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North Korea's Propaganda Machine

North Korea's press ops have been working overtime since Sunday's ballistic missile test, promoting and celebrating the "achievement" with more bombastic and absurd rhetoric than usual. We've perused some reports from the official news agencies and party sources, and selected some choice quotes. While there's plenty of color, the sinister undertones are never expunged. "Under the totalitarian regime," the Soviet writer Faizal Iskander once claimed, "it was as if you were forced to live in the same room with a violently insane man." Welcome to North Korea.

  • "It is a striking demonstration of the might of our Juche-oriented science and technology that our scientists and technicians developed both the multistage carrier rocket and the satellite with their own wisdom and technology 100 percent..."

  • --Kim Jong Il, at the satellite control room just before the launch. If that doesn't scare you, the press release suggests that he was toying with the controls before the discharge.

  • "The satellite is going round on its routine orbit. It is sending to the earth the melodies of the immortal revolutionary paeans ‘Song of General Kim Il Sung' and ‘Song of General Kim Jong Il' and measured information at 470 MHz. By the use of the satellite the relay communications is now underway by UHF frequency band."

  • --The state news agency sings the Kwangmyongson-2's praises just after it goes up. If you're wondering what "Song of General Kim Jong Il" sounds like, listen here.

  • "The successful satellite launch symbolic of the leaping advance made in the nation's space science and technology was conducted against the background of the stirring period when a high-pitched drive for bringing about a fresh great revolutionary surge is under way throughout the country to open the gate to a great prosperous and powerful nation without fail by 2012."

  • --The state news agency, touting North Korea's "high-pitched" three-year modernization plan. Why 2012? Consider it advanced planning for Father's Day--that year will see the centenary of President Kim Il Sung.

  • "Saying that our army, which is playing a key and leading role in kindling the flame of a great revolutionary upswing, is performing miracles and exploits--which surprise the peoples of the world--on every socialist construction site today, Comrade Kim Jong Il added that we are optimistic about the victory of a powerful state, because there is the reliable backing of such a great, powerful unit for which nothing is impossible."

  • --The Central Broadcasting Station on Kim Jong Il's visit to the renovated Pyongyang Grand Theater, a day before the missile launch. (No link available. Picked off a Nexis search.)

    --Sahil Mahtani