North Korea wants to become “a country of mushrooms”

We’re all used to grand and florid speeches and slogans when it comes to our national leaders but most of the world’s politicians will have to up their game after the “socialist fairyland” of North Korea set the bar at a whole new, hyperbolic level.

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KCNA | Reuters Kim Jong Un, center, watches an air show of the by the Korean People' s Air Force on May 10, 2014.

KCNA | Reuters
Kim Jong Un, center, watches an air show of the by the Korean People’ s Air Force on May 10, 2014.

In honor of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of North Korea and the founding of the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK), more than 300 political slogans were published in the party newspaper Thursday.

The majority of the slogans have a powerful, authoritative tone, from the patriotic “always live the way you did as a soldier” to the more hostile “annihilate them to the last man” when discussing enemy invasion.

However, a handful of slogans appear to underpin the strong character that North Korea is trying to convey. North Korea wants its citizens to “grow vegetables extensively in greenhouses” and “play sports games in an offensive way”, according to the translated report by NK News’ ‘KCNA Watch’, a North Korean media tracker.

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Prominent themes that feature in the list include agriculture, military, scientific advancements, education, social behavior and of course patriotism. In the list, the term “fairyland” features five times, there are more than 300 exclamation marks, and the phrase “let us” is mentioned 100 times in the publication of slogans.

But it seems that when it comes having the competitive edge on a global scale, North Korea advises its citizens to commit to advancements in “high-quality consumer goods”, “fruit farming”, “cereals” and “more stylish school uniforms”, with “winning more gold medals!” being a top priority.

In response to the slogan debacle, Lee Min Bok, a North Korean defector, told the AFP news agency that when he lived there 14 years ago “we were permanently buried by an avalanche of slogans” and that the “greenhouse one has been around for decades. The problem is nobody had any plastic sheets of glass to build them, or fuel to heat them.”

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Here’s a selection of the more outlandish from Thursday’s slogan selection:

  1. “Build “gold mountains” and “treasure mountains” with brilliant scientific and technological achievements!”
  2. “Make fruits cascade down and their sweet aroma fill the air on the sea of apple trees at the foot of Chol Pass!”
  3. “Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms by making mushroom cultivation scientific, intensive and industrialized!”
  4. “Grow vegetables extensively in greenhouses!”
  5. “Let us turn the whole country into a socialist fairyland by the joint operation of the army and people!”
  6. “More stylish school uniforms and quality school things for our dear children!”
  7. “Let us make the whole country resound louder with the song We Are the Happiest in the World.”
  8. “Fertilizer means rice and socialism.”
  9. “Let us cover the whole country with fruit and other trees and flowers!”
  10. “Play sports games in an offensive way, the way the anti-Japanese guerrillas did!”
  11. “Make the advancing ranks brim over with enthusiasm and optimism by producing large numbers of songs that champion the Party’s policies and enlivening folk songs!”
  12. “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!”
  13. “Let the wives of officers become dependable assistants to their husbands!”

Source: KCNA Watch | North Korean Media Tracker (NK news)

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