Primary school students with Mickey Mouse school bag. November 2012, in Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province. Taken by ASIAPRESS.



The United States (U.S.) is considered as the “Mortal Enemy” in North Korea.  However, Mickey Mouse products–a symbol of the enemy’s culture–has been prevalent all over North Korea.

According to video footages secretly filmed inside North Korea by our reporting partners, Mickey Mouse bags and clothes are widely used by North Korean people–especially, since late 2012.

In July 2012, Kim Jong-un watched a concert of Moranbong Band.  The all-female band wearing miniskirts performed “Gonna Fly Now”–the theme song from the movie Rocky–and a person with a Mickey Mouse suit appeared.  A defector was shocked after watching the video.

A defector from Pyongyang said, “Apparently, Kim Jong-un unprecedentedly implied that the culture of “American Imperialist” could be accepted in North Korea.  I had an expectation that the society might change.”

However, North Korea launched an inter continental ballistic missile at the end of 2012, followed by a nuclear test in the following year.  The relationship between the U.S. and North Korea got worsened, and the social transformation did not occur.

Nevertheless, a gorgeous-looking band wearing miniskirts as well as Mickey Mouse, which were performed for Kim Jong-un, have vividly remained in people’s minds.  In a way, Kim Jong-un played the role of bringing and spreading the enemy’s culture in North Korea.  (ISHIMARU Jiro)

Moranbong Band–eagerly created by Kim Jong-un–held a concert. The all-female band wearing miniskirts performed songs, and a person with a Mickey Mouse suit appeared as well. In July 2012, broadcasted by Korean Central Television.


A mother and a son. He is wearing a very bright pink T-shirt with a design of Mickey Mouse. August 2013, Hyesan, Ryanggang Province. Taken by ASIAPRESS.

A girl wearing Mickey Mouse clothes is dancing in a family celebration. Perhaps, it was imported from China. Seemingly, they do not know that it’s an American character. 2007 fall, in North Hamkyung Province. Taken by Lee Joon (ASIAPRESS)


It is a Mickey Mouse bag. September 2013, in Chongjin City, North Hamkyung Province. Taken by ASIAPRESS.


Rimjingang_banner001* Editor’s notes on North Korean reporters
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