North Korean state media’s coverage of the arrest, trial and subsequent execution of Jang Song Thaek was “tantamount to mass intimidation,” Reporters Without Borders said on Thursday.
“Although only to be expected from one of the world’s worst dictatorships, such manipulation of news and information is disturbing,” the Paris-based group said in a statement.
“The extensive and indeed staged coverage of this execution coinciding with the hyped coverage of the second anniversary of Kim Jong-il’s death had the hallmarks of a intimidatory message to the entire Korean population and the international community.”
One of the things that made Jang’s arrest notable was the way it was More >
High-level purges in North Korea have been typically quiet affairs in the past. Rumors would circulate that someone had been removed from office, state media would be analyzed for mentions of the person’s name and confirmation would usually only come months or years later when they either reemerged or someone else appeared in a position they used to fill.
So the announcement through state media that Jang Song Thaek had been executed is quite stunning in its openness.
North Korea’s Minju Joson newspaper on Saturday criticized the recent launch of a new spy satellite by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, according to a report on the state-run Korea Central News Agency.
The classified satellite, called NROL-65, was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on August 28 into an orbit that is used by spy satellites.
Not much is known about the satellite, but it’s thought to be the latest addition to the Keyhole constellation of reconnaissance satellites. As such, it will likely strengthen the ability of the U.S. intelligence community to look into North Korea.
Thus, the Minju Joson isn’t More >
Regular readers of The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea’s Workers’ Party, might be forgiven for thinking the newspaper has a correspondent in South Korea. The newspaper, now available in English via its website, offers a page of inter-Korean news complete with photographs of demonstrations happening in Seoul.
But where are they coming from? A little investigating reveals the pictures are mostly cropped versions of photos taken by South Korean news organizations. They aren’t cropped to change the meaning of the image — they’re cropped to remove the logo of the news agency that holds the copyright.
Is the Rodong Sinmun’s More >
Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the Workers’ Party of Korea and North Korea’s main national daily, has launched an English-language website.
The page appears to have come online in the last few days but has a small archive of stories stretching back to December 1. It’s the first foreign language to be offered by the newspaper and comes just under 11 months since the launch of a Korean site.
Those with an interest in North Korean affairs will welcome the site but a quick review of the content initially offered shows much of it consists of stories already available via the Korean More >
A day after North Korea was told of the death of Kim Jong Il, his official portrait dominates the front page of the Rodong Sinmun. The newspaper is the most powerful mouthpieces for the ruling Workers’ Party and as such the front page isn’t a surprise.
Page 2 carries the official announcement of his death that was published by on Monday by the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK.
Page 3 has the names of the members of More >
A familiar newscaster dressed in black appears on screen and makes a tearful announcement: Kim Jong Il is dead. When North Korean state TV and radio broke the news at noon on Monday they had already given advance notice that a major announcement was coming. Its delivery was an attempt to set a national mood of mourning.
On the Internet things were a bit different with the news being carried as if it was any other story.
North Korea’s state media ventured online last year when a new Internet connection was brought to Pyongyang. The state-run news agency, the major national daily More >
Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Worker’s Party of Korea and one of the most important propaganda tools of the DPRK government, has launched a website.
The site was first reported on Thursday although appears to have been officially launched a day earlier on Feb. 16, which was Kim Jong Il’s 69th birthday. DNS (domain name system) records for the site, at www.rodong.rep.kp, which are required for public access to the server, first appeared on Feb. 16.
The website appears to contain the full text of each day’s newspaper and stories back to Jan. 1, 2011. Each More >