The Corner

Crocodile Tears for Kim?

A lot of folks in my inbox and sundry social media are having a laugh at what they universally agree are the “forced” tears of mourners in North Korea:

And while I agree that there is certainly enough terror to go around in the DPRK that the average citizen (if you can call them that) is like to do everything in his or her power to weep harder than the next guy, I think we also have to consider a possibility much more disturbing: The tears are real.

North Korea can be looked at as the most successful cult in the world, and after bribing the military and other key allies, the vast majority of the state’s resources were dedicated to (1) raising the Kims to divinity and (2) hermetically sealing the state to outside discourse. After nearly three-quarters of a century of wholesale brainwashing, it is highly likely that a huge swath of the population of North Korea is in the grips of a kind of mass psychosis.

Daniel FosterDaniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

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