By ann summers
Launch more missiles, run more nuclear weapons tests, and ban sarcasm… perhaps the North Korean media is being ironic in praising Donald Trump. Brilliant, but only if you know better than your generals as long as they can be your generals. Trump loves to refer to things he owns, “my African-Americans”, “my generals”…
AN EDITORIAL IN NORTH KOREA’S STATE-RUN MEDIA ON TUESDAY OFFERED HIGH PRAISE FOR PRESUMPTIVE U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE DONALD TRUMP.
Trump is a “wise politician” and “far-sighted presidential candidate,” the Korean-language article in DPRK Today argues.
The editorial, attributed to Chinese North Korean scholar Han Yong-mook, is not official government policy. Yet it likely reflects the authoritarian regime’s thinking, experts told NK News.
“There are many positive aspects to Trump’s ‘inflammatory policies,’” the article says, listing two in particular: Trump’s offer to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and his threat to remove U.S. forces from South Korea, which is still technically at war with the North.
“Yes, do it now,” the editorial urged Trump, reflecting Pyongyang’s long-held demand the U.S. troops leave the Korean peninsula. “Who knew that the slogan ‘Yankee Go Home’ would come true like this?”
Trump’s claimed “sarcasm” (Obama created ISIS(sic)) is in fact more hyperbolic than sarcastic, probably exempting him from any potential violations when President Trump visits Pyongyang.
Even indirect criticism of the authoritarian government has been banned, Asian media reported…
“This habit of the central authorities of blaming the wrong country when a problem’s cause obviously lies elsewhere has led citizens to mock the party,” an anonymous source said.
Another mocking expression, “A fool who cannot see the outside world,” was also said to be circulating in the totalitarian state, referring to the country’s notoriously isolationist leader.
The phrase was apparently conceived when officials voiced shock that Mr Kim did not attend celebrations held in Russia and China to mark the end of the Second World War.
Regional media have reported an increase in public acts of dissent in the country of late. Graffiti mocking the government and its leader have appeared twice in recent weeks…
Kim Jong Un just can’t take a joke. The last time the North Korean dictator found himself on the receiving end of some gentle ribbing, as the subject of James Franco and Seth Rogen’s assassination comedy The Interview, Kim’s repressive regime allegedly hacked Sony Pictures, apparently in retaliation.
NOW, THE ABSOLUTIST LEADER IS TAKING HIS HOSTILITY TOWARD HUMOR TO A FARCICAL NEW EXTREME, BANNING ALL SARCASM THROUGHOUT THE HERMIT KINGDOM IN AN ATTEMPT TO CRACK DOWN ON DISSENT AND QUASH ANY FURTHER LAUGHS AT HIS EXPENSE.
The Independent reports that North Korean party officials held several mass meetings across the country in an attempt to warn citizens that criticizing the state via indirect, ironic statements such as “This is all America’s fault” would be illegal and “unacceptable.”
And the consequences for disobeying are particularly unfunny: according to the nonprofit group Liberty in North Korea, any criticism of the government—including, apparently, the North Korean version of “Thanks, Obama”—“is enough to make you and your family ‘disappear’ from society and end up in a political prison camp.”
South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper has reported that Ri Yong Jin, a senior official in the education ministry, was arrested for dozing off during a meeting with Kim and charged with corruption before being killed.
Former Agriculture Minister Hwang Min was purged over a proposed project seen as a direct challenge to Kim’s leadership, the paper said.