This weekend the South Korean government engaged in “a mean attempt for psychological warfare” against their northern neighbor. In an attempt to reinforce the ideals of freedom of expression and religion, South Korea authorized two Christian groups to string Christmas lights to 30-meter tall towers. The lights, when turned on, form a conic Christmas tree shape. These lights can be seen from the North Korean city of Kaesong.
In previous spats between the two Koreas, the North has accused the South of trying to spread Christianity in the North. Apparently in North Korea, the constitutional right to freedom of religion is merely for show. And as the whole world knows, there is nothing worse than the spread of Christianity. Can you imagine what North Korea would look like if their people had a sense of hope or another god outside of Kim Il Sung? Maybe the Jonger is on to something by being quite angry with the South. It shall be interesting to see what the response is.
According to North Korea’s official website, "The enemy warmongers [...] should be aware that they should be held responsible entirely for any unexpected consequences that may be caused by their scheme." It also threatened to retaliate immediately if the Christmas lights are switched on. I think Kim Jong Il should try and out Christian the South. Lead a propaganda campaign aimed at making it appear as though the North is jolliest bunch of Christians in the East. Unfortunately, he will probably resort to some symbolic strong-arm tactic. The North could benefit from a better PR manager. Maybe concoct a Juche Christ. He is God and man and therefore self-reliant. Actually, that is probably a bad idea, but it is time for some outside the box thinking North of the border.
I welcome the South’s move to poke the bear with a Christmas tree. I look forward to rationalizing the response from the North Korean point of view, because as of right now, I can’t imagine what a reasonable response to 15 days of cone-shaped lights is except to ignore it.
*Quotes are from AFP article on Spacewar.com