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See what North Korean TV is really like with an uncut hour of weird propaganda programming
03.20.2017
01:56 pm
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It’s painful to contemplate the relentless gauntlet of oppression and misery the citizens of North Korea have endured for decades now. The reign of autocratic terror hatched by Kim Il Sung, his son Kim Jong Il, and his grandson Kim Jong Un is an occurrence we can only hope ends soon and is never repeated again. The three Kims are held up as something akin to deities, while most of the population starves.

In North Korea, the Korean War of the 1950s may as well have happened yesterday. There is no such entity as “South Korea,” it is all simply “Korea,” with the southern half temporarily occupied by American imperialists, who (as the propaganda never stops emphasizing) started the Korean War and have been intent on killing and raping North Korea ever since, an outcome stymied by North Korea’s dominating military forces.

By chance I’m in the middle of a pretty decent murder mystery set in North Korea—it’s called A Corpse in the Koryo, and it’s written pseudonymously by a westerner with access to the country.

For that reason I was extra-interested to learn that an hour of North Korean TV programming found its way onto YouTube yesterday. As might be expected, the programming is equal parts rousing, patriotic, and grim.

From the 10th to the 18th minute there is an amazing story, told entirely in the medium of dance, of a boy and his mother being brainwashed by a Catholic priest. After the priest kills the boy, the mother avenges the boy’s death. After the story is over, the text “Do not forget the brutality of American things” appears on the screen. Because the United States is all about murderous clergymen!

There’s a documentary segment about a clothing factory, followed by one about mining. Around the 35th minute we begin to get the truly demented patriotic pageantry that is associated with North Korea. A loud and uplifting song is played while stirring images of prosperous and colorful North Korea pan and fade in and out. For the first time we see copious images of the Glorious Leader Kim Jong Un.

The last chunk is dedicated to North Korean children engaging in music and dance. Two small children play a duet on a piano—this is followed by a solo dance of a young boy dancing with a stick.

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.20.2017
01:56 pm
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Zany North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un gives gifts of Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ to senior officials
06.17.2013
04:24 pm
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Kim Jong Un gave a lecture to high-ranking officials earlier this year where he mentioned that Adolph Hitler had managed to rebuild Germany in just a short time after it had been defeated in WWI and has directed his subordinates to study which aspects of the Third Reich’s rule would have implications for North Korea. He has reported also given gifts of Mein Kampf to senior officials.

A source told New Focus International, a North Korean news organization that sources from both defectors and anonymous citizens from within the country that the boy dictator wants to see if there are “practical applications” for North Korea to learn from Hitler’s successes and bolster the desperately poor state. Shirley Lee, New Focus’s international editor told The Washington Post by email that some of her sources think North Korea, a country heavy on race-baiting and its supposedly charismatic dictators, has a lot in common with Germany, although it’s probably the Nazis’ propaganda machine that is being the most closely studied, not the Final Solution (who would they pogrom against in NoKo anyway?):

“One source says there have been many overt attempts to imbue Kim Jong Un with an ‘intimidating charisma,’ such as having him shout very forcefully at associates (Kim Jong Il was never seen to do such a thing) and even throwing things at people. According to another source, this may explain why the [official state newspaper] Rodong Sinmun has been showing photos of Kim Jong Un looking angry and scary – again, unprecedented in the history of Kim presentation.”

Yeah, you, Mister Totalitarian Dictator, butch it up!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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06.17.2013
04:24 pm
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