FDL Movie Night: Propaganda

By: Monday July 21, 2014 4:59 pm

Tonight’s film, Propaganda, is one of the most meta-mind fucks of a film ever made, right up there with F for Fake, even more so because it unfolds a global epic of propaganda. Originally purporting to be made in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Propaganda was “leaked” online after being “smuggled out of DPRK,” causing an uproar. Is this really how the North Koreans see the West? Can this film–which has moments of hilarity, especially with the use of vintage 1950s and 60s footage–even be real?


Fact-Checking North Korea Propaganda about America (They’re Right)

By: Wednesday May 14, 2014 12:08 pm

What kind of world is it when North Korean propaganda about the United States is more correct than crazy? Let’s fact-check and see how the Northerners did.

Getting their talking points from Limbaugh

By: Monday April 28, 2014 1:30 am

North Korea’s “genetics-based” dictatorship of the proletariat has reached the last stage of political irrelevancy [no, not hosting Sean Hannity at his Nevada Ranch] its agitprop is starting to sound like Rush Limbaugh throwaway lines.

Oh, well that makes it better then?

By: Wednesday December 25, 2013 1:30 am

One does have to have an appreciation for these press stories that take these rather disturbing stories and twists the knife to make them somehow weirder.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Andrei Lankov, The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia

By: Saturday June 1, 2013 1:59 pm

Andrei Lankov’s book, The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia, includes a brief though useful history of the country’s foundation, an essential review of the impact of the DPRK’s economic decline, an explanation of the North’s domestic and foreign policy strategies, and a pragmatic exploration of policy options. The book, though rich in information and analysis, remains accessible to the general reader, in part because it is peppered with illuminating vignettes and anecdotes.

Lankov is well-known in North Korea policy circles, especially for his condemnation of human rights abuses and impatience with economic policy choices that have the left the DPRK far poorer than its neighbors. Yet Lankov corrects the irritating and unhelpful tendency to view North Korea as a nation of evil perpetrators and their helpless victims. Instead, he describes a society of ordinary people who are not “brainwashed automatons,” an all-too-common assumption of human rights activists who want to “save” the North Korean people. It helps that unlike many authors writing in English he is fluent in Korean and therefore able to draw on a wide range of sources, including interviews with Koreans and reviews of North Korean propaganda.

Engelhardt: The Cathedral of the Enemy

By: Monday April 15, 2013 3:30 pm

How do you create an atmosphere of fear without real enemies?

The communist enemy, with the “world’s fourth largest military,” has been trundling missiles around and threatening the United States with nuclear obliteration. Guam, Hawaii, Washington: all, it claims, are targetable. The coverage in the media has been hair-raising. The U.S. is rushing an untested missile defense system to Guam, deploying missile-interceptor ships off the South Korean coast, sending “nuclear capable” B-2 Stealth bombers thousands of miles on mock bombing runs, pressuring China, and conducting large-scale war games with its South Korean ally.

Only one small problem: there is as yet little evidence that the enemy with a few nuclear weapons facing off against an American arsenal of 4,650 of them has the ability to miniaturize and mount even one on a missile, no less deliver it accurately.

Assessment of North Korean Nuclear Arms Program Comes From Recovered Satellite

By: Monday April 15, 2013 9:49 am

Back in December the North Koreans launched a satellite to demonstrate their technological advancement, it didn’t go well. But North Korea’s loss may have been America’s gain as the Daily Beast reports that the U.S. Navy recovered the front section of the rocket used in North Korea’s satellite launch which gave away the status of the regime’s nuclear arms program.

Kerry Goes to South Korea as Cheney Claims ‘We’re in Deep Doo Doo’

By: Friday April 12, 2013 8:48 am

Secretary of State John Kerry is in South Korea today in hopes of deescalating the crisis instigated by North Korea’s third nuclear weapons test. In response to the weapons test the United States along with others nations passed new sanctions on North Korea. North Korea responded with a number of threats ranging from restarting the Korea War to a nuclear attack on America.

North Korea Tells Foreigners to Evacuate South Korea for Safety, Missile Launch Planned

By: Tuesday April 9, 2013 9:25 am

With weeks of threats the North Koreans seem to be finally hitting the “put or shut up” level as the international community mostly shrugs the rogue state off. North Korea has now told foreigners in South Korea to take safety measures, claiming to not want to be held responsible for any non-South Koreans and Americans it would hurt in any possible attack.

North Korea to Restart Nuclear Facilities as America Moves New Weapons Into Region

By: Tuesday April 2, 2013 6:40 am

North Korea claims it will restart nuclear facilities it shut down in 2007 as part of disarmament talks as tensions rise between North Korea and the United States.

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