Kim Jong-un may have enjoyed hosting Dennis Rodman and a number of Harlem Globetrotters, but it appears that the average person in the country found the display perhaps more unsettling than Westerners did. And it just may be decades of anti-capitalist, anti-American propaganda that are to blame. According to this news item from the Daily North Korea, a publication in the south that monitors the north, average North Koreans are ‘shocked’ and disappointed at seeing their young dictator laughing and feasting NBA badboy Rodman, a person who epitomizes everything they have been told is wrong with the West. Yet on state-run TV, there was Kim Jong-il, showering Rodman with gifts and honors.
For the Daily North Korea, reporter Choi Song-min starts out this way:
How did ordinary North Koreans feel about the appearance in Pyongyang of Harlem Globetrotters and former NBA star Dennis Rodman? A source from rural North Hamkyung Province reveals the answer: Not so good!
On March 5, the source told Daily NK, “News about the visit of a leading group of U.S. basketball stars to North Korea spread like wildfire. But when they saw the players on TV, it was as if it was some kind of ‘American mafia’ group!
“People here, raised on a propaganda diet about America’s ‘rotten capitalist culture’ populated by a ‘bunch of degenerates,’ were asking one another, ‘where did they find this group of hobgoblins?’” reported our source. “So they invited these strange and indecent individuals and held a No.1 Event [with Kim Jong-un]?” the source went on. “The appearance of a man wearing not only earrings – but with pierced lips and tattoos everywhere, even on the palms of his hands, was shocking.”
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