Anju, April 17, 2012

THERE, FIXED IT FOR YOU: “UN strongly [weakly] condemns North Korea rocket launch, warns of [no] further action if new nuclear test.” Seriously, guys, it’s a presidential statement — not even a resolution. It’s not just that, it’s the swiftness with which the U.N. collectively decided to imitate parody.


HOW TO REPORT FROM NORTH KOREA, from a critical consumer: It isn’t rocket science, really; just tell the reader what you saw and what you didn’t see, and if you think something has been hidden from you, tell the reader that, too. You don’t have to deprecate everything you see, but you do have to be skeptical about what you’re shown, especially in a place where you’re on notice that your hosts are trying to deceive, manipulate, and use you. In other words, do it like Michael Ruffles did it for the Sydney Morning Herald.


IF THE NORTH KOREANS REALLY NEVER REFUSED to let Jean H. Lee cover a story, then it can only be because Lee has decided not to ask the North Koreans uncomfortable questions, and I’ll leave it to you to decide why. Does Lee really think accordion players, juche mythology, and the first day of elementary school are really more newsworthy than the fact that 150,000 North Koreans are dying in concentration camps? Because if she does, some of the world’s foremost news services and at least one of her AP colleagues disagree.


THE ONION: “Chinese Woman Gives Birth to Septuplets, Has One Week To Choose”


  1. thomas says:

    Jonathan, I’m sure you read this bit in the SMH article. “In one furtive encounter in the hotel I was told ‘‘not everything is as it seems’’, and was left, after a mysterious conversation, with the impression that work was being done to bring about change within North Korea.”

    What do you make of it?

  2. thomas says:

    Eeek. *Joshua. Sorry about that.

  3. a listener says:

    Well speaking of change if anyone is interested in what an unhindered look at North Korean daily life looks like traveling from China to Pyongyang there is this 1 and a half hour journey. Minder must have had the day off.

  4. xyzzy says:

    News reports are saying that China will stop returning fugitive slaves to NK:

    Sounds unofficial, but possibly a new policy under the covers.

  5. Ditto81 says:

    That is not a straightshot, its more like a stop to pyongyang in the middle with backtracking.

  6. Ditto81 says:

    My calculations were wrong, Kim Jong Il’s sister will suffer a stroke this year, 2012, not 2013. I must clarify that,

  7. Ditto81 says:

    Godspeed to you all

  8. Dana says:

    The story about the Chinese women shows why I am aganist population control/laws like the one child policy. It leads to things like this, innocent babies dying(which is what is going to happen in this case if something isn’t done).

  9. Joshua says:

    Dana, the story was satire.

    (But like all good satire, it grows out of the truth.)

  10. Dana says:

    At first I didn’t realize it was satire, but your right that it does grow out of truth.

  11. Spelunker says:

    Your friend Bruce Klingner used the beloved “Hans Blix/Team America” reference in his Daily NK column:

    “Unfortunately, the UN Security Council responded to North Korea’s defiance by only working itself up to emit a mighty squeak of timid outrage, though it did threaten to be even more indignant if North Korea conducted a nuclear test. But it sounded more like the feckless Hans Blix in ‘Team America’ than the UN resolutely defending its oft violated resolutions.”

  12. Glans says:

    Spelunker, Hans Blix wasn’t feckless. He didn’t fine weapons of mass destruction because Saddam Hussein no longer had them.

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