War, Peace and Cartoons on the Korean Peninsula


One of the weapons of Cold War is, humiliating the enemy with and through different forms of expression and media. Satire in caricatures is the most effective one in this respect. A cartoonist could spoil any image by repeating the comic insults continuously in various frames.

Nowadays, one of the world famous “victims” of political cartoons, is the President of North Korea. It is common to find a cartoon about his strange actions and re-actions in the main media pages around the globe. For those not even interested in following the young authoritarian leader, it is normal to hear of “him” executing his relatives, alliance or army officers questioning his abnormal deeds.

Criticism of the North Korean President is not without comparison. He is such an idiot facing the wise Uncle Sam. He is such a hostile person facing the powerful Premier of Japan. He is the boy, who fools around with his nuclear toys to threaten his peaceful neighbours. He is the dictator, who makes his people suffer. In all types of world cartoons, Mr. Kim Jong-un is the negative factor opposite the positive ones.

Cartoonist Carlos Latuff (born 30/11/1968) is a Lebanese artist among Arabs, born in the Brazilian Diaspora. He enjoys drawing political works, which gets him attention, especially on the issues of Arab nations. He also offers his views on the Korean Peninsula issues.

Latuff has an anti-globalization and anti-capitalism concept. Even so, his opinion against the United States military intervention did not stop him from criticizing the member of devil lobby, as an American expression describes the North Korean leader and his equals.

The same game is played on both side of the borders. The South Korean president was also criticized by words and cartoons in rival North Korean media outlets. I recall that Park Geun-hye was depicted as an enemy in a cartoon for North Korean children in kindergarten!

Such a cold “funny” war is more effective than bombs, as it has a soft impact all around. Social feedback shows that continuing such a war could make not just leaders, but even people, abandon thoughts of peace. Satire may be an easy weapon using ink, but it is a psychologically dangerous one that does not respect blood that is physically shed in real wars.

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