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Study on North Korean Poems during Korean War

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    During the Korean War, North Korean Poems contributed to justify the cause of the war and to manipulate people"s emotion toward it. They tried to persuade the readers that the war was to set free the people in South Korea, who were "suffering under the American Imperialism" as well as to fight against "the brutal violence caused by the imperialism." For them, it was out of question that who would win the war because, thoughout the history of human being, it was proven that "the good" will beat 'the bad" at the end. They believed that their people armed with "decent patriotism" will gain the victory by defeating "the evil, or beast-like American imperialist." North Korean poems on this period show a view of manichaeism, with which they considered the war was the "unavoidable conflict between the good and the evil. They also show melodramatic imagination by saying the ultimate victory of the good. But, what North Korean poems finally tried to say was the need of people"s endless sacrifice and devotion. In order to fight against their enemy, who had overwhelming military power, it was necessary for them to mobilize all avaliable resources. To justify this total mobilization, the nation should be hold sacred. This sacred nation could overcome the 'hardship" only through its peoples' spontaneous attribution and dedication. The heroes in the poems are those who are willing to sacrifice and dedicate themselves most voluntarily. It was for the total mobilization that the image of heroes were put on emphasis. They need to emphasize that the heros are not a totally different human beings, but used to be one of the ordinary people among them. Their popular heroism just meant that all people could be mobilized no matter what their jobs are, how old they are, and whether they are men or women. The total war system accomplished by total mobilization could only be possible on the basis of people"s decent patriotism, so, a hero means a person who responded voluntarily, who internalize the public responsibility. By keep calling the people, poems deprived them of their tranquility of individuals" private lives, and as a result, there they gave a birth to a hero who has no more personal expression and voice. This was why the encapsulation of a hero cannot be free from materialization. Another important element to win a war was the existence of a strong leadership. Kim Il-Sung acquired the one and only leader"s position during the war. He became respected as their father, who embraces his people suffering from the war, and was considered a strong military leader, winning every battle. He won the political power game that happened during the same period. But, even before then, North Korean poems began praising him as future leader, who will bring the victory of the war to them. They especially emphasized on his experience fighting against Japanese, so that it could be compared with his fight against "American Imperialists." Kim Il-Sung"s instructions and photos included in every soldier"s wallets and journals were more like a Panopticon, observing their every day life and behavior. The melodramatic imagination finally led the North Korean poems to a too simple view about the world, extreme emotionalism, and self-pity. They repeated that the war is a great incident, sort of a revelation, and that the country is the value that have to pay to keep. Loyalty and dedication to the nation and to its people were undoubtfully the highest priorities, and worship to the heroes and the martyrs killed in the war was more than important. North Korea become one community under comradeship though the war. And all these resulted as sacralization of politics and absoluteness of the leader. The war forced North Korea to internalize the endless fear and hatred towards the outer world and made North Kore..


  • 주제어

    정치의 신성화 .   호명(呼名) .   동원 .   총력전 체제 .   멜로드라마적 상상력 .   sacralization of politics .   appellation .   mobilziation .   total war system .   melodramatic imagination.  

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