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Kim Jong-un and North Korea

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1 Kim Jong-un and North Korea
Succession of Kim Jong-un North Korea and the World Relationship with South Korea "Maps courtesy of used with permission" Image from

2 PowerPoint Topic Index
Succession of Kim Jong-un Where is North Korea? Official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) North Korean leaders The capital is Pyongyang Who is Kim Jong-un? “Great Successor” Mystery--no picture until 2010 Hermit Kingdom Cult of Personality/ Confucian traditions and Communism and state-sponsored brainwashing People sent to labor camps for not mourning enough for his father’s death North Korea and the World Juche system==national self-reliance and extreme isolation, racial purity; cannot marry non-Koreans A member of Bush’s “Axis of Evil” 2003 reactivated nuclear reactor Will they sell nuclear weapons? North Korea (and South Korea) have been invaded often by China, Mongols, the Manchu, and Japan. The Korea Peninsula has been occupied for 900 out of 2000 years Relationship with South Korea (ROK Republic of Korea) 1945 Country divided after WW2--Russia in the North, U.S. in the South 1950–1953 Korean War DMZ=Demilitarized Zone North Korea Today Present-day situation Group Activity Students read portions of a congressional report and decide “Should Japan have nuclear weapons to protect itself from North Korea?” and “What do you think North Korea’s reaction would be if Japan developed nuclear weapons?” Additional Resources Columbia University’s Asia for Educators website

3 Where is North Korea? Draw a map of North Korea in your notes.
China is to the north and west of North Korea. South Korea is to the south of North Korea. Japan is to the east of North Korea. Map From Google Earth Japan calls the body of water to its West the Sea of Japan. North Korea calls that same body of water the East Sea.

4 If available go to Google Earth and find North Korea
What does North Korea look like? If available go to Google Earth and find North Korea Other ways to view North Korea on Google Earth: Place your mouse on the Satellite button and then click on Photos option and you will see photos. Map From Google Earth

5 North Korea’s Name North Korea’s official name is
the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) North Korea is NOT a democracy. A democracy is where power is vested in the people, who express it through a free electoral system. Elections are held to decide who will be the leaders. The definition of democratic is favoring social equality; egalitarian (or without social classes). Communism states that all of the workers own everything but in reality that does not happen.

6 North Korean Leaders- While Kim Il-sung was elected his son and grandson are considered dictators, which means they were not elected but took control of the country. "Great Leader" Kim Il-sung, Grandfather First premier Born 1912; died 1994 "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il Father Second premier Born 1942; died 2011 “The Great Successor” Kim Jong-un Premier since 2011 Born 1983 or 1984 These names can be confusing to younger students. You may want to take some time showing the differences between them.

7 North Korea’s capital city is Pyongyang
Click on link to hear audio pronunciation for Pyongyang at Pyongyang images from All CC/PD sources: File:Pyongyang western view April 2010.jpg File:Juche Tower.jpg File:Kumsusan Memorial Palace, Pyongyang.jpg File:PyongYang-Arch of Triumph.jpg File:Arch of Reunification.jpg File:Tomb of King Tongmyong, Pyongyang, North Korea-2.jpg File:Dprk pyongyang airport 05.jpg User ASDFGHJ

8 The Hermit Kingdom During Korea’s Joseon Dynasty, around the late 1800s, Korea kept to itself and had limited contact with the outside world. Other countries called Korea “The Hermit Kingdom”. North Korea today continues this isolationist policy. They are very secretive. They do not allow many people into their country. Until 2010, there was only one picture of their future leader, Kim Jong-un. (To hear how to pronounce his name click on link It would be hard to keep things secret if everyone could post on Facebook what is happening in their city. Only the top North Korean leaders have Internet access. Many North Koreans do not even know it exists. Why do you think North Korea bans the Internet from its citizens?

9 Cult of Personality North Koreans are told over and over that their leaders care for them and that they are great leaders. The following was written about Kim Jong-un’s grandfather and father, who were both leaders of North Korea before him. “Journalist Bradley Martin documented the personality cults of North Korea's "Great Leader" Kim Il-sung and "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il.[15] While visiting North Korea in 1979 he noted that nearly all music, art, and sculpture that he observed glorified "Great Leader" Kim Il-sung, whose personality cult was then being extended to his son, "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il.[15] Kim Il-sung rejected the notion that he had created a cult around himself and accused those who suggested so of "factionalism".[15] A U.S. religious freedom investigation confirmed Martin's observation that North Korean schoolchildren learn to thank Kim Il-sung for all blessings as part of the cult.”[16] Listen to an example of what plays on their radios. The song is about Kim Jong-un’s father and is called “No Motherland without you (with English and French subtitles) Click on the link: Make sure you preview the song’s comments if students are going to the link. There was no vulgar language in the comments but at other North Korean song links people used bad language to express their opinions of the song.

