Scott Atran interviewed by CNN in article, "North Koreans grief-stricken over Kim's death"

December 21, 2011

Scott Atran spoke to CNN about the intense North Korean reactions to the death of Kim Jong-il.

Upon hearing the news of Kim Jong-il's death many North Koreans began hysterically sobbing and bawling, and television crews captured people so grief-stricken they could barely speak. As the article's author explains, this outpouring of emotion is so intense that many question its sincerity.

Atran explained to CNN that the weeping is, "absolutely sincere. They're clearly emotionally tied up with the dictator."

"We're used to some extent of institutionalized criticism, an opposition, and in these countries, there isn't anything" Atran said. "There is uniform control of information. The only information comes from the political leadership in ways it desires. That's your world—you see the world of threat and fear, and the dictator poses as the way out of it."