According to an exclusive, groundbreaking AP report from the frontier of journalism — Pyongyang — 100% of North Korean citizens interviewed by other North Koreans in a bar support Great Leader Kim Jong Un’s completely successful launch of a peaceful satellite despite the hostile policy of the imperialist Barack Obama!
In Pyongyang, however, pride over the scientific advancement outweighed the fear of greater international isolation and punishment. North Korea, though struggling to feed its people, is now one of the few countries to have successfully launched a working satellite into space from its own soil; bitter rival South Korea is not on the list, though it has tried.
“It’s really good news,” North Korean citizen Jon Il Gwang told The Associated Press as he and scores of other Pyongyang residents poured into the streets after a noon announcement to celebrate the launch by dancing in the snow. “It clearly testifies that our country has the capability to enter into space.” [AP]
The AP concedes that it received no advance notice of the launch — “the plan was kept quiet inside North Korea until a special noon broadcast on state TV declared the launch a success” — but at least they got a cred for North Korea’s b-roll of the launch. Anyway, who needs timely, newsworthy information or live video from the launch pad when you can have the correct views of The People?
At one hotel bar Wednesday, North Koreans watched raptly, cheering and applauding at the close of the brief broadcast. As vans mounted with loudspeakers drove around the capital announcing the news, North Koreans bundled up in parkas ran outside to celebrate.
Here’s an exclusive photograph of groundbreaking AP journalism in action:
At The Washington Post, however, Max Fisher cites Robert Mackey of the New York Times, who thinks “it looks like it’s mostly just a professional dance troupe celebrating in the streets, though a few onlookers clap and dance along.” Really? The AP’s regime-issued North Korean “reporters” passed their repressive regime’s organized street theater off as a spontaneous celebration by ordinary citizens? Say it aint so!
The report (or rather, one version of it) credits just two AP staff as reporting from Pyongyang — “writers” Kim Kwang Hyon and Jon Chol Jin. Kim is identified in Isaac Stone Fish’s report here as a North Korean “about whom little is known.” Even less is known about Jon, who has a very North Korean-sounding name, who is usually credited as a photographer, and whose work all appears to originate from Pyongyang.
In other news, Bureau Chief Jean Lee contributes this why-they-did-it “news analysis” piece from God-knows-where. And in other other news not broken by the AP, an American citizen has been held by the North Koreans for over a month. No word on what kind of beer he drinks, but I’m sure he’s telling his interrogators that he, too, fully supports the launch.
So, to summarize what the publicly available information suggests, the AP appears to have outsourced its North Korea-based coverage of one of the biggest stories of the year to two employees of North Korea’s state propaganda arm without any known journalistic credentials, apparently unaccompanied by any actual journalists, who proceeded to file a misleading report that happens to align with the regime’s propaganda. Is this The Onion? No.
So this must be The Onion, then:
No, this is The Onion:
“At this time, we are able to confirm that Ri Sol-ju did, in fact, manage to board the Unha-3 mere seconds before it propelled off the ground,” said Defense Department spokesman John Kirby, noting that Ri “quickly evaded her handlers to jump aboard the 100-kilogram missile” in a frantic, yet successful, attempt to abandon her life in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “When we found Ri this morning, she was floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean clinging to the remnants of the missile.”
“There were tears streaming down her face,” Kirby added. “She kept begging us over and over not to send her back.” [....]
“Please do not tell Kim where I am,” Ri added. “He will find me; he will search me out and find me. I cannot face the work camp. Please, please, I beg of you.”
At press time, North Korean officials issued a promise to all world nations that they would “be spared” if they returned Ri to Pyongyang immediately.
It’s another great day to be a consumer of American journalism.