No, no! - Iraq's the REAL threat, sure Pyonyang will gnaw off a leg...
February 1, 2003 6:04 AM   Subscribe

Pyongyang's crosshairs on US Capital "A propaganda poster released by North Korea depicts the country's struggle with the United States over the North's nuclear program." - poster shows North Korean soldier with large shells looking at Capital building crumbling from a large explosion. (NYT)
posted by troutfishing (27 comments total)
Heck, Americans have been doing it for years.

The difference is, North Korea is insane.
posted by hama7 at 6:13 AM on February 1, 2003

Guy in poster looks like isgrabbing well........Hey. If I lived in North Korea I would join the vast army too since it seems those are the only folks who get to eat. There are some 7 million people close to starvation and they need propagada posters...when they wise up they will offer to put aside (destroy) that stuff for huge handout from Uncle Goodheart in return.
posted by Postroad at 9:20 AM on February 1, 2003

Hama - Do you know where I can find any good US propaganda posters on the net? The North Korean one is good (a little small, alas) but some US ones would be good for balance.

I just watched the new James Bond film last night - in which the North Koreans use strange genetic technology so they can look just like Brits!, accent and all. They get a really cool space laser too. They try to use the laser to blow up all the mines in the DMZ to prepare for an invasion of the south. The Americans in the film come off as generally useless and helpless - unlike the urbane, savvy brits who are, regardless, almost fatally undermined by the immense technological and strategic sophistication of the wily Pyongyang totalitarians.
posted by troutfishing at 9:20 AM on February 1, 2003

"A lemming race" is my brother's apt description of the DPRK. Screw 'em. They'll never get east of the Sierra Madres.
posted by alumshubby at 9:38 AM on February 1, 2003

Anyway.....North Korea will remain North Korea (insanely militaristic and working hard now to produce a small crop of nuclear weapons, that is) for the moment.....all thoughts today are on the loss of the shuttle.
posted by troutfishing at 9:48 AM on February 1, 2003

"A lemming race" is my brother's apt description of the DPRK.

I'm so pleased you find your brother's racism 'apt'. Just because a nation is led by bellicose loons, doesn't mean that you can judge its people as a 'race'. After all, I like most Americans I meet.
posted by riviera at 11:02 AM on February 1, 2003

He said this, as a Marine intelligence officer, after a week at the DMZ peering at them through field glasses. And that was over a decade ago, before they started freezing and starving in the dark thanks to that wonderful government they're taught to adore. OK, fine, riviera, it's not a race thing. I agree with him that they're lemmings, though.

Now I'll sit back and wait for somebody to notice the "nation led by bellicose loons" remark and equate it to the current Administration.
posted by alumshubby at 11:52 AM on February 1, 2003

He said this, as a Marine intelligence officer, after a week at the DMZ peering at them through field glasses.

And I say this, peering at your words on a computer monitor, which obviously gives me the authority to assess things in similar terms. A whole week at the DMZ, you say? Gosh, I have such respect for your brother's power of snap judgement.
posted by riviera at 1:05 PM on February 1, 2003

There was a really interesting peek at North Korea this week on PBS.

It would be great if these people could be talked down from the ledge.
posted by laptop_lizard at 2:29 PM on February 1, 2003

I've been trying to find more posters like this from North Korea, but haven't seen any. Anyone have some good links? I think propaganda posters are neat. The former Soviet Union had some great ones.
posted by Akuinnen at 2:38 PM on February 1, 2003

This image has been my desktop wallpaper off-and-on for a few months now.
posted by son_of_minya at 4:31 PM on February 1, 2003

Northwestern U has a huge, great collection of WWII propaganda posters.
posted by owillis at 5:01 PM on February 1, 2003

DPRK calendars, and this old eyesore, from kimsoft, a site run by an American citizen, but a native North Korean.

Here's a page with some interesting photos and propaganda.

This North Korea's Tangled Web site is exhaustive.

None of those are exclusively DPRK propaganda, but there are several examples. I'll keep looking.

Incidentally, that "lemming" comment was used to refer to the people of South Korea (not North) and has been attibuted to former commander of the U.S. forces in Korea, General Wickham:

"Wickham, linguistically speaking, was critical of the Korean military for following Chun. He implied, by use of that term that the Korean military was following a leader to their own destruction"...."The translation by the Korean press of the word "lemming" as "field rat" conveys quite a different meaning. Most Korean native speakers that I've asked about the term assume that Wickham was equating Koreans to beggars, to filthy, sneaky, thieving beggars. They assumed Wickham was just denigrating Koreans in general. In reality, from a linguistic point of view, Wickham was saying, "Don't go; don't follow Chun. You'll end up going over a cliff."

This happened during the Carter administration and has become more like urban myth in South Korea.

