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Heroes Raising Heroes: A Narrative of Honorable Veterans in the Political Culture of North Korea

Tatiana Gabroussenko 저

pp.603~625 (23pages)

Publisher : Korea Observer
Volume/Number : Korea Observer Vol 52, No 4 / 2021
Publisher : Institute of Korean Studies
Publication : Journal
Format : PDF


Since 1950, yǒngye kunin, or honourable veterans have been a constant theme of North Korean media. The original meaning of this term implies soldiers who died or acquired a major disability as combatants; yet the DPRK media also applies this term to personnel who passed away or acquired disabilities following industrial accidents at their workplaces during military service. Initially, official media related to the theme of honorable veterans focused on issues of how veterans were re-integrating into society. In the late 1980s, the focus changed, with the main emphasis placed on civilian responses to veterans self-sacrifice. One of the peculiar forms of such responses was the practice of proposing marriage to an unknown honorable veteran. Based on a wide variety of North Korean media materials, this article investigates this change in the official discourse about honorable veterans , considering it within the context of the changing goals of state propaganda.


I. Introduction: Heroes as Essentials
II. Honorable Veterans in Earlier North Korean Media
III. Honorable Veterans Since the Late 1980s
IV. Honourable Vterans and Teir Prtners: Cnventions of Plitical Mlodrama
V. Conclusion