The Schmidts write about their North Korea trip

Like most visitors of North Korea, Sophie Schmidt, daughter of Google chairman Eric Schmidt, thought the country “weird.” It’s her that everyone is quoting today, specifically this write-up on Google Sites: It’s impossible to know how much we can extrapolate from what we saw in Pyongyang to what the DPRK is really like.  Our trip... Read more »

Prominent Korean Scholar Says DPRK Provocation Is Imminent

The East is Read
Andrei Lankov, professor at Seoul’s Kookmin University and one of the world’s foremost North Korea experts (he blogs in Russian), has some chilling words about what the new year might bring for Korean relations. As quoted in The Globe and Mail: “The North Koreans will want to test [Ms. Park], maybe an overland intrusion, an artillery... Read more »

North Korea News Agency Hails Kim Jong-un Winning Time Magazine’s Person Of The Year Online Poll, Doesn’t Realize It’s A Grim, Horrible Joke

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) clap
Here we go again. From the news agency that brought you “Lair of King Tongmyong’s Unicorn Reconfirmed in DPRK,” we now have this: “U.S. Magazine Selects Kim Jong Un as Man of 2012.” Well… yes and no. The Korean Central News Agency may want to look again. Kim Jong-un indeed won recognition from Time Magazine, but... Read more »

Play: Pyongyang Racer, The First Computer Game To Come Out Of North Korea

Koryo Pyongyang Racer
Our friends at Koryo Tours have posted an online game called Pyongyang Racer, which they’re advertising as the “first computer game out of North Korea” (is there any reason to disbelieve it?). Players race around the “city of willows” collecting barrels of fuel and avoiding obstacles such as cars. (True to the Pyongyang I visited last... Read more »

The Happiest Broadcaster In The World Is This Exultant North Korean Woman

in the world
Earlier today, North Korea successfully launched a three-stage rocket into space, its first ever. Two parts fell into the Yellow and Philippine Sea, respectively, while the other part deployed into orbit. The country — inasmuch as it’s a conglomerate and does not, say, comprise individual parts which are the actual human beings living the best... Read more »

Meet Sina Weibo Star Choi Seongho, A Self-Proclaimed North Korean Patriot Who Just Might Be This Country’s Most Brilliant Satirist

Writer Choi's first message
 By Xiao Yi “At my residence in Beijing, with Coke toast first to the supreme leaders!” And with that first message on June 29, Sina Weibo user @作家崔成浩 – literally, “Writer Choi Seongho” – launched himself into Chinese social media fame. From the very beginning, as a self-proclaimed North Korean patriot, he has written solely to glorify the Democratic People’s... Read more »

Unicorn Lair Reconfirmed, Says North Korea State Media

Unicorn lair in the DPRK
Ha ha! Western media, you got GOT. Unicorns! Ha ha, you totally fell for the Korean Central News Agency’s satire. Yeah, you did. You totally did. Look: Pyongyang, November 29 (KCNA) — Archaeologists of the History Institute of the DPRK Academy of Social Sciences have recently reconfirmed a lair of the unicorn rode by King... Read more »

You Think The Onion Is Wacky? People’s Daily Really, Truly Loves Kim Jong-Un

TAR Kim Jong-Un
The flagship CPC newspaper People’s Daily is, well, it’s a bit, you know. It’s rubbish. The design is terrible, the editorials are as pleasant as a shirt of broken glass and Captain Crunch, they have military equipment on their flash home page every day and their non-CPC related stories have the detached insouciance of a disabled child petting a kitten too hard.

Let Us Recall That Chinese Satire Has Fooled Western Media Outlets (And James Cameron) As Well

Kim Jong-Un and the Onion
Earlier this year, I gave a lecture to high school journalism students in China about the importance of citation, spending a good 10 minutes on the how and why of it. This may or may not surprise you, depending on whether you read Chinese publications and/or crappy blogs, but sourcing is often optional here; what’s... Read more »

People’s Daily Admits It Fell For The Onion Spoof, Editor Hopes It “Wouldn’t Draw Too Much Attention”

Kim Jong Un on a horse
The Associated Press succeeded in getting People’s Daily on the line to answer for its slideshow, “North Korea’s top leader named The Onion’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2012.” An online editor said the 55-pic spread would be taken offline (note: it already has been), and also: “We have realized it is satirical,” said the editor who... Read more »

Chinese State Media’s People’s Daily Reports Kim Jong-Un Was Named “The Onion’s Sexiest Man Alive” [UPDATE]

People's Daily is had by the Onion
This is too perfect. The Onion — you know, that website whose lead story is currently, “42 Million Dead In Bloodiest Black Friday Weekend On Record” — named North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un its “sexiest man alive” on November 14, writing: “He has that rare ability to somehow be completely adorable and completely macho at... Read more »

WTF? People’s Daily Has Section Called “Eyes On DPRK,” And It Is Exactly What You Think

Eyes on DPRK montage
Whoa and nelly. The Internet’s No. 1 North Korea fan site is apparently hosted by People’s Daily. “Eyes on DPRK” appears to be a collection of slideshows highlighting China’s neighbor to the east, and it is utterly befuddling. As in: why does this exist? How long has it been here? Why does it exist? Who’s... Read more »

The Official Red Dawn Trailer Is Here, And It Features A Grammatical Mistake Within The First Eight Seconds

Red Dawn trailer featured image
I can't wait for Chinese people to overreact to this shitty movie full of Hollywood cliches about "freedom" and for everyone else to talk about it like it isn't a classic piece of Western propaganda. What's that? The invaders in the movie are North Koreans, not Chinese? Every soldier I see better look skinny and malnourished then, because I've been to Pyongyang, and that military is far from invading anyone. I wonder how many Americans who watch this will find the irony in a bunch of civilians fighting for their turf against an invading military.

Eerie, Surreal Defector Drawings Of North Korean Concentration Camps

North Korea concentration camp drawing 1
If suffering is a wellspring for art, there are no greater artists currently living than defectors from North Korea. Witness: this forum, which has compiled drawings from survivors of the country’s brutal concentration and work camps (more are sampled after the jump). The commenters over at Gawker have put China at the top of their... Read more »

Chinese Netizens Don’t Appreciate North Korea, Apparently

North Korea Today Weibo
Via Offbeat China, we learned earlier today of Sina Weibo’s hottest newcomer, “North Korea Today” (@今日朝鲜), which joined on March 7 and already has 85,691 followers as of this moment (I was No. 84,403, I think). Its profile reads something to the effect of, “Full access to North Korean news. Anyone who dares besmirch North... Read more »