Thursday, October 27, 2005

More North Korean Propaganda

Hundreds of Americans are invited attendees of North Korea's Arirang celebration. Included among the number are Dan Rather and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

I hope that if Dan reports on this (if they ever let him on the air again), he'll have as much common sense as this Japanese journalist, quoted by the Washington Post:

"This is 'invitation diplomacy' -- a tool Kim's father used to use to great effect," said Noriyuki Suzuki, director of Tokyo-based Radiopress, which monitors television and radio broadcasts in North Korea. "Kim is trying to show how strong and stable North Korea is -- how firmly he is in control and how popular he remains with the people. Unless there are select groups of foreigners there to see this, his message will not get out loud and clear."

I've never been to North Korea, but I have visited former communist countries in eastern Europe. At the time, a few years after the Berlin Wall fell, one found that, just a few blocks away from East Berlin's showcase Unter den Linden and Alexanderplatz area, many buildings still hadn't been repaired after the street-to-street fighting at the close of World War II. I have to imagine that similar scenes would be easily found by anybody who would be allowed to venture outside of the closely-controlled festivities in North Korea.



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