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North Korea Trumpets ‘Socialist Fairyland’ with 300 Directives to the Masses

The Worker’s Ruling Party released the slogans to mark the country’s founding and 70 years of liberation from Japanese rule.

by Liz Fields
Feb 12 2015, 6:40pm

Photo by Ahn Young-joon/AP

If the slogans are true, North Korea not only wants to reconcile with South Korea, but aims to be a "socialist fairyland" where mushrooms flower in abundance and children are instructed to "play sports games in an offensive way, the way the anti-Japanese guerrillas did!"

On Thursday, the Hermit Kingdom's official mouthpiece, KCNA, printed two broadsheets worth of over 300 slogans — each ending with an exclamation mark — to honor 70 years under the Worker's Party rule since North Korea's founding.

"Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms!" one of the translated directives reads, while another called on the people to "turn the whole country into a socialist fairyland by the joint operation of the army and people!"

The slogans, translating into more than 7,000 words, often reverted to language customarily used in party propaganda, but at times also broke into baroque or bizarre acclamations that commented on everything from political and social policy to agriculture, sports, military affairs, art, and school uniforms.

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In the highly isolated nation, such slogans are routinely distributed and are intended as policy dictates, which are passed down from the Communist Worker's Party and channeled to the masses through regional offices. Some slogans offer instructions on how people should behave and what they should wear, while others focus on broader state aims, such as farming and a bolstered army.

"We were permanently buried by an avalanche of slogans," one North Korean defector Lee Min Bok, 57, told the AFP. "We had to memorize a lot of them to show our loyalty, but they slowly lost any meaning for anyone, especially after the famine in the 90s."

Some slogans published this week read more like a wish list of the country's national needs, including calls for uninterrupted running electricity, speedy railway construction, and sustained food production to keep children well fed.

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There was also mention of the country's foreign policy stances on South Korea, calling for reconciliation.

"It is a long-cherished desire of all the fellow countrymen and an urgent task of the nation to put an end to the tragedy of national division that has lasted 70 years," one slogan read.

American "warmongers" were also condemned in the slogans, as were the annual joint US-South Korean military drills, which the North has repeatedly labeled as aggressive, and now as "lunacy."

"Should the enemy dare to invade our country, annihilate them to the last man so that none of them will survive to sign the instrument of surrender!" one slogan warned.

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Follow Liz Fields on Twitter: @lianzifields