Helena Lyng Blak
5 weeks ago

A Very Rare Exception: North Korea Shows Foreign Films as Part of Putin Visit

North Korea breaks tradition by airing foreign films during President Putin’s visit, marking a significant diplomatic event.
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It is a week for rare occurrences in North Korea. 

On Tuesday, June 18, 2024, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in North Korea for a two-day visit. 

This is the first time in 24 years that the Russian president visits the country. Putin is furthermore the first world leader whom North Korean President Kim Jong Un has hosted in the capital Pyongyang since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And for the North Korean population, the television broadcast will reflect the unusual nature of the event. 

Because on Tuesday, Korean Central Television (KCTV)–North Korea’s primary TV channel–will be broadcasting a selection of Russian programming, finishing the evening with a showing of the 2020 World War II film, ‘Podolskie kursanty’, called ‘The Last Frontier’ or ‘The Final Stand’ in English, NK News reports. 

Usually, North Korea bans its population from consuming foreign media, but it seems that Putin’s presence in the nation is enough to make an exception. 

The isolated nation has previously aired a couple of Chinese movies in 2019, when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited North Korea, and in 2022, and another World War II Russian film called ‘The Star’ in 2008 and in 2020.

According to CNN, Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov reported that the Russian leader will have a “very eventful” agenda during his trip. 

The trip signifies the two countries' deepening relationship and anti-Western sentiments. According to BBC, Putin promised in a letter that Russia, alongside North Korea, will continue to “resolutely oppose” what he called the Western goals “to hinder the establishment of a multi-polarized world order based on mutual respect for justice.”

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