North Korea TV preparing nation for war?

posted at 8:01 am on April 11, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

I actually woke up this morning expecting to see news reports of a North Korean missile test. Instead, the status quo appears to be holding, but probably not for long. CNN’s Jim Clancy reports from the region that the state television broadcaster has begun a propaganda campaign to prepare Pyongyang’s subjects for war, which sounds as though Kim Jong-un has something else in mind than a simple missile test.  “War is just a matter of time,” North Koreans were told today, and that “no one [in the South] will live to regret anything”:

Clancy offers some sympathy for the newsreader, but I’m not sure why. She’s getting three hots and a cot at the very least, which is better than many of her countrymen over the last few decades. All she has to do is read a script and look serious.

For international consumption, North Korea sounded just as belligerent overnight:

A North Korean agency that deals with relations with South Korea claims Pyongyang has “powerful striking means” on standby for a launch amid speculation in Seoul and Washington that the country is preparing to test a mid-range missile.

The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland also said Thursday it has entered coordinates for targets. But it didn’t elaborate on what it meant. The statement follows a recent torrent of warlike rhetoric seen as an effort to raise fears and pressure outside governments into policy changes.

The AP report offers this as a palliative:

The comments would carry more weight if they came from a military-related agency.

Actually, as Clancy notes in his video report, the CPRF is on par with a Cabinet agency, and it runs propaganda for the Kim regime.  The military and the CPRF take its orders from the same central control — which may or may not be the military itself now that an untested 28-year-old sits on the throne.  Their sabre-rattling shouldn’t be discounted, especially considering the preparation that seems to be taking place on state television for war.

However, that preparation hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for official celebrations in the capital:

As neighboring nations kept a close eye on missile movements in North Korea, people in the country’s capital began celebrating a series of April holidays, including the anniversary Thursday of their leader’s appointment as head of the ruling Worker’s Party. …

Meanwhile, on the streets of Pyongyang, there was no sense of panic and the focus was on celebrating milestone anniversaries that highlight the Kim family’s hold on power in North Korea.

After marking late leader Kim Jong Il’s appointment to a top government post Tuesday, North Koreans were putting on their finest clothing to celebration his son Kim Jong Un’s ascension to first secretary of the Workers’ Party a year ago Thursday. The post is one of a slew of top titles he claimed in the months following his father’s December 2011 death.

A flower show, art performances and public dance parties are scheduled over the next few days in the lead-up to the nations’ biggest holiday, the April 15 birthday of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, grandfather of the current leader.

All of this could just be a prelude to a missile test to celebrate the anniversary, but Pyongyang is burning up a lot of political capital for just another missile test.


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Posting thru app….test

cmsinaz on April 11, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Uh, I thought most of the country didn’t have electricity. So how could they be trying to prepare the population for anything using TV?

I’m pretty confused over this.

platypus on April 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM

If no one observes this war, is it still a war?

aryeung on April 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM

I still wish the Virtual President was our president.

joekenha on April 11, 2013 at 8:11 AM

the teletubby of NorKor, got a big missile wissile?

Scaredy scared scared.

PappyD61 on April 11, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Posting thru app….test

cmsinaz on April 11, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Somebody finally got around to making a HotAir app?

HotAirian on April 11, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Ed,
I am sitting next door. I know you are trying to get some interest, but unfortunately it is business as usual here, even those hawks back there in DC are silent. The administration just doesn’t seem to want to cooperate and make some more dirty laundry!

MarshFox on April 11, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Yup HA….check the green room :)

cmsinaz on April 11, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Duh. I’ve been saying this for weeks. (I think I mentioned it on an HA thread earlier this week)

The Nork TV station used to run bad soccer games, and newscasts of happy Kim Jong Un visitng factories. Now it’s all patriotic movies, martial music, video of military parades and speeches, and angry Kim Jong Un visiting the troops and trying to convince them they won’t all die when he finally snaps.

Not to say that Nork TV isn’t bizarre and surreal most of the time anyway, but over the last few weeks there’s been a noticeable change.

PetecminMd on April 11, 2013 at 8:17 AM

This app rocks. Finally! Been waiting for yrs!!

blatantblue on April 11, 2013 at 8:18 AM

All she has to do is read a script and look serious.

That’s twice as much as what our news readers have to do.

EddieC on April 11, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Hey, the app works!

Doughboy on April 11, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Interesting times…wish they weren’t so interesting.

Let’s hope some of our congressmen and senators get a little worried about our EMP vulnerabilities and do something about them. Wouldn’t cost that much and hey they can brag about upgrading infrastructure.

http://www.empactamerica.org/legislation.php

PierreLegrand on April 11, 2013 at 8:25 AM

All she has to do is read a script and look serious.

