North Korea’s state newspaper Rodong Sinmun and its Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) condemned the West’s “reptile media” on Monday for promoting capitalism, which the propaganda outlets described as “a corrupt society rushing headlong into its doom.”
North Korea has increased its attacks on Western culture and capitalist society through its state outlets since agreeing to preliminary diplomacy with the United States and South Korea. While toning down personal attacks on Presidents Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in, the outlets have warned North Koreans not to be curious about the potential benefits of living in a capitalist society. North Korea is widely considered the world’s most repressive state.
KCNA, advertising a Rodong Sinmun article titled “Capitalism Has No Future,” condemned on Monday “the imperialists and their reptile media” for daring to “vociferate about the ‘advantage’ of capitalism, claiming that socialism is an ‘inhumane society.'”
“The imperialists and bourgeois defenders are talking about ‘freedom’ and ‘equality,’ but they can’t justify the unpopular capitalist society with any deceptive propaganda,” KCNA quotes the article. “Genuine freedom and rights of the popular masses are unthinkable in capitalist society.”
“Reality vividly proves that capitalism is an unpopular society where the freedom and rights of the popular masses are ruthlessly violated,” KCNA claims. “It is the capitalist society where the rich get richer and the poor poorer. Socialism is a society where the independence of the popular masses can be defended and realized.”
KCNA concludes that, “through their real living, the Korean people came to have the faith that only socialism can provide them with genuine freedom, equality and a happy and worthwhile life and to advance to socialism is the only way of realizing the ideal of the popular masses for independence.”
The actual Rodong Sinmun article warns that “capitalism is a gloomy society as it has no future.” A free market, it argues, is “unpopular, corrupt, and declining.”
“It is a malign tumor of capitalism that the rich get ever richer and the poor get ever poorer,” Rodong Sinmun argues. “The increase of the material wealth in capitalist society makes the inequality of the material life more unbearable, so that the toiling masses lead a miserable life.”
“Capitalism is a corrupt society which is like heaven for the rich but like hell for the poor,” it concludes. “Capitalism is neither a prosperous democratic society nor everlasting one. It is a corrupt society rushing headlong into its doom.”
North Korea’s state media have stopped attacking the United States with the frequency that it once did, spending much of 2017 claiming that dictator Kim Jong-un would soon order a preemptive nuclear strike on the U.S. mainland. Last week, Rodong Sinmun dedicated multiple pages of its print edition to photos of Kim meeting Trump and senior American officials, as well as showcasing Kim’s nighttime tour of Singapore. Instead of attacking Trump, state media now attacks its counterparts in the free world, who can criticize the Kim regime without fearing death or permanent enslavement in a labor camp.
In May, Rodong Sinmun condemned “Fox News TV, CBS and CNN of the U.S.” for letting “U.S. high-ranking officials appear in their programs.”
“This is nonsense of hack media on the payroll of power, ignorant of who is the rival,” the newspaper argued. “U.S. media would be well advised to stop talking nonsense as hack media and deeply study what the strategic line advanced at the historic April Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea means.”
In early June, North Korean state media predicted that all capitalism was “doomed to come to an end.”
“Capitalist society is the most unpopular and corrupt one completely contrary to the intrinsic requirements of human beings as it mercilessly infringes upon the freedom and democratic rights of overwhelming majority of the working masses and causes social evils and ideological and moral poverty of every description,” the state newspaper Rodong Sinmun alleged then.
North Korea’s fear of capitalism appears to be accompanied by a more private push to attract foreign investment in special economic zones, where Pyongyang is expected to keep most North Korean citizens out. Reports in South Korean media have suggested throughout the negotiation process to make last month’s Trump-Kim summit happen that Kim is seeking to create a tourist destination on Wonsan, a beachside town where Pyongyang is building a ski resort (North Korea is mountainous and lends itself to skiing). One report suggested that a high-ranking North Korean official tried to convince President Trump to build a casino in Wonsan; reporters visiting the country for the alleged shutdown of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site were reportedly forced to stay in Wonsan and cover its natural beauty.