North Korea Trying To Celebrate Amid Economic Downturn

( Amid the greatest economic and social crisis in North Korea’s history, communist dictator Kim Jong Un ordered celebrations for the 109th birthday of the founder of the country to go ahead. Video footage and photographs showed North Koreans wearing traditional dress dancing in the plazas of capital city Pyongyang, all wearing masks.

Given that everything North Korea does is some kind of propaganda, the use of masks is interesting. The country insists that they have not had a single case of COVID-19, but this footage suggests otherwise.

April 15 is a big day on the North Korean calendar. The “Day of the Sun” is the biggest public holiday across the country, but the military parades you may have seen on the television before aren’t happening this year. North Korea only brings out its military weapons, tanks, planes, and more on years ending with a zero or a five. That means it will be 2025 by the time we see the gigantic parades again.

Or, if Kim Jong Un’s economic revitalization plan works, we might see it a little sooner.

The founder of North Korea, Kim Il-Sung, was a former guerrilla fighter who founded the nation of North Korea in 1948. While he died in 1994, the former North Korean leader enjoys God status in the country, and is worshipped by the people of North Korea.

To celebrate the birthday of North Korea’s “son of God,” those lucky enough to live in Pyongyang – virtually the only normal looking place in all of North Korea – visited Mansu Hill to lay flowers and worship statues.

The celebration comes as Kim Jong Un tries to turn the nation’s economic woes around, pushing a five-year plan to increase domestic manufacturing and liberalize markets – but only slightly.

In early April, party cell leaders met with other party officials to discuss economic and social life in the country, with the official KCNA North Korean news agency saying that the party cells “should be the first movers in actively sweeping away anti- and non-socialist practices and launch an intensive drive for establishing moral discipline.”

Amidst an economic crisis, now more than ever, North Korea is wielding whatever power it has to show that life is going on as normal in the impoverished country.