10 Reflection Questions? How would you feel if you could only listen to music about how great your leader is? What part of the Constitution prevents this action from happening in the U.S.? After reading the paragraph, what is another reason that North Korea bans Internet access? Using evidence from the paragraph and the song, what do you think is the definition of “cult of personality”? What examples did you use to understand the phrase? The 1st Amendment in the US Constitution allows for free speech. People are able to write music about anything they want. People are able to create art on any topic. North Korea may ban Internet access because its citizens would find out that not everyone thinks their leaders are great. The “cult of personality” definition is on the next slide.

11 Cult of Personality image from A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise.[1] Cults of personality are usually associated with dictatorships. For example Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, called the “Great Leader,” had 34,000 statues of himself built in North Korea.

12 Kim Jong-un punishes people for not crying at his father’s death
YouTube video of North Korean mourners North Korea To Punish Mourners Who Were Insincere— An anonymous source tells the Daily NK, a South Korea-based publication in opposition of the North Korean regime, that "authorities are handing down at least six months in a labor-training camp to anybody who didn't participate in the organized gatherings" to mourn the death of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il, and to those "who did participate but didn't cry and didn't seem genuine.” “Every day from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm they have vehicles for broadcast propaganda parked on busy roads full of people going to and from work, noisily working to proclaim Kim Jong-un’s greatness,” the source explained. The Fourth Amendment protects a unreasonable seizure of any person, person's home or property without a warrant. There are no comments on the video. What part of the U.S. Constitution prevents a person from being grabbed from the street in the U.S.?

13 Juche system North Korea believes in the Juche system. (Pronounced choo-CHAY or click on link to hear The Juche system stresses national self-reliance, extreme isolation, and racial purity. North Koreans are not allowed to not marry non-Koreans. The picture says “Long live the great Juche idea!” For more information about Juche see

14 North Korea and the United States President Bush first calls North Korea part of the “Axis of Evil" in his 2002 State of the Union Address. President Bush called North Korea "a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.” President Bush was concerned that North Korea would sell nuclear weapons to terrorists. This announcement came right after September 11. In 2003, North Korea withdraws from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which was an agreement not to create or test nuclear weapons. President Bush mentions dead children in this speech, so before very young students listen you may want to preview. There are no comments under video but you may want to preview for comments if students will be accessing link directly.

15 North Korea’s Aggressive Actions
From March 2011, U.S. Department of State’s Comment about North Korea “Despite the tremendous opportunities in Asia that have become part of our popular discourse, one country stands out as an outlier, and in fact an impediment, to the region’s promising future: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK). The DPRK’s brazen attack on the ROK (Republic of Korea) corvette Cheonan in March of last year, its recent disclosure of a uranium enrichment program, its shelling of Yeonpyong Island that resulted in the tragic loss of South Korean lives, and its ongoing human rights violations underscore the threat that the DPRK’s policies and provocations, including its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and proliferation activities, pose to regional stability and global security.” Corvette Cheonan Have different groups of students look up the more difficult words and report on what they mean. Have the students reread the passage after they learn the meaning of the words. I used this passage even though it is dated from last year because it had a great recap of all of North Korea’s recent aggressive activities. Click for video of shelling of Yeonpyong Island Reading for Understanding: What five items did North Korea do that could destabilize the region? What does destabilize mean? What is a corvette? (Hint: it is not a car in this context) How could you find out the meaning of these words? What does provocations mean? What are proliferation activities? What other words are difficult? Look up the definitions of these words and then reread the passage.

16 Why does North Korea spend so much money on its military?
North Korea spends the most money, compared to its gross domestic product, of all the countries in the world on building up its military. Why?

17 Koreans often use the proverb 'when whales fight, the shrimp’s back is broken' to describe their country’s attack by larger, more powerful neighbors, China and Japan, throughout its history. Out of its 2,000-year-history, it has been invaded and occupied for 900 years by foreign forces—China, the Mongols, the Manchu, and Japan.

18 Japan invades Korea in 1910 and rules it until 1945
Japan treated the Koreans very harshly. They took jobs that Koreans had and many Koreans were unemployed. They made Koreans speak Japanese and made them change their Korean names to Japanese. How would you feel if you were told you couldn’t speak English anymore and had to change your name?

19 In 1945, Korea is liberated from Japan
The USSR (Russia) arrives from the North to attack the Japanese. The USSR wanted Korea to be a communist country. The U.S. arrives from the South to attack the Japanese. The U.S. wanted Korea to be a democratic country. They divided Korea at the 38th Parallel to avoid more fighting. They did not ask the Koreans if they wanted their country divided.

20 Korean War In 1950, North Korea’s leader, Kim Il-sung, (grandfather to Kim Jong-un) orders the North Korean military to attack South Korea. The YouTube video shows how at first North Korea was winning but as the UN forces enter into the battle South Korea starts to win. The dynamics change again when China enters the battle. After watching the video answer the question “Why do you think China entered the war?”

