Threats to kill Americans? Check. Praises for the Great Leader? Check. Revealing plans to grow more local, sustainable produce? Check. Wait, what?North Korea just unveiled a list of 300 new propaganda slogans, and many of them are oddly poetic and food-themed. Our favorite slogan is probably "Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms by making mushroom cultivation scientific, intensive and industrialized!” but there are plenty more where that came from, like: “Make fruits cascade down and their sweet aroma fill the air on the sea of apple trees at the foot of Chol Pass!" (Chol Pass is a revolutionary site in North Korea). In fact, most of the slogans have to do with North Korea’s economy and food production.
North Korea also claims to have plans to “grow vegetables extensively in greenhouses!” and “produce larger quantities of meat, eggs and milk holding high the banner of science-based livestock farming!” Their factories, they promise, will soon be “germ and dust-free,” a feat that would indeed be marvelous.
"It's an indication of the absolutely dire state of the North Korean economy,” James Grayson, a professor at Sheffield University, told BBC News. “You have this huge disparity between the select few living in the best parts of Pyongyang, who live very well — there are now examples of international businesses there, coffee shops and designer labels... — whereas other parts of the country are allowed to go to hell in a cart."
In other words, the slogans are meant to distract from that real issues, like poverty and starvation, that plague North Korea, and to placate the growing population of hungry citizens.