North Korea urges citizens to ‘break through barriers’ as nuclear standoff continues – By Josh Smith (Reuters) / Jan 26 2020
SEOUL (Reuters) – While a North Korean deadline for the United States to soften its stand on denuclearization talks passed uneventfully over the New Year, state media and propaganda efforts have been focusing on the prospect of a long confrontation with the United States.
Optimism that two years of contacts between leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump would usher in a new age, and related hopes for economic improvement after decades of deprivation, appear to have faded.
Instead, the government has been hard at work in recent weeks using state media, propaganda posters, and performances to warn the public of a bumpy road ahead under U.S. and international pressure.
The propaganda effort has included calls for North Koreans to “break through barriers” and strengthen the country.
The weekend’s Lunar New Year celebrations included a concert for Kim and other dignitaries with tributes to the country’s leaders for overcoming adversity.
It is a familiar message for North Koreans, but one that now underscores that the leadership does not foresee a breakthrough in diplomacy any time soon.