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May 25, 2004
Prejudices Reinforced

From today's Best of the Web comes this series of quotes taken from people in North Korea about Abu Ghraib:

"I was shocked to see the pictures of naked Iraqi prisoners on television and in the newspapers," said Kim Sun-Ok, a 31-year-old employee working at a state telecommunications company.

"Most of my colleagues are saying the abuse is inhumane and cruel," the female Pyongyang resident said. "I think the Americans are like wild wolves that attack people without mercy."

Un Kyong-Hi, a college researcher in her 20s, said the abuses reinforced negative perceptions about the Stalinist state's ideological foe.

"Many people have seen pictures of the abuse, which is the top international news here. People's ideas that the United States is a barbarian country are being reinforced."

Peoples' ideas reinforced, indeed.

Where do you suppose they got those ideas in the first place?

The North Korean state propaganda machine has only three real themes:

  1. Hurray for our leader.
  2. Ju-che ("self-reliance") is good.
  3. Americans are evil.
One tactic the Norks have engaged in over the years is to use photos of the results of communist atrocities as "evidence" that American soldiers are barbaric murderers.

The photos they typically use are pictures taken by GIs at mass grave sites discovered after the retreat of the North Korean People's Army (NKPA). But since the photos, like the two below, show GIs with the bodies of the dead civilians they found, the propaganda trolls simply fabricate a caption (sort of like Micah Wright). It's apparently been effective.



Again, these are photos of civilians murdered by the NKPA, discovered by American and allied forces after the NKPA retreat.

Imagine what they do these days with their pirated copies of Photoshop.

Over the years, our MPs have been chosen for particular attention from the propagandists. There is one photo I've seen (but can't find) that shows an American MP in full regalia guarding an enormous number of bodies found, stacked up, after the liberation of Seoul. Naturally, the Norks claim that MPs killed all those civilians. Even now, when the Norks want to make a point in a children's cartoon or on a poster, their "villain" will often be dressed as an MP.

The behavior of the handful of miscreants at Abu Ghraib surely hasn't helped.

It might also be instructive to remember that, as in the Soviet Union, "man on the street" interviews in North Korea are nothing but a Nork propaganda exercise. There is zero chance that any information that might show US forces in a good light would ever be shown to the people of North Korea, and there is zero chance that person would speak against the wishes of the State -- not if they don't want to end up in a grave like in those pictures.

Posted by Russ at 10:47 PM, May 25, 2004 in Nat'l Security

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but these comments are coming out of the mouths of people that live side by side to concentration camps, right? Because nothing is more humane than torture, starvation, rape and murder, right? Or does North Korea just ignore that they are one of the most atrocious crapholes in the world to live?

Posted by: The Sicilian at May 28, 2004 01:49 PM