Fletcher in the News

Prof. Lee Weighs in on the Discovery of a 'Unicorn Lair' in North Korea

The Business Insider

Sung-Yoon Lee is the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor in Korean Studies and Assistant Professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

North Korean state media has reported the discovery of the lair of a unicorn ridden by an ancient Korean king. But that doesn't mean the entire country is living in a fantasy world.

In fact, the report is a propaganda piece likely geared at shoring up the rule of Kim Jong Eun, North Korea's young and relatively new leader, said Sung-Yoon Lee, a professor of Korean studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Most likely, North Koreans don't take the report literally, Lee told LiveScience.

"It's more symbolic," Lee said, adding, "My take is North Koreans don't believe all of that, but they bring certain symbolic value to celebrating your own identify, maybe even notions of cultural exceptionalism and superiority. It boosts morale."

North Korea is currently forging ahead with a long-range rocket launch test that the United States and other international powers call a provocative act.

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