Mythmaking begins for NKorea's next leaderBy JEAN H. LEE
Dec. 23, 2011
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Just before North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died, the skies glowed red above sacred Mount Paektu and the impenetrable sheet of ice at the heart of the mystical volcano cracked with a deafening roar.
At least, that's the official account of the supernatural circumstances preceding Kim's death last Saturday, as relayed by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. The news agency is one of the chief propaganda organs tasked with building up the quasi-religious mystique around the Kim family, which has ruled North Korea since its founding in 1948.
The tools for making the myth have been developed over two generations, dating back to Kim's father, late President Kim Il Sung. But with Kim Jong Il's sudden death and the ascension of his young son Kim Jong Un, North Korea's image artisans will have to do it all at warp speed.