North Korean Propaganda Machinery: Unveiling Anticapitalist Narrative in State Documentaries


North Korea, one of the world’s most secretive and isolated regimes, is known for its intense control over information and the propagation of a distinct anti-Western narrative. The government, led by the ruling Kim dynasty, utilizes various tools to disseminate its anticapitalist message to its citizens. This article explores the nature of state-funded messaging in North Korea, with a focus on a government documentary that exemplifies the regime’s efforts to shape its citizens’ perception of the outside world.

The Propagation of Anticapitalist Ideology:

The North Korean government, under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, employs a comprehensive propaganda apparatus to control the narrative and mold the worldview of its citizens. One of the central tenets of this propaganda is the promotion of an anticapitalist ideology, painting Western nations, particularly the United States, as malevolent forces seeking to undermine the socialist principles of North Korea.

State-Funded Documentaries as Propaganda Tools:

A key instrument in the government’s propaganda toolkit is the production and dissemination of state-funded documentaries. These documentaries serve as powerful tools for shaping public opinion, reinforcing ideological narratives, and fostering loyalty to the regime. One notable example is the documentary titled “Defending Our Socialism Against Western Imperialism,” which provides a glimpse into the nature and content of North Korean propaganda.

Themes Explored in the Documentary:

“Defending Our Socialism Against Western Imperialism” employs a variety of techniques to convey its anticapitalist message. The documentary often juxtaposes images of supposed Western decadence and social inequality with scenes of North Korean prosperity, emphasizing the alleged superiority of the country’s socialist system. Themes such as the dangers of capitalism, the perceived threat of Western imperialism, and the need for a strong, centralized government are recurrent throughout the film.

Demonization of the West:

The documentary uses selective and often manipulated footage to portray the West, especially the United States, as a symbol of moral decay and social injustice. Scenes of homelessness, protests, and economic disparity in Western countries are contrasted with staged depictions of content and prosperous North Korean citizens. This stark dichotomy aims to reinforce the narrative that socialism is the only path to a just and equitable society.

Cult of Personality:

Central to North Korean propaganda is the glorification of the ruling Kim family. “Defending Our Socialism Against Western Imperialism” is no exception, as it extensively features images and narratives showcasing the leadership qualities of Kim Jong-un. The documentary aims to create an aura of unwavering loyalty to the leader, emphasizing the necessity of a strong, centralized authority to protect the country from the perceived threats posed by the West.

Controlled Narratives and Limited Information:

In North Korea, access to information is tightly controlled, with citizens having limited exposure to external news sources. State-controlled media, including documentaries like the one discussed, serves as the primary source of information for the population. The government’s monopoly on information allows it to carefully curate narratives that align with its ideology, fostering a collective mindset among the citizens.

The Impact on North Korean Society:

The continuous exposure to state-sponsored propaganda, including documentaries like “Defending Our Socialism Against Western Imperialism,” has a profound impact on North Korean society. Citizens are conditioned to view the outside world through a narrow, ideological lens, reinforcing a sense of nationalistic pride and vigilance against perceived external threats.

The Impact Beyond Borders:

Beyond its borders, North Korean propaganda, including state-funded documentaries, has a global impact, influencing perceptions and shaping discussions on the regime’s ideology. The carefully crafted anticapitalist narrative portrayed in these documentaries not only reinforces the government’s control domestically but also plays a role in defining North Korea’s image on the international stage. As the world grapples with deciphering the intentions of this isolated nation, it is crucial to explore how such propaganda shapes global discourse and perceptions of North Korea’s political and social systems.


The North Korean government’s use of documentaries as instruments of propaganda sheds light on the extent to which information is controlled within the country. “Defending Our Socialism Against Western Imperialism” serves as a case study in the regime’s efforts to shape its citizens’ perceptions of the world, promoting an anticapitalist ideology and fostering loyalty to the ruling Kim dynasty. As the international community grapples with understanding North Korea, analyzing the nature and content of state-funded documentaries provides valuable insights into the mechanisms through which the regime maintains control and perpetuates its ideological agenda.

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