International observers have found no evidence at press time that North Korea has alerted its citizens to an agreed-upon summit between dictator Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump. North Korean media published their typical screeds on Friday morning condemning the “wicked” United States.
North Korea, considered the most repressive communist regime in the world, has outlawed all media outlets not fully controlled by the government. It boasts a variety of outlets, including state television channels, its Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), and the newspapers Rodong Sinmun, Minju Choson, and the Pyongyang Times.
On television, Wired reports, North Koreans could find no news of their leader offering to meet Trump in person and the latter accepting a summit to occur “by May,” according to South Korea’s National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong:
Today’s state-controlled evening news in the North led with an item on greetings being exchanged between the North and officials in Syria and Venezuela, before cutting to a propaganda film about the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula – which ended in 1945. News of the unprecedented meeting between the North and the United States is, for now, not worthy of even the most fleeting of mentions.
Experts who spoke to the publication say that North Korea often takes it time to inform citizens on international affairs. “Even on Wednesday they were still calling Donald Trump an idiot,” Alistair Coleman, a North Korea expert for BBC, told Wired, adding that North Korea often takes a “day or two” to broadcast such key news.
In the case of last month’s Winter Olympics, which occurred in South Korea and featured North Korean athletes, the Kim regime chose not to broadcast any of the event at all. Instead, KCNA and Rodong praised North Korean envoys to the event for their diplomatic prowess.
Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un’s sister, was the most prominent member of that delegation. She leads the government’s Propaganda and Agitation Department, which controls all media in the country.
Of the North Korean publications that Americans can access, most organized into easily readable indexes as the website KCNA Watch, Rodong Sinmun and the Pyongyang Times had the most coverage of the United States on Friday. Rodong Sinmun published an attack piece against Washington for accusing North Korea of investing in illegal cyberterrorism units. Reports of such a development, it alleged, were that “this is another unpardonable provocation and wicked and mean smear campaign against the DPRK.”
“It is a hackneyed method for the U.S. and its stooges to go mad with the confrontation with the DPRK, groundlessly faulting it, whenever hacking cases happen,” Rodong asserted. “Lurking behind the smear campaign is a cynical ploy to expand the sphere of pressurizing the DPRK, labeling it a ‘cyber terrorist’, not content with pulling up it over the nuclear and ‘human rights’ issues.”
Rodong Sinmun also published an article accusing the United States of having “posed nuclear threat and blackmail to the DPRK for several decades.”
“We have scuttled all the nuclear attack operation scenarios of the U.S. which tried to drive the Korean nation into nuclear disaster with hysteric war games. We have drastically weakened its unchallenged position in the world,” it proclaimed.
The Pyongyang Times ran a piece condemning President Trump personally, without mentioning that Kim had reached out to the head of state to meet with him personally.
“Trump blusters that if sanctions do not work, the U.S. should go over to rough phase II and that as it is a very rough action, it would make the whole world unhappy,” the newspaper noted. “But the Trump administration should be aware that the US’ rough action would meet a rougher one and it would not be the world but the US which would be unhappy.”
“It is as clear as day that Trump would bring a terrible disaster to the US as he acts rashly without considering what will happen later,” it concluded.
On Thursday evening, following a meeting at the White House, South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong announced that Kim had offered Trump a chance to meet in person and that the American president had accepted.
“The Republic of Korea, along with the United States, Japan, and our many partners around the world, remain fully and resolutely committed to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Chung asserted, emphasizing that the coalition had no plans to do away with the unprecedented sanctions currently crippling North Korea’s economy yet.
While Rodong Sinmun protested human rights criticism of the repressive regime, neither Chung nor Trump has mentioned the Kim regime’s extensive list of human rights abuses since Thursday night’s announcement.