Cho se-hyun sees it differently: "Some of us got pretty upset, I remember, when Gen. Wickham, former commander of the U.S. Forces in Korea, characterized us as having what he called a "lemming mentality;" he said we were too easily persuaded by others and always ready to hop on a bandwagon. I think that observation was accurate to a large extent. "

In some cases it is deadly accurate. See anti-Americanism in South Korea, for myriad examples. My profile page has several.
posted by hama7 at 5:07 PM on February 1, 2003

son_of_minya - that's really frightening. Why would you choose it as your wallpaper? (i have read your user page, so I get where you're coming from, but I'm still curious)
posted by vito90 at 5:07 PM on February 1, 2003


It's not a sophisticated political statement or anything. I just have quite a lot of affection for the Asian people, and I don't want to see any die. If it comes to war in Korea, the world has already lost. The absolute last thing the world needs is a million dead Koreans. So... I'm not saying I hope North Korea bombs the U.S., but that if the U.S. bombs North Korea... well, the people in Washington might as well have destroyed themselves.

The best the U.S. can do, and all it should consider itself to have the right to do, IMHO, is to place its military in-between the DPRK and Seoul and just sit there. Just act as a peaceful mediator and buffer against North Korean invasion. If it takes another fifty years, Korea will eventually see peaceful reunification.

Kim Jong-il is apparently crazy, and nearly every movie I've ever seen has portrayed the North Koreans as being crazy, but they're still Koreans. May be off on this quote, but it reminds me of the old "No Communist soldier wants to kill Elvis Presley." It's a shame the general public doesn't watch foreign films.
posted by son_of_minya at 6:08 PM on February 1, 2003

Son_of_Minya - I'd guess that you are referring to the general US public they don't. It hasn't been necessary so far. 9-11 seems to have imparted only the imperative of "aggressive force projection". Interest in the motives of "the enemy" (who seem to be everywhere, and nowhere, these days) is slight.
posted by troutfishing at 7:46 PM on February 1, 2003

why don't we just give Jong a bomb...something small. He could erect it in downtown Pyongyang or his summer cottage, mount it like some Fish. Why not? What will he do with it...use it? Will it shut him up, get him fuel oil, medicines and spare surface to air missile parts. Does having the bomb keep individuals entrenched in power?....does it?

is the debate about sophisticated methods in propaganda. Take Disney during WWII and this poster. both cartoons IMO. Is it a matter of ascetics, method, subject matter?

both where a message.
Historically, i find Mickey Mouse to be the better propaganda because mickey did not make idle threats and the lines are smoother.
posted by clavdivs at 8:30 PM on February 1, 2003

Does having the bomb keep individuals entrenched in power?....does it?

Russia doesn't think so. Where's Mickey?
posted by hama7 at 8:33 PM on February 1, 2003

Don't mess with the Mouse
posted by troutfishing at 7:20 AM on February 2, 2003

Actually, I deem pinko liberals to be the true lemming race. ;0)
posted by alumshubby at 6:44 PM on February 2, 2003

alumshubby - A little ugly rhetoric deserves some good quotes:

"Human beings will generally exercise power when they can get it, and they will exercise it most undoubtedly in popular governments under pretense of public safety." -Daniel Webster

"When there is a regime change in Iraq, you could add three million to five million barrels [per day] of production to world supply," he said. "The successful prosecution of the war would be good for the economy." - Larry Lindsey

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson

"Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the
world." -Daniel Webster

"You fucking son of a bitch. I saw what you wrote. We're not going to forget this." - George W. Bush to writer and editor Al Hunt, 1988

"If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." -George Washington
posted by troutfishing at 10:00 PM on February 2, 2003

troutfishing, save it for the next Jeopardy! tryout. riviera was defending the indefensible, and you're compounding the error.

There's not much point in sticking up Kim-il Jung apologists who think my brother's career in assessing enemy threats and capabilities -- or any prolonged observation of a potential adversary -- results in "snap judgements." (I'm still laughing at that one.)

And also meanwhile, my prediction, in my first post, that a discussion about DPRK would be transformed into a Bush-bash-fest has come thunderously true. Thanks for that one.
posted by alumshubby at 2:42 AM on February 3, 2003

Alumshubby - I didn't bash GW Bush...I simply quoted him. I'd say that he bashed himself...I fired off my volley of quotes from the US Founding Fathers to ward off the sleaziness of the preceding rhetoric.

I guess that you haven't discovered the Nazi connections of the Bush family?
posted by troutfishing at 9:07 PM on February 3, 2003

Here are a few good pieces of North Korean Propaganda from the Corsair blog.

Americans, Don't indiscriminately go wild!

Nasty bastards.
posted by hama7 at 9:10 PM on February 3, 2003

Americans, Don't indiscriminately go wild!

Botched tthat second link above. Ah well, It gives me another chance to say:

Nasty bastards.
posted by hama7 at 9:13 PM on February 3, 2003

woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo...Alumshubby self-confirms own Bush bashing prediction, slaps self on back! pseudo-Godwin alert! pseudo-Godwin alert!
posted by troutfishing at 9:18 PM on February 3, 2003

Also, here's a previous thread with many, many links to the evildoings of the bastards of nastiness. (scroll down a bit)
posted by hama7 at 9:27 PM on February 3, 2003

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