Lifestyle & Belief

2 + 2 = North Korea is the best


North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il waves his hand from a car after meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Buryatia outside Ulan-Ude on Aug. 24, 2011.


Dmitry Astakhov

Every inch of the Hermit Kingdom, it seems, is saturated with propaganda.

Even primary school math textbooks, as North Korea scholar Andrei Lankov reports in the Korea Times.

For the purposes of his column, Lankov, who teaches at Kookmin University in Seoul, perused a Year Two math textbook for North Korean primary schools.

What he found constitutes another little window onto life in North Korea.

Here are a few examples of the book's highly politicized content:

  • "American imperialist bastards" feature prominently. From a quiz on page 17: ``During the Fatherland Liberation War (North Korea’s official name for the Korean War) the brave uncles of Korean People’s Army killed 265 American imperialist bastards in the first battle. In the second battle they killed 70 more bastards than they had in the first battle. How many bastards did they kill in the second battle? How many American imperialist bastards did they kill all together?’
  • South Koreans heroically spend their days and nights fighting these American imperialists. On page 138: ``South Korean boys, who are fighting against the American imperialist wolves and their henchmen, handed out 45 bundles of leaflets with 150 leaflets in each bundle. They also stuck 50 bundles with 50 leaflets in each bundle. How many leaflets were used?’
  • But life in South Korea is also made up of great suffering. On page 47: `In one South Korean village which is suffering under the heels of the American imperialist wolf-like bastards, a flood destroyed 78 houses. The number of houses damaged was 15 more than the number destroyed. How many houses were damaged or destroyed in this South Korean village all together?’
  • It is only in North Korea, where prosperity can be truly enjoyed by a happy populace. Also on page 47, immediately following the question about destroyed South Korean houses: `In the village where Yong-shik lives, they are building many new houses. 120 of these houses have 2 floors. The number of houses with 3 floors is 60 more than the number of houses with two floors. How many houses have been built in Yong-shik’s village?’

Other news in North Korea Propaganda Watch:

North Korea propaganda unit builds monuments abroad

Slow news day in North Korea?

North Korean artist turns talents on repressive regime

North Korea: Propaganda cartoons reach kids

How North Koreans get their laughs

Information warfare: Best tactic against North Korea

Convicted for re-tweeting North Korea propaganda