In a comprehensive article on the comprehensive 1984-like propaganda efforts of North Korea, Anna Fifield reports on some underlying themes:
Tatiana Gabroussenko, an expert on North Korean literature who teaches at Korea University in Seoul, said that by not allowing people to form their own opinions, North Korea infantilizes its citizens.
“North Korea molds children socially,” Gabroussenko said. Books for different generations have different styles but the same message and characters, sometimes involving South Korean “stooges” or American “beasts.”
“In the children’s version, a child will be fighting Americans by throwing pepper in their eyes and making them sneeze and cough,” Gabroussenko said. In the adult version, weapons, rather than condiments, are used.
“The message ‘We are one nation’ implies that you can’t rebel against your father, you can’t rebel about your government, that it’s important to stick together,” she said.
North Korea’s totalitarianism may be unique, exceeding even that in the Soviet Union and Cuba, though perhaps reminiscent of Maoist China. So one must be careful not to draw too many analogies between the Kim cult and the efforts of political leaders anywhere else.