North Korea has published 310 new patriotic slogans (see full list below) – so what do they say, what do they mean and what do they tell us about the leadership in Pyongyang, asks Alison Gee?
“Let this socialist country resound with Song of Big Fish Haul and be permeated with the fragrant smell of fish and other seafoods!
“Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms by making mushroom cultivation scientific, intensive and industrialised!
“Make fruits cascade down and their sweet aroma fill the air on the sea of apple trees at the foot of Chol Pass!”
Is there a theme emerging here?
“A lot of this has to do with very practical things to do with the economy, especially food,” says James Grayson, emeritus professor of modern Korean studies at Sheffield University.
“It’s an indication of the absolutely dire state of the North Korean economy. You have this huge disparity between the select few living in the best parts of Pyongyang, who live very well – there are now examples of international businesses there, coffee shops and designer labels… – whereas other parts of the country are allowed to go to hell in a cart.”
North Korea has suffered famine and malnutrition in the recent past and Grayson thinks these food-related slogans are a way of both recognising those problems and offering a solution…