21 North Korean Propaganda Depictions Of Americans

Published September 26, 2017
Updated June 8, 2018

According to North Korean Propaganda, Americans are blood-thirsty imperialists who love torturing and killing Koreans.

North Korean Propaganda Soldiers
Crushed Soldier
North Korean Propaganda Torture
Woman Ripping Flag
21 North Korean Propaganda Depictions Of Americans
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The North Korean government is heavily invested in portraying the United States as an aggressive invader, willing at any time to brutally murder every man, woman, and child in North Korea.

That is not to say that they have no cause for fearing or hating the US. After North Korea invaded its southern counterpart in 1950, the US dropped approximately 635,000 tons of explosives on North Korea, including 32,000 tons of napalm, during the Korean War.

Though North Korean aggression spurred this retaliation, the nation's then-leader Kim Il-sung quickly realized that fear of this barrage of American firepower had quickly become a major factor in his citizen's lives.

Rather than allowing this fear to paralyze his populace, Kim decided to use it as a propaganda tool against the United States and to support his regime.

His government concocted a vision of the Americans as bloodthirsty murderers hellbent on carrying out the genocide of the North Korean people.

The fear of this enemy propped up Kim as the only person capable of defending against this existential threat and quashed dissent against him from within his ranks.

It also made the people less likely to cooperate with or surrender to American forces.

In 1953 when North Korean forces were driven back across the 38th Parallel back into their country, and American forces largely withdrew from the peninsula, Kim continued to use this image of the US to create fear in his populace that he could take advantage of.

After the war, North Korea continued to portray the US as itching to re-engage in the conflict to maintain the regime's power.

With an unreasonable and bloodthirsty enemy at the gates, few North Koreans would dare question the leadership of their great protector.

To extend and exacerbate this fear, the North Korean government created the Sinchon Museum of American War Atrocities to commemorate a claimed massacre of North Korean citizens by American troops.

Though there is no evidence to support their assertion of American war crimes in the area, the North Korean propaganda in the museum depicts Americans torturing and killing thousands of Korean civilians.

The Kim dynasty has also relied on propaganda posters showing their military might over the US and depicting Americans as living in squalor to both convince their citizens of the government's power and show them what they have to fear without the current dynasty in place.

Here are some images that show how the United States is portrayed in North Korean propaganda.

Enjoy this article on North Korean propaganda? Next, check out these 30 heartbreaking photos from The Korean War. Then, check out these photos of what life is like inside North Korea.

Gabe Paoletti
Gabe Paoletti is a New York City-based writer and a former Editorial Intern at All That's Interesting. He holds a Bachelor's in English from Fordham University.
Katie Serena
A former staff writer at All That's Interesting, Katie Serena has also published work in Salon.