21 Millions of People Died during the Korean War

22 Korean War Armistice In 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed.
An armistice is when both sides agree to stop fighting, however, North Korea and South Korea are still officially at war.

23 DMZ- Demilitarized Zone
koreandmz.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/DMZWalk.jpg The DMZ is a buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea. It is 160 miles long and 2.5 miles wide. There are 1 million land mines in it. There are 2 million soldiers guarding it. Another great link for your FYI is below- It gives a very interesting history of the Korean War and DMZ in 5 minutes but the narrator mentions buying DMZ beer in the souvenir stores as he is leaving the area so I did not use it in the PowerPoint. 3 minute video about Korean War and DMZ

24 North Korea Today Bush's 'Evil' Trio Holds Sway Over U.S. Decade Later By BRIAN MURPHY Associated Press, February 4, 2012 (AP), “Bush's speech came less than two years after a landmark trip to North Korea by Madeleine Albright, President Bill Clinton's secretary of state. North Korea reacted to the “Axis of Evil" label by calling it "little short of declaring a war," and it went on to twice detonate nuclear devices and to test-fire missiles.” “While the relationship with the U.S. remains tense, the death in December of Kim Jong Il, who led North Korea during the Bush administration, opened the way for his young, inexperienced son, Kim Jong-un. His government has recently suggested through state media that it remains open to suspending uranium enrichment in return for food aid.” The new common core standards encourages students to read non-fiction selections. You may want to preview and scaffold vocabulary or if reading in groups choose the groups so that each group has a strong reader.

25 North Korea Today “While China is North Korea's major economic and political backer, relations with the U.S. are a high priority among officials in Pyongyang. North Korea's willingness to make a deal with Washington is seen as a crucial pointer to how the country will behave as it extends the Kim dynasty into a third generation.” “All eyes are on Kim Jong-un to see how he consolidates power. There are fears that North Korea could seek to bolster his credentials and strengthen national unity by conducting a missile or nuclear test, or by picking a fight with South Korea.” “The current nuclear crisis began in October 2002 when the Bush administration said North Korea admitted to a secret uranium program during U.S.-North Korean talks in Pyongyang. North Korea long rejected the uranium allegations, but in 2010 it unveiled an industrial-scale uranium enrichment facility.” Bush's 'Evil' Trio Holds Sway Over US Decade Later By BRIAN MURPHY Associated Press, February 4, 2012 (AP),

26 North Korea Today “South Korean analysts differ about the importance of Bush's now-famous phrase.” “Jeung Young-tae of the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul said it was part of Bush's "realistic North Korea policy" responding to North Korea's tactic of disavowing nuclear ambitions to get aid while covertly breaking its word.” "The Bush administration came to understand the true nature of North Korea," Jeung said. “Yoo Ho-yeol, a professor at Korea University, said, however, that the “Axis of Evil" designation "considerably undermined" ties with North Korea. "It was a turning point," Yoo said. "In the following ten years, North Korea and the United States have failed to build mutual trust between them.“” Bush's 'Evil' Trio Holds Sway Over US Decade Later By BRIAN MURPHY Associated Press, February 4, 2012 (AP),

27 North Korea Today People debate about how to handle the North Korea situation. How do you deal with a country that is aggressive to other countries? Hillary Clinton comments as the U.S. Secretary of State “We both share a common interest in a peaceful and stable transition in North Korea as well as ensuring regional peace and stability.” The United States and Japan are partners in the so-called Six Party Talks, which, along with South Korea, China and Russia, aim to rid North Korea of its nuclear program Double click the link below to hear a 30 second longer speech. How would you deal with North Korea if you were the U.S. President?

28 The Future? What do you think could happen? Why?
In April and May of 2011, The United States and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) plan to conduct military exercises in the area. No one knows for sure what will happen. What do you think could happen? Why?

29 Reflection Questions The “Hermit Kingdom” was a name used to describe Korea prior to Why could North Korea be called a “Hermit Kingdom” today? What are some of the differences between North Korea and the United States?

30 Group Activity Pretend you are a member of Congress.
Japan is nervous about the possibility of North Korea attacking them with nuclear weapons. Read “Japan’s Nuclear Future: Policy Debate, Prospects and US Interests” (page 1 “Introduction”, page 2 to 3 “An Evolving Security Environment in Asia”, page 9 “International Diplomatic Consequences, and p 12 “Future of the Korean Peninsula) and decide if you think it is a good idea or a bad idea for Japan to develop nuclear weapons Why did you make your decision? What do you think North Korea’s reaction may be if Japan creates nuclear weapons? Why? If there is time, create a PowerPoint justifying your analysis. Be sure to include facts for your decision. The new common core standards encourages students to read non-fiction selections. You may want to preview and scaffold vocabulary or if reading in groups choose the groups so that each group has a strong reader.

31 Resources See Columbia University’s Asia for Educators site for more information and lesson plans about Korea’s past and present and other Asian countries. Free classes are offered to teachers in certain States.


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