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Four surprising takes on the US by North Korea’s Onion-like news agency

Naomi Rovnick

North Korea today may have pronounced America its “sworn enemy” and vowed to target the US with rocket launches and nuclear tests.

But its day-to-day weapon for combatting the US on the world stage is an English-language propaganda arm called the Korean Central News Agency

KCNA generally characterizes America as an evil power that is intent on destroying North Korea but is doomed to failure because of the inequity of capitalism. It also, at times, resembles the satirical newspaper The Onion. Last November, it reported the discovery of the lair of a unicorn that features in North Korean mythology.

Here are some of KCNA’s finest moments:

American is a”brigandish” UN puppet master,  interfering with North Korea’s right to “conquer space.” 

On January 23, after the UN Security Council had roundly condemned North Korea’s recent rocket launch, KCNA dismissed the UN as a “marionette” of “brigandish” America.

What the American brigand was being accused of stealing was not clear. But Pyongyang argued the UN, in America’s interests, had condemned its rocket launch to prevent it becoming a world space power.

“The essence of the matter is the US brigandish logic that a satellite launch for peaceful purposes by a country which the US antagonizes should not be allowed because any carrier rocket launched by it can be converted into long-range ballistic missile threatening the US,” it said.

And even though North Korea suffers chronic food shortages and lacks basic farm equipment, KCNA vowed Pyongyang would not be deterred from its plan to “continuously launch satellites for peaceful purposes to conquer space and become a world-level space power.”

A day later, Pyongyang contradicted its own statement, this time saying it plans to target the US with nuclear missiles anyway.

“The US plans to nuke North Korea.” 

“It is the US military strategy toward the DPRK [Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea] to stifle it through preemptive nuclear attack”.

That comes from this KCNA story published in November 2011. Its evidence? That was an article on the same topic from “Rodong Sinmun,” the official newspaper of the Pyongyang leadership.

In fact, the US has no stated objective of waging nuclear war on North Korea. It prefers to attack its missile development program with sanctions.

The US is conducting a “psychological campaign” against us via Voice of America. 

This statement  by KCNA from March 2008 urged the US to stop its “anti-DPRK psychological campaign.” It was referring to Voice of America’s Korean language service.

Pyongyang was really, really angry about VoA.The news agency report was a long riff about how the radio station’s Korean service was a tool used by Washington to antogonize Pyongyang.

“The US has become all the more frantic in its psychological campaign against the DPRK behind the scene of dialogue,” the report said.

It added that VoA: “seeks to shake the Korean people’s faith in their cause and foster discontent with the political system among them in a bid to bring down Korean-style socialism with ease. This betrays the US inveterate enmity toward the DPRK as it proves its claim that the former does not antagonize the DPRK is a whopping lie, a sheer mockery of the international community.”

But America has its own problems, such as its lack of future and the revolutionary fervor of its hungry,”toiling masses” 

Sporadically, KCNA reports on America’s anti-capitalism movement, which it naturally views through the lens of its own, agrarian, Marxist-Leninist society.

Last February, as US election campaigning was in full swing,  KCNA reported  that while the presidential candidates were “locked in a hot scramble” for election funds, America’s “overwhelming majority of toiling masses are unable to live in their own houses.”

It added that by ignoring this reality, America’s presidential hopefuls were securing the nation’s downfall.

“The tiny handful of ruling quarters are vying with each other to collect election money to seek presidential office, turning a deaf ear to the voices of the toiling masses demanding jobs and bread. This reality glaringly proves that the US has no future.”

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