North Korea Launches Missive Against Foreign Media ‘Rat-Like Imbeciles’
September 19, 2012
By Nate Thayer
North Korea has gone ballistic again and launched a long-range missive targeting the foreign media as “mental patients and rat-like imbeciles”, who they said were acting as the “first-line shock brigade” for foreign governments to “bring about a ‘regime change’”
Pyongyang described the offending journalists as ‘mental patients’, ‘human scum’, ‘rat-like imbeciles’, ‘plot-breeding organizations’, and ‘parasites on the stinky living dead (South Korean president) Lee’, among other insults.
On September 7, the Korean Central News Agency objected to reports that “let loose such rubbish as “sign of policy change” and “attempt at reform and opening” in the DPRK. “
KCNA mentioned several specific newspapers and broadcast media who “reported about the ‘group fleeing’ of the DPRK workers and students from China and the Eastern Europe and peddled the story of ‘use of beautiful women’, false stories aimed to defame the DPRK.”
It said such stories were “a trite method employed by plot-breeding organizations to build up public opinion by releasing false stories by citing plausible sources. “
KCNA dismissed “the orchestrated campaign” as the “last ditch efforts of hack papers and human scum plot-breeding organizations” and “indicative of the fear of the mounting international prestige and might of Songun, and is just last-ditch efforts of human scum keen on prolonging their remaining days.”
They said the widely published reports were “snubbed and jeered by the world media for their sordid act.”
Songun is the official ‘military first’ ideology North Korea enshrined into the constitution in April that gives the state security apparatus the right to supersede all economic and political policy issues to defend the regime from threats.
The KCNA warned foreign news organizations will “never stem the great advance of the DPRK nor can it cover up the shining truth in it.”
The colorful official state media report used numerous derogatory qualifying adjectives, insulting modifying adverbs, and pejorative nouns to emphasize their objections, including ‘ rat-like’, ‘sordid’, ‘hackneyed ‘, ‘pitiful’, ‘rubbish’, and ‘wretched’.
The media organizations themselves were labeled ‘hack papers’, ‘plot-breeding organizations’, ‘desperate groups of rats,’ and the ‘ first-line shock brigade of the puppet regime.’
This isn’t the first time Pyongyang has become vividly upset with foreign media. In June, North Korea’s military warned that troops had aimed artillery at the specific coordinates of South Korean media groups and threatened a “merciless sacred war” over perceived insults.
That was when North Korea was outraged over media criticism suggesting that thousands of children attending festivals in Pyongyang to demonstrate their loyalty to the Kim family dynastic regime were orchestrated events.
They broadcast the specific longitude and latitude locations of seven media outlets in Seoul and said it had targeted those agencies and would attack if an apology for the “vicious smear campaign” against the festivals wasn’t issued. “Officers and men of the army corps, divisions and regiments on the front, and strategic rocket forces in the depth of the country, are loudly calling for the issue of order to mete out punishment,” the official Korean Central News Agency announced.
“If the Lee group recklessly challenges our army’s eruption of resentment, it will retaliate against it with a merciless sacred war of its own style as it has already declared,” the Army General Staff said in the ultimatum, warning Pyongyang was “fully ready for everything” and “time is running out.”
In April, Pyongyang again erupted issuing similar threats vowing to carry out special military attacks that would reduce Seoul to ashes “in three or four minutes . . . by unprecedented peculiar means and methods of our own style” saying the “targets are the Lee Myung-bak group of traitors, the arch criminals, and the group of rat-like elements including conservative media destroying the mainstay of the fair public opinion.”
North Korea is the most censored press in the world. The government tightly controls all information coming in and out of the country, and try’s to mold information at its source. Article 53 of the North Korean constitution says the purpose of the press is to “…serve the aims of strengthening the dictatorship of the proletariat, bolstering the political unity and ideological conformity of the people and rallying them behind the Party and the Great Leader in the cause of revolution.”
Reporters Without Borders has ranked North Korea at or near the bottom of its yearly Press Freedom Index since 2002. The current 2012 RWB report designates North Korea as ranked 178th out of 179 countries, only above that of Eritrea.
Kim Jong-il, in his book “The great teacher of journalists, says “newspapers carry articles in which they unfailingly hold the president in high esteem, adore him and praise him as the great revolutionary leader”.
All North Korean journalists are members of the ruling Korean Workers’ Party, and applicants for journalism school must demonstrate they are ideologically clean and come from families designated as “ politically reliable.”
Journalists have been known to receive harsh punishment of hard labor or imprisonment for typographical errors.
Only news favorable to the regime is allowed. Domestic media and the population are prohibited from writing or reading any stories by foreign media.
No private press exists. The media invariably paints the country in a positive light, describing its leaders, government, and ideological system as “superior to any the world has ever known.”
They regularly broadcast thematic media campaigns, with one 2005 series launched against men with long hair, claiming it reduces intelligence. The series, “entitled Let us trim our hair in accordance with Socialist lifestyle”, carried out on television, press and radio, urged tidy hairstyles and proper attire.
It continued a year’s long lower key effort against the sloppy appearance of men, but at that time went considerably further identifying specific individuals deemed shoddy and broadcasting their names and images on state television.
The five-part series on its TV “Common Sense” show emphasized hygiene and health, showed state-approved hairstyles such as the “flat-top crew cut,” “middle hairstyle,” “low hairstyle,” and “high hairstyle” which could vary from one to five centimeters in length. The broadcast said men aged over 50 were permitted an extra two centimeters of upper hair to cover balding.
State media said long hair had “negative effects” on “human intelligence development”, contending long hair “consumes a great deal of nutrition” and robs the brain of energy and recommended men get a haircut every 15 days.
“Hair is a very important issue that shows the people’s cultural standards and mental and moral state,” said the state Minju Choson newspaper.
North Korea media routinely broadcast groups based in numerous other countries of supporters of their state “Juche” ideology they portray as having widespread global popularity which effectively misleads the news deprived North Korean public on how the world perceives the country. When Kim Jong-Il visited Russia in August 2001, state media reported Russians as “awestruck” by his ability to “stop the rain and make the sun come out”
News is routinely released internationally and withheld from domestic consumption, and vice versa.
North Korean media keenly monitors foreign media reports on its country, particularly South Korea, Japan, China and the United States and those deemed unfavorable are vigorously condemned in the official media.
Radio and TV are pre-tuned locked to government stations and must be registered with the police.