problems with North Korea will only end with the inevitable destruction of its regime, it’s moments like this when I have to pause to thank the Korea Central News Agency for giving me gems like this one (ht to the Marmot):

A strange farce to hamstring the essential characters of the Korean nation and seek for “multiracial society” is now being held in south Korea. In this regard Rodong Sinmun today runs a signed commentary, which censures the farce as an unpardonable bid to negate the homogeneity of the nation, make south Korea multiracial and Americanize it. To deny the peculiarity and advantages of the homogeneous nation now that dominationism and colonialism are posing a threat to the destiny of weak nations is a treacherous act of weakening the spirit of the nation, the commentary says, and goes on: The south Korean pro-American traitorous forces advocating the theory of “multiracial society” are riffraffs who have not an iota of national soul, to say nothing of the elementary understanding of the view on the nation and social and historic development.

If the homogeneity of the nation is not kept, the nation and the destiny of individuals cannot be defended from the U.S. dominationist moves and the attempt of the Japanese reactionaries for invasion of Korea, which is revealed in their claim to Tok Islet, cannot be checked.

I officially no longer believe it’s possible to top the official idiocy we’ve heard on Tokdo. Ditto the gullibility of the Korean people who are so willingly distracted by it, away from matters of manifestly greater importance. If Tokdo is “uri ttang,” it seems odd that most of Korea’s territory and a dwindling, wretched third of its people dominated by an illegitimate democidal despot aren’t also “uri ttang.” And of course, North Korea puts its herrenvolk ideology into practice by killing babies it believes to be racially impure. Are these murdered infants also unworthy of South Korean outrage? The double standard and the ready acceptance thereof are both flat-out inexplicable to rational minds.

The theory of “multiracial society” is a poison and anti-reunification logic aimed to emasculate the basic idea in the era of independent reunification. The anti-national logic is advocated in south Korea, contrary to the aspiration of the fellow countrymen. This is ascribable to the criminal attempt of the pro-American elements including the Grand National Party to make the north and the south different in lineages, block the June 15 era of reunification and seek the permanent division of the nation and the manipulation of the U.S. behind the scene.

Another question this raises — are you as concerned as I am that this intemperate North Korean criticism of South Korean views on individual rights will ruin the spirit of inter-Korean reconciliation and present a setback for the six-party talks? Just checking . . . .

I’ve written about the politics of “racial purity” in today’s Korea here. And of course, the very idea of Korean racial purity is asinine. Koreans are already an ethnic mixture of indigenous peoples, Chinese, and Mongolians, and (gasp!) Japanese. If there’s one thing the North Koreans excel at, it’s propaganda, and there’s no denying that North Korea’s racial theories have a certain inherent appeal in South Korea. Without bringing the level of this post down to a personal diatriabe, my own recent visit to South Korea with my two children confirms that Hines Ward mania hasn’t transformed Korea into an open-minded society — not by a long shot. Scroll down to the bottom of this post, and you’ll see that South Korea’s ruling party isn’t above playing the “ethnic purty” card against America, either.

(To be fair to the South Koreans, there are some who are espousing relatively more enlightened views.)

But please — please do explain to me how North Korea’s regime is really misunderstood and poised on the precipice of opening, reform, and mature diplomatic resolution of its differences with the civilized world. Where is Selig Harrison when you have something in hand that just cries out to be stapled to the front of his face?


  1. My impression from some Korean participants in English language forums is that this latest propaganda campaign will win points with South Koreans. Koreans really do think that “pure” “Korean” blood runs through their veins, and that intermarriage with other ethnicities would dilute (actually, sully) that purity. Unlike South Korean politicians, Kim Jong Il doesn’t feel the need to command respect around the world, so he does whatever he wants, but if you were to put forced abortion for mixed-marriage babies to a referendum vote in South Korea, you could conceivably get a majority for it.

  2. Today, there is no such thing as a “pure” race anywhere in the world. Korean people are not pure but they have undergone the least racial mixing among the other ethnicities. Yea, if you want, you can divide it into two easy categories: either you’re pure or you’re not. But today, I think there is such a thing as a continuum of purity. Americans would be at one end of the spectrum and Koreans would probably be at the other end. Currently, there is a sudden surge in interracial marriages between Southeast Asian women and Korean men in the countrysides (the Korean women do not want to spend their lives in the country and so head to the city, leaving the men behind). This is a cause of worry to the Koreans not necessarily because of “dilution/sullying” but more because of the loss of “Korean-ness”. If such interracial marriages continue to increase, many years from now, the Korean people that we see today (pale skin, small eyes, tall stature) will not be the same as the “Koreans” let’s say hundreds of years from now. I truly think there is nothing immoral about such interracial marriage (since the men in the country deserve to marry and have a happy life) but, at the same time, I know that I will truly miss seeing the Korean characteristics found in the Korean population today… as these same characteristics may be not be around many years from now.

    As for Zhang fei, a referendum vote for the killing of mixed babies WOULD NEVER pass.. I can GUARANTEE you that much; there would actually be VERY few who would actually vote for such a thing. If such a thing were to pass, there would definitely be an uproar and protests by the Korean people. you obviously do not know what the Korean people are like in Korea

  3. I truly think there is nothing immoral about such interracial marriage (since the men in the country deserve to marry and have a happy life) but, at the same time, I know that I will truly miss seeing the Korean characteristics found in the Korean population today… as these same characteristics may be not be around many years from now.

    Neither will you to miss them – not unless you’re going to be around “hundreds of years from now” …

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