What N. Korea thinks about Park Geun-hye scandal

08-Dec-2016 Intellasia | Korea Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

While South Korea is in “presidential shock” that has caused massive rallies nationwide for weeks demanding President Park Geun-hye’s resignation, the country’s closest and most dangerous neighbour, North Korea, has been monitoring events closely.

And how is the communist state finding events in the South? It could not find a bigger fish to fry.

North Korea’s media outlets pummeled with sarcastic criticism President Park, who virtually lost all legitimacy to continue her remaining presidency until December 2017 because of her corruption scandal.

Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece newspaper of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, called the South’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae “Park Geun-hye’s goons” and “Hordes of rebels” in articles about the nationwide anti-president demonstrations on Dec. 3.

The reports also dubbed the President and her aides “minions of Park Chung-hee,” referring to her late dictator father (South Korean president during 1963-79) shot dead by his top aide.

The North’s Chosun Joongang TV and propaganda website “Tongil Voice” were not much different from the newspaper in criticizing the President in harsh language, according to JoongAng Ilbo, the South’s local daily.

North Korean media highlighted the massive demonstrations in the South, which on Dec. 3 drew a record 2.3 million anti-Park protesters nationwide, including 1.7 million at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul alone.

Rodong Sinmun reported the national protests which began late in October in its Nov. 29 and 30 issues, with bird’s eye photos of protesters parading with candles.

The North described the demonstrations as an “anti-government uprising” and denied allegations from the South that the North “controlled the ongoing demonstrations.”

The North’s media also praised the South’s news outlets which is rare for uncovering the Presidential scandal. Rodong Sinmun recently said the South’s journalism bodies were “advocates of justice and truth and seers of the current era doing their best in acts of fairness and justice.”

The North has been using big issues in the South the murder of Park Chung-hee in 1979 and the democratic uprising in Gwangju in 1980 as opportunities to unite citizens and hope for a “southern revolution.”

The reasons behind the North’s extensive coverage of the political fiasco in the South are basically to use the disruptive social atmosphere to help bring about “self-unionization.”

The North “illuminated the South’s political unrest” so North Koreans will be even more loyal toward Kim Jong-un, while highlighting the “injustice” of President Park’s anti-North strategies and hoping for “cleansing” of the South’s conservative politicians, who have been a thorn for the North, according to JoongAng Ilbo.

Leader Kim Jong-un has been monitoring the South closely in the past weeks through satellite TV and the Internet as well as getting reports from the United Front Department (UFD), a key Workers’ Party organ in charge of inter-Korean affairs and espionage operations, according to the South’s analysts.

“Kim must think, ‘What UFD could not do for the last 30 years has been done by Choi Soon-sil’,” said one analyst, referring to President Park’s longtime friend who abused her relationship to the President by illegally amassing private assets and controlling state affairs.

“The influence-peddler certainly capsized the South Korean government, which the North has been consistently trying to do with espionage and other spying acts.”

Kim, who must have by and large understood the situation, reportedly said on his recent visit to a military camp in the North, “Go wipe out all South Koreans,” media outlets said.

There is something different, however, from the North’s coverage of the South’s rise against the President from how South Korean media have reported the same issue: photos.

Photos shown by North Korean media outlets are conspicuous in that they do not show scenes of urban environments, including skyscrapers and heavy traffic. While using photos downloaded from the South’s media outlets without agreements, they cropped parts showing such urban scenes out of the pictures.

“Showing to North Koreans tall buildings or many cars on the streets in South could be lethal as it can provoke anti-government sentiment,” said a former North Korean political party member who defected to the South.

“Some North Koreans may glamorize the South, thinking ‘people down there have freedom even to sweep away their leader’.”



Category: Korea

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