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

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

  4. 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).

  5. 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.”

  6. 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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