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Not many schools have classrooms equipped with tanks, jet fighter simulators, and grenade launchers. But North Korea's Mangyongdae Revolutionary School for boys is no ordinary establishment.Originally set up by the North's founder Kim Il Sung to educate the orphans of those killed in the fight against Japanese colonial rule, it has evolved to become the country's top school, and one of the institutions that knits the ruling elite together.There are six 45-minute classes a day, with half the curriculum devoted to politics and ideology, almost a quarter on military subjects, and the rest for traditional academic disciplines.With the Japanese colonial period now decades in the past, entry to the school has been broadened to those who have at least one parent or grandparent deemed to have been a loyal servant of the state.Beyond the Kim family, the top echelons of North Korean society are a self-perpetuating ruling class.When the Mangyongdae Revolutionary School was founded in the early days of the Democratic People's Republic, it copied the Soviet Union's Suvorov military schools for veterans' orphans.
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