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Friday, Mar 19, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
by Geoffrey Cain
The Diplomat (17 March 2010)

“Want to understand Kim Jong-il’s regime? A good place to start might be its cartoons, says Geoffrey Cain… For decades, world leaders have accused the communist regime of North Korea of running drugs, defrauding insurance companies and counterfeiting US dollars. It’s also one of the few governments in the world that is known to so openly sponsor mafia-like operations.


But beneath Kim Jong-il’s sinister regime of Mafiosos, the Dear Leader has a heartier side: he sells comic books and animation to raise government funds—and to brainwash the masses.


Every year, a state-owned publishing house releases several cartoons (called geurim-chaek in North Korea), many of which are smuggled across the Chinese border and, sometimes, mysteriously end up in university libraries in the United States.”


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