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This paper explores the significance of the legacy of Buddhism in North Korea. Our primary concerns in the North Korean context are twofold: the presence of Buddhism in North Korean culture and the role of Buddhism in North Korea cultural and propaganda policy. We argue that the religious revival in North Korea seen from the 1970s onwards was part of a project created by the Workers’ Party of Korea and had certain political goals. Fieldwork and analysis of sources revealed that the North Korean state has used Buddhism to repair the country’s international image by creating a facade of religious freedom to promote tourism and as a part of policies towards unification. While seemingly peripheral, Buddhism still has relevance at state and social levels in North Korea.

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