David Frum

03.17.13

North Korean Propaganda Strikes Again

Video screenshot

Oh North Korea! The government of Kim Jong-Un recently released a short film entitled “Capitalist Society Growing Darker,” which portrays the West as a place filled with problems such as high homeless and starvation.

The message is consistent with North Korean propaganda, which seeks to convince its citizens that they’re not actually trapped in grinding poverty and hunger after all; they’re living in the richest nation on Earth! That means deterring defectors and keeping people loyal by presenting the outside world – particularly South Korea and the United States – as even poorer and hungrier than North Korea.

This message has been getting tougher and tougher for North Korea to sell to its people. Since the famine, the country has tolerated greater black market trade across the Chinese border to provide sufficient food, which means that video CDs of foreign TV shows and movies also come across. North Korean security forces have been so worried about the potential impact of these video CDs, which clearly show South Koreans and Americans living in prosperity far beyond the North Korean norm, that possessing them is a serious crime. Blaine Harden, in his excellent book Escape from Camp 14, reports that security officials sometimes shut down power to entire apartment blocks, then raid individual homes to see if they have any contraband video CDs trapped in their players.

While their claims are factually baseless, it is embarrassing that they discuss the Newtown shooting, which something that cannot be defended by America on any level.

[Note: the original video that was dubbed was found to be completely inaccurate. The version above may or may not be the complete thing, I cannot be sure, as many of the links have been removed. This link claims to have a better translation listed in the description section. This, of course, is not verifiable, so please take it with a grain of salt]