June 11, 2012 09:05
The North Korean propaganda machine has taken to extolling leader Kim Jong-un's mother Ko Yong-hui, who died in June 2004.
A video clip apparently used to indoctrinate senior military officers shows Ko watching little Kim draw a picture, cleaning a field jumper for her husband Kim Jong-il, and firing a handgun.
The voiceover describes her as the "respected and beloved general Kim Jong-il's most valuable revolutionary comrade" and a "great person sent from heaven for Kim Il-sung's people." It also included her in a roll call of "great mothers" along with Kim Il-sung's mother Kang Pan-sok and Kim Jong-il's mother Kim Jong-suk.
Japan's Mainichi Shimbun said the regime started showing the video to senior military officers last month. "The idolization of Ko Yong-hui began in the military in the early 2000s but stopped in June 2004, when she died," a Unification Ministry official in Seoul said. "It seems that it has resumed now that Kim Jong-un is the leader."
Ko was born in Japan and went to the North in the early 1960s. A defector who used to be a senior North Korean official said, "Japanese-born Koreans have a very low social status in the North. Ko Yong-hui hasn't been idolized because the regime didn't want to reveal where she came from." The video mentions neither Ko's name nor her birthplace.
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