North Koreans have only known the Kim family as its rulers. Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, ruled the country before him, and his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, founded the communist-run state more than seven decades ago.
In an effort to keep control, the dynastic regime and the Workers Party of Korea have sealed off the country from the world through severely restricting travel, the Internet and anything else deemed a threat to their socialist ideology, in addition to suppressing freedom of speech and expression.
Part of holding onto power involves the cultivation of a cult of personality that paints the family as godlike figures who dominates daily life. State media constantly runs positive stories about Kim Jong Un and children learn about the family in school through songs and classroom instruction.
Kim all day, every day
Images of Kim Il-Sung appear on billboards, buildings, offices, classrooms and in the form of a large statue alongside his son where many North Koreans visit daily to lay flowers and worship. Even train cars carry photos of both men.
More than 500 statues across North Korea honor Kim Il Sung, and portraits of him and his son hang in nearly every home. Citizens are also required to wear patriotic pins on their shirts.
Images of the leaders are everywhere and are almost unavoidable.
Brainwashing starts at an early age
North Korean schoolchildren are taught the benevolence of their leaders from an early age. At the same time, they are indoctrinated to hate the United States.
One man who defected to South Korea told The Washington Post that even the most mundane of items or positive happenings are attributed to the Kim family.
“The teachers would say: ‘Do you know where the milk came from? It came from the Dear Leader. Because of his love and consideration, we are drinking milk today,’” said Lee.
High school students are taught hours of courses dedicated to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. The north's propaganda machine is able to portray the family as deities because of the restrictions imposed on citizens.
Televisions sets are fixed to state-run channels and anyone caught with foreign DVDs or devices are punished. Most people don't have access to the Internet and the regime tightly controls the flow of information.