That’s twice as much as what our news readers have to do.

EddieC on April 11, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Kidding? Our newsreaders have to refrain from falling down laughing. Given the news lately, it’s an amazing feat.

Archivarix on April 11, 2013 at 8:37 AM

The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland also said Thursday it has entered coordinates for targets.

Of course, nobody in DPRK knows what the term “Orwellian” means, never having read 1984. Unless of course they read it as a training manual.

As the old saying goes, you can’t make this sh!t up.

Whether anyone likes it or not, Mini-Kim is apparently dead serious about doing his damnedest to exterminate everyone south of the DMZ. Exactly how capable of actually doing so his forces really are is open to question. (My best estimate is that if he actually goes for it, he’ll soon be Saddam’s bunkie in Hell.)

The question is why. The most obvious scenario is that internally, NK is even closer to collapse than our available intel indicates. (Remember, in intel work, the 90% you know is generally less important than the 10% the enemy has successfully kept you from finding out.)

He and his upper echelon may have decided that a “short, victorious war” is their best bet for survival. Think of the Galtieri regime’ in Argentina in 1982. (And please note that in this context, The One is no Baroness Thatcher, anymore than he is in any context.)

Another possibility is that things are even worse than that. In which case Mini-Kim & Co. may have processed the metric that either they do something, or their army revolts. (They’re not worried about a peasant uprising, to any great extent; starving peasants are not a credible threat, in their minds.)

Aiming the army at the hated South means that either (a) it wins, or (b) it gets smashed like a squash under a truck tire, but either way it’s no longer a threat to them personally.

Next, there’s the possibility that Mini-Kim has decided on a Valkyrie death ride. That is, rather than face an inevitable decline, he has decided on one last roll of the dice, either death or glory. If he wins, he is the Ultimate Totality God of the entire peninsula. If not, he’s dead. Either way, it’s not his problem after the fact.

Finally, there’s the most dangerous, and also unfortunately the most likely, possibility. That being that Mini-Kim is simply batsh!t crazy, which seems to run in his family. And that he honestly believes he can annihilate the South, and create a Perfect State on the ruins.

Considering the atrocities committed by his grandpa’s troops in 1950, at Grandpa’s direct orders, this not only cannot be ruled out, it’s the highest weighted probability.

The idea that this is all just a colossal bluff intended to frighten everyone else into giving him more foreign aid is attractive and reassuring. But then, in 1938 everyone said a certain Austrian wasn’t crazy enough to start a war in Europe.

Never assume that someone with a variety of psychoses interprets reality the same way you do. You will probably end up sorry and sore after you find out how wrong you were.

clear ether

eon

eon on April 11, 2013 at 8:41 AM

All she has to do is read a script and look serious.

She’s going to be the NorK’s very own “Baghdad Bob”…maybe “Pyongyang Pearl”?

“The Americans are not in Pyongyang! Never!”

JetBoy on April 11, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Given how stupid Europe has been over the past 120 years counting on intelligence in any area of the world is a bad bet.,

PierreLegrand on April 11, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Japan and the ROKs said the missiles (Musudan) were fueled two days ago. Any war-porn folks here know how long you can hold a liquid fueled rocket before you either shoot or have to refuel?

Limerick on April 11, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Meanwhile, on the streets of Pyongyang, there was no sense of panic

When you’re accustomed to starving in slavery in the bowels of Hell, what could cause you to panic?

oldleprechaun on April 11, 2013 at 8:59 AM

eon, love the analysis and agree with everything, except Little Kim himself being bat guano crazy. Hereditary insanity is less likely in a monarchy like North Korea than the fact that from a young age one is worshipped like a god by bureaucrats and generals in a country and political system that embodies epistemic closure. Anybody sane would have Bad News, and if Dear Precious Leader doesn’t want Bad News, its bearer and family go in a concentration camp. So the thinking in North Korea may actually *be* “Yeah, our army can totally take the South.”

Sekhmet on April 11, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Deterrent:

Fry the little bastard. No one will really care.
Unite the peninsula into one Korea under the flag of South Korea.
Give the infrastructure reconstruction contracts to China.
China will kiss off Lil Kim, the Koreas will again be united.
The World will be at ease and no one will mess with us for a long time to come.

jpcpt03 on April 11, 2013 at 9:05 AM

jpcpt03 on April 11, 2013 at 9:05 AM

One quote comes to mind, “The Chinese will never cross the Yalu”.

Limerick on April 11, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Never assume that someone with a variety of psychoses interprets reality the same way you do. You will probably end up sorry and sore after you find out how wrong you were.

eon on April 11, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Good ideas and well executed. I was reading and trying to estimate how many typos I would have had in a piece as long as yours.

