mandag 31. juli 2017

In North Korea, a generation gap grows behind the propaganda

Here, where rulers have long been worshiped as all-powerful providers, young people have grown to adulthood expecting nothing from the regime. Their lives, from professional aspirations to dating habits, are increasingly shaped by a growing market economy and a quietly thriving underground trade in smuggled TV shows and music. Political fervor, genuinely felt by many in earlier generations, is being pushed aside by something else: A fierce belief in the power of money.

It’s a complex divide, where some 20-year-olds remain fierce ideologues and plenty of 50-year-olds have no loyalty to the increasingly worried regime. But conversations with more than two dozen North Korean refugees, along with scholars, former government officials and activists, make it clear that young people are increasingly unmoored from the powerful state ideology.