South Korean Government Releases Manhwa Propaganda

posted on by Gia Manry
Comic depicts alleged North Korean connection to March patrol boat sinking

South Korea's Ministry of National Defense has released a 32-page comic depicting the March 26 sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean patrol boat allegedly torpedoed by North Korea, on Tuesday. The comic suggests that North Korea's goal in sinking the boat was to divide the nation.

According to the Bloomberg report, the comic is being disseminated through schools and libraries around the nation, in part because many young South Koreans do not trust the South Korean government's account of the Cheonan's sinking. The government released its official report on Tuesday at the same time as the comic.

The current government also faces an overall wave of unpopularity; in June, the ruling party was diminished to only six of the 16 government posts, while the primary opposition, the Democratic Party, took seven. Various independents and small parties won the remaining three.

Manhwa, or Korean comics, are popular in South Korea, although sales have declined there as elsewhere. Materials originating in Japan are also popular; in January of 2005, Studio Ghibli's Howl's Moving Castle was the number one film in the nation. Many Japanese manga have been developed into Korean television dramas or films, such as the slice-of-life title Baby and Me, Fumi Yoshinaga's manga Antique Bakery, and Yoko Kamio's romance title Hana Yori Dango.

South Korean protests against the depiction of Korea in the manga Hetalia - Axis Powers resulted in the Hetalia anime adaptation's initial Japanese television run being canceled in favor of a web-only release.

Image © South Korean Ministry of National Defense

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