North Korean State-Run News Agency Responds To Failed Missile Launch With 33 Stories Praising "Supreme Leader"
North Korea pissed off just about everyone yesterday when it launched a missile that the international community fears could be the precursor to the communist dictatorship developing an intercontinental missile that could potentially carry a nuclear warhead. The missile, thankfully, failed.
If you haven't already heard about it (it was pretty much the biggest story in the world yesterday), you probably live in North Korea, where the state-run -- and only -- news agency barely mentioned the failed rocket launch (natch). It instead ran 33 stories praising the country's dictator, Kim Jong-un, and his grandfather, Kim Il-sung -- who founded the country's current dictatorship, and whose 100th birthday was being celebrated by attempting to launch a rocket into space, defying international warnings not to do so.
Just to see how the North Korean government was spinning the missile story, we checked out the Korean Central News Agency's website last night -- just hours after the bungled launch -- and as Piers Morgan and every other talking head was yammering on about it on cable news shows, we could only find a tiny article about the missile on the KCNA website. Rather than further coverage of the biggest story in the world, KCNA went with dozens of "news" articles congratulating Jong-un for his recent "election" to be the first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, and honoring his grandfather.
As every other news outlet on planet earth was leading with headlines like "North Korean Rocket Said to Fail Right After Liftoff," and "North Korea Rocket Launch Fails," KCNA published a paragraph about the failed launch -- providing few details, according to the BBC and other news outlets with Korean translators -- and then ran with the following list of headlines:
Kim Jong Un Receives Congratulations from Hu Jintao
Congratulations to Kim Jong Un from Syrian President
Congratulations to Kim Jong Un from Lao Party Leader
Gifts to Kim Il Sung
Gifts from Delegations and Delegates of Organizations for Study of Juche Idea
Gift from Chinese Organization
Deputies to SPA Pay Floral Tribute
Floral Tribute Paid
Floral Basket and Congratulatory letter from Military Attaches Corps
Floral Basket from Lao Party Leader
Foreign Personages Present Floral Basket and Congratulatory Letter
Floral Baskets, Congratulatory Letters
WFDY President and Representative of WHO Pay Tribute
Floral Baskets, Congratulations from Int'l Organizations Delegations
World Congress on Juche Idea Opens with Splendor
Old Home in Mangyongdae Draws Endless Bevy of Visitors
Participants in Int'l Festival Visit Old Home
Military Attaches Corps and Staffers of UNCF Office Visit Mangyongdae
Deputies to SPA Visit Mangyongdae
Foreign Guests Visit Pyongyang Mission of AINDF
WPK Secretary Meets Foreign Party Leaders
Songhwa Fine Art Exhibition Opens
Chinese in Chongjin Mark Birth Anniversary
Mass Game Given in North Hwanghae Province
Foreign Guests, Delegations and Delegates Arrive
Servicepersons Delighted at News of Election as Head of WPK
Kim Jong Un, Symbol of DPRK's Dignity
Aid Materials Donated by Chinese Organization
Devoted Teacher Working on Suun Islet for 35 Years
Health Dishes, Drinks Presented to Food Festival
Korean Stamp Museum
"Kim Il Sung's Korea", Special Write-ups to Centenary of His Birth (26)
Maltese Party Leader Hopes Everything Will Go Well in DPRK
Chongryon Central Standing Committee Congratulates
Koreans in Japan Remember Kim Il Sung
Title of Honorary Citizen of Nigeria Awarded to Kim Il Sung
S. Korean Prosecution Accused of Dragging on Case of Illegal Investigation into Civilians
U.S. Shoots Down East Asian Peace: Asian Times
Korean Stamp Exhibition Opens in China
Collection of Works Published in Russia and South Africa
Work Off Press in Ecuador
Day of Sun Marked Abroad
Day of Sun to Be Celebrated in Libya
Birth Anniversary Celebrated in China
Birth Anniversary Marked by Foreign Newspapers
That's every headline that appeared on the KCNA homepage last night,
just hours after the failed launch. The paragraph about the failed missile was added early this morning, but doesn't appear on an English version of the website at the time of his writing.
From the sound of KCNA's website, things are just swell in
the isolated autocracy -- despite the fact that its starving citizens
could potentially lose even more foreign food aid because Kim Jong-un
decided to spit in the face of the international community.
If you've never visited KCNA's website, you should -- it would be hilarious...if it wasn't real.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.