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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

The Potato Revolution in the DPRK: A Novel Type of Political Campaign

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2016, v.56 no.1, pp.116-139
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2016.56.1.116
Tatiana Gabroussenko
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Abstract

At first glance, the “potato revolution” initiated personally by Kim Jong Il in 1998 followed the usual DPRK propaganda campaign strategy in moments of crisis. However, a closer look reveals that the potato revolution represented a novel type of political campaign. The unique combination of complex social goals, which were behind the potato revolution, and the novel methods by which this revolution was promoted, reflect the exceptional changes experienced by the DPRK from the 1990s. These changes amounted to the introduction of market logic and rival viewpoints into North Korean society, which had obstinately striven to protect the purity of its official ideology. The potato revolution became a novel type of political campaign, aimed at both producer and consumer; in addition to the familiar methods of Juche propaganda, it employed some popular Western marketing techniques. This paper aims to investigate the potato promotion campaign as a comprehensive cultural phenomenon manifested in a wide range of North Korean cultural practices.

keywords
North Korean mass culture North Korean literature and the arts communist propaganda Arduous March potato revolution Kim Jong Il Kim Il Sung

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