In a shocking turn of events, it looks like the US president’s inauguration day proclamation uses language uttered by Kim Jong-un in speeches to military and in North Korean propaganda.
Donald Trump has echoed the words of the North Korean Leader when he said that the inauguration should be a “national day of patriotic devotion.”
On October 2015, Kim addressed the military parade during the party’s 70th anniversary. He thanked the “heroic men and women” of the army who “in hearty response to the party’s appeal, have worked with patriotic devotion and created one heroic miracle after another” in their quest to build a “thriving socialist nation”.
The phrase is in fact pretty common in North Korean propaganda.
On December 19, 2016, during the fifth anniversary of Kim’s father’s passing, a local publication said: “The noble image and patriotic devotion of the peerless patriot, who reliably defended socialism centered on the popular masses and turned [North Korea] into an invincible politico-ideological power and a world military power.”
In an article published right after the ruler’s death, the following was said: “The spring of prosperity under socialism will surely come … thanks to the patriotic devotion of Kim Jong-il, who blocked the howling wind of history till the last moments of his life”.
Last January the publication once again cited Kim Jong-un’s words when he had congratulated a socialist youth league formed in the name of his grandfather and North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-sung, on its 70th anniversary.
According to the publication, Kim had said that the league had enjoyed “a history of brilliant victories of the great leaders’ original idea of prioritizing the youth and their wise leadership and a history of ardent loyalty and patriotic devotion, with which the young people of Korea have supported the party and the leader, the country and the people”.
A few social media users immediately noticed Donald Trump’s words were carbon copy of North Korean propaganda and took to Twitter to address the matter, saying:
“So, Dear Leader declared his inauguration day an official holiday: ‘National Day of Patriotic Devotion’”
“In his inaugural speech, Trump declared that he would put “America first” and argued that patriotic zeal could heal the nation’s divisions.”
On Monday, paperwork was filed with the federal government declaring that the day of his inauguration, 20 January 2017, would be officially known as the “National Day of Patriotic Devotion”.
Trump’s executive order said the proclamation would “strengthen our bonds to each other and to our country – and to renew the duties of government to the people”
Jiro Ishimaru of Asia Press, an Osaka-based organisation with a network of high-level contacts in North Korea, said that by invoking patriotic devotion, Trump appeared to be channeling three generations of North Korea’s Kim dynasty.
“Ordinary North Koreans hear those words every day. They don’t just appear in the media and speeches, but on posters and in other propaganda. They hear the word patriotism at local residents’ meetings, where, for example, they’re told to produce more rice out of love for their country, or to collect more scrap metal for weapons and bullets.”