In today's tour of state-sponsored propaganda: the link between video games and Korea's propaganda factory, how the end of Olympic wrestling brought Iran and the U.S. together, and China cracks down on food — not hackers.
North Korea Sets Barack Obama on Fire
It was around two weeks ago when one of North Korea's official propaganda sites decided to imagine an American city (which sort of looks like New York City) on fire and under attack — all to the tune of "We Are the World." That video was promptly removed when the makers of Call of Duty discovered that North Korea's disinformation machine was using images from the video game. Now the regime is back with this:
Here's the text of that video, via NK News:
North Korea has succeeded in proceeding with this nuclear test despite the United States’ increasingly unfair bully activities against North Korea. That United States that has no respect to others nor appreciation to equality…
It is not incorrect to state that the United States strong hostility policy and endless violence toward North Korea in the past 70 years has helped North Korea become one of the world’s strongest military power states.
Words spoken by the United States, a country that uses the law of jungle as the law of survival for fitness, is meaningless. As a result, North Korea’s high level nuclear test conducted against American imperialist invaders is a nuclear deterrent that protects our sovereignty.
Thus, the United States has practically guided North Korea towards nuclear testing and therefore needs to be considered as an American virtue.
North Korea’s third underground nuclear test! Let it be known once more that this is strictly our practical counter-measure for North’s safety and to protect its sovereignty from the aggressors. It is also a solemn warning that time is no longer on the side of the United States.
The people are watching. America should answer.
Charming. Really. As some have pointed out, the music isn't a creepy instrumental of "We Are the World" but rather the soundtrack to dorky video game Elder Scrolls 4, which was made in 2006. Which is actually pretty strange: North Koreans don't exactly have access to video games like Elder Scrolls. So who's making them? The Washington Post's Max Fisher explains that South Korean sympathizers may actually be colluding with the South Koreans on this particular piece of propaganda. Fisher writes:
That should both help to explain the video games clips and tell you something about those South Korean sympathizers. Per capita sales numbers show that South Koreans are some of the most vociferous video game consumers in the world, so it’s not surprising that they might reach for hit computer games to put together these videos. North Koreans, on the other hand, almost certainly do not have access to these games, nor even to computers sophisticated enough to play them.
Iran and the U.S. (Wrestling Teams) Have an Alliance
We were sort of surprised by this story, which we found on Iran's Press TV:
Iran and the U.S. don't really see eye-to-eye on much. That said, we were interested to see what our wrestling team was doing with Iran's. What/who were they siding against? We clicked further and, well, it's not as juicy as you think:
It's about the whole controversy over wrestling getting ousted from the Olympics. "We'll be standing arm-in-arm with Iran, and we’ll be standing with Russia as we will with lots of other countries," said Mitch Hull, the national teams director for the United States. He added, "Those [countries] really do make a difference because politically we’re not always on the same page, or politically with Russia, but in wrestling, there’s no doubt that we are all together in this effort and we consider Iran one of our strongest allies in the sport of wrestling." That isn't exactly nuclear proliferation or disarmament.
China's Army Is Only Eating Leftovers
China has repeatedly denied that it had anything to do with all those hacks on U.S. companies and that the Chinese army has anything to do with employing the so-called Comment Crew. Well, to be fair, it's not like anyone accused of almost 10 years worth of cyber espionage is going to cop to it that easily. What the Chinese do want you to know about their army is that they're eating leftovers. Waste not, want not, we guess. Here's the report from Xinhua:
Well, if the hackers are indeed secretly part of the People's Liberation Army, just know they aren't going to be eating well from here on out.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.