Divine Leaders Ride Unicorns: Myths of North Korea

ko1by Virginia Carraway Stark

In North Korea it is believed that the first dictator Kim-Il Sung who took power in 1948 also created the world. The dictators have put together a hodge podge of Christianity, Buddhism and other religions to put the country into a confusing but iron fist of rule through fear. So firmly is it believed that the Dictator is akin to god that to defy, rebel or even show disrespect is akin to heresy. In North Korea if the divine leader says he’s riding a unicorn, you better believe that he’s riding a unicorn, your life and soul may depend on your ability to do so.

This seems insane but actually, this isn’t anything new. In England the King was believed to be chosen by God and so to defy the king was to defy God. This is also the belief held about the Pope in the Catholic Church.

The problem with Divine Rule is that it is something that has no proof and there is really only the word of the ruler and perhaps his supporters to claim that this is the will of a divine force. Claiming to have created the world further complicates the lives of people in North Korea and since North Korea is a small country with very few windows to the outside world, defying the dictator is essentially something that can end the world. This is a good reason to adhere to rational thought and to apply scientific reason to any and all hypothesis.


The Cult of Personality is a ploy enacted by not just dictators but also by cults and by nearly any person or group who is looking to have a strangle hold on people. This isn’t just an affection or admiration for someone, it is marked by the intensity of feeling and the levels of devotion both demanded by the leader and offered by the followers.

When examining the paranormal in context with North Korea it is difficult to find much through normal channels because most of the culture was violently expunged. All loyalty must be to the Kim family and anything else is punishable by death or work camps where few escape from. The punishment is not just of the offender but also of all their family and even generations not yet born will live, work and die in these camps for vague offenses.

ko5These beliefs fly in the face of science and reason again and again and have made North Korea the laughing stock of the entire world. In 2013 ‘researchers’ claimed to have found the unicorn lair.

This proof was some alleged carving on a rock near a cave that said, ‘unicorn lair.’ According to the supreme dictator of Korea this proves Korea’s divine right to rule because of an ancient story that the ruler of a powerful city akin to the western idea of Camelot rode a unicorn into the city. That’s a long ways to go to try to prove your divine leadership!

At the very least we can learn from North Korea’s approach to culture and the paranormal that science and rationality is integral. It is a nearly purely negative example since all we know about the paranormal is North Korea is extremely dubious and unreliable. Fortunately we have some untainted information about the entire Korean penninsula thanks to South Korea or the entire culture would now be lost to us.