North Korea’s invented histories – NKNews Podcast Ep. 242

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When the war in Ukraine broke out earlier this year, Russian leader Vladimir Putin justified his country’s invasion as an effort to “denazify” its smaller neighbor, a striking claim given that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish. Moscow has also compared its “special military operation” to the fight against Nazi Germany in World War II, an especially proud moment in the country’s history. This week, author and journalist Katie Stallard joins the NK News podcast to explore parallels between Russia’s invocation of history and North Korea’s own use of historical narratives to prop up the Kim family regime. She discusses Pyongyang’s dubious official accounts of founding leader Kim Il Sung’s exploits, how the country falsely frames the Korean War as a U.S. invasion and other examples of why the past is never dead in the DPRK. Stallard (@katiestallard) is a senior editor at the New Statesman magazine and the author of “Dancing on Bones: History and Power in China, Russia, and North Korea,” published by Oxford University Press in May 2022. About the podcast: The North Korea News Podcast is a weekly podcast hosted by Jacco Zwetsloot (@JaccoZed) exclusively for NK News, covering all things DPRK — from news to extended interviews with leading experts and analysts in the field, along with insight from our very own journalists.

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