Exhibition Shows Both Koreas Using Stars for Propaganda

      August 02, 2010 12:05

      An exhibition of South and North Korean propaganda pamphlets from the 1980s and 90s shows that both sides used celebrities to appeal to people across the border.

      Among the North Korean pamphlets displayed in the DMZ Museum in Goseong, Gangwon Province, one features the Korean Wave star Bae Yong-joon, who is known as "Yonsama" in Japan. It often shocks the actor's adoring Japanese fans who visit the museum.

      In the pamphlet, Bae, holding a child in his arms and wearing his trademark 1,000-watt smile, says, "I want to live in the loving arms of gracious General Kim Jong-il."

      In another pamphlet, actress Lee Seung-yeon has her thumbs up with a message that reads, "Long live General Kim Jong-il, pride of the people."

      Clockwise from left, a North Korean propaganda leaflet featuring actor Bae Yong-joon; a leaflet sent from the South to the North featuring actress Won Mi-kyung; and another leaflet from the North featuring actress Lee Seung-yeon.

      Old South Korean pamphlets are also on display, most exhorting North Koreans to cross the border and come to the South.

      One pamphlet featuring then top actress Won Mi-kyung promises 807,700 grams of gold, equivalent to 47.33 million North Korean won at the time, as a reward.

      At the bottom, there is a message that reads, "This pamphlet also serves as a guarantee of personal safety and free invitations to the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games."

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