North Korea, land of gulags, government-enforced information blackouts, and humans so hungry they eat other humans, has finally weighed in on the NSA-spying controversy and has become ... an advocate for American civil liberties. Wait, what? Why is a country that doesn't believe in civil liberties for its own people and is the subject of U.N. investigations on human rights abuses suddenly the American people's privacy knight in shining armor?
"This clearly proves once again the U.S. is a kingpin of human rights abuses as it puts the world under its watch network and has conducted espionage against mankind," reads a commentary from the state-run Minju Joson newspaper, picked up by Reuters on Tuesday. The commentary goes on to say: "Each individual is entitled to live and develop with dignity as a social being. But in American society, where the jungle law prevails, only the strong men's rights over the weak men are recognized."
Those are fighting words. And North Korea could very well be talking about itself considering the numerous reports where "weak men," like the thousands in labor camps never get a chance at life or the country's extensive surveillance plans aimed at making sure North Koreans never escape. But you also have to remember who North Korean propaganda is targeted at—hint: it's not for Americans.
The impetus behind this amusing defense of American civil liberties to make the U.S., which North Korean propaganda has consistently portrayed as the enemy, instigator and stifling presence on the country, look pretty terrible. And at the same time, the worse the U.S. is portrayed, the more Kim Jong-Un look more heroic and reasonable for constantly being at odds with it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.