Limerick on April 11, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Americans are so sweet. They never hold anyone on he left to the standards of rabid animals after they misbehave and expect anyone on the right as being rabid even before they have bitten anyone. China just has to keep calling itself Communist and holding the world title for abortions our media will keep the love flowing.

My thought is that we only see lunacy in American gun owners. I pray that there is miscalculation on the part of our administration as to how this should be handled. Nobody has advocated a preemptive war.

Last night, MSNBC’s Ms. Maddow last night was making fun of former Vice President Cheney’s remarks to a congressional group yesterday. Mr. Cheney thinks we are in deep doo doo. She pointed out that North Korea got nukes while on the Bush watch. This was while we went after Saddam who did not, in her view, have WMDs.

They are passing the buck already. That is how they handle real trepidation.

IlikedAUH2O on April 11, 2013 at 9:24 AM

@Platypus

DPRK society is basically broken into three structures; the ruling class, the party faithful, and the suspect. The party faithful get the privilege of living in Pyongyang, which includes the perk of fairly regular electricity. But even in the countryside, electricity is available, if only intermittently and with poor regularity.

After all, in glorious communist utopia, all comrades are equal. Some are just more equal than others.

ironmonger69 on April 11, 2013 at 9:24 AM

What you must remember is that everything that goes out on North Korean TV is for other nations, since no one in North Korea has a TV, or electricity, or food for that matter….

supersport667 on April 11, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Ok, “expect” = “suspect”

and “no miscalculation” by this administration.

Sorry.

IlikedAUH2O on April 11, 2013 at 9:26 AM

which sounds as though Kim Jong-un has something else in mind than a simple missile test.

Yes, it does. He may have to attack to stay in power. Or because he can’t.

dogsoldier on April 11, 2013 at 9:31 AM

The Kimbecile must have rented the new Red Dawn movie and thinks it’s real.

PJ Emeritus on April 11, 2013 at 9:36 AM

On another note. Roosevelt had “his” war that cranked up the American economy and allowed his Socialist BS to remain at least somewhat liquid for more than 60 years – do not doubt Oprompta is an accurate student of history and is WELL aware of the TRUTH about FDR and his policies.

This country would have gone through what we are seeing now long ago, if not for the “rescue” provided by WWII.

PJ Emeritus on April 11, 2013 at 9:45 AM

And to think, my brother cheered for 0bama because he thought 0bama would keep us out of war

Sekhmet on April 11, 2013 at 9:47 AM

This is sort of the Nork sequestration. Lots of bluster, nothing really happens.

NoDonkey on April 11, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Since nobody listens to Worm, I shall repeat his message:

The North Koreans want a call from President Obama.

If we had a Republican administration, the lack of a call would be the main topic of discussion. “Why we could be insulting the North Koreans, now they will HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO SAVE FACE!!

OMG! This bumbling is starting another war!

IlikedAUH2O on April 11, 2013 at 9:59 AM

The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland also said Thursday it has entered coordinates for targets. But it didn’t elaborate on what it meant.

Targeting by something called “The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.” You can’t make this stuff up.

Watch out Austin! You’ve been warned.

Happy Nomad on April 11, 2013 at 10:06 AM

All of this could just be a prelude to a missile test to celebrate the anniversary, but Pyongyang is burning up a lot of political capital for just another missile test.

Which is why I’ve said for days now that this seems to be something different than mere saber rattling and posturing.

I wonder if a direct call from the rat-eared devil would make a difference. He is, after all, lightgiver to the world perhaps only second in importance to humanity behind Christ. Would somebody like a POTUS paying attention to lil Kim be enough for a North Korea standdown?

Happy Nomad on April 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Happy Nomad on April 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Well since the Blind Sheik Swap ™ went down in flames in Benghazi with four lost (abandoned) lives, this is the next attempt of our Dear Leader. Our treasonous media will be slobbering all over with headlines like “Obama averts WWIII with one phone call!”

SteveInRTP on April 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM

We should shoot down anything they put up (test or not) as soon as it crosses into international waters.

Ward Cleaver on April 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Well, its not like they can ration any of the food anymore than they already do…

Sammo21 on April 11, 2013 at 11:19 AM

i heard last night from someone who’s brother-in-law is over there right now, that there are already skirmishes going on b/w dprk and the marines, but it’s all very hush hush.

take it or leave it. i don’t really have any reason to think they would lie to me, but it wouldn’t surprise me either. haven’t seen any sort of news about it on any of the wires, so figured i’d put it here.

yokumo on April 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM

The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland also said Thursday it has entered coordinates for targets.

Given the Nork record of missile launches, the target is probably a fairly safe place to be, but I wouldn’t want to be on a boat in the Sea of Japan right now.

But the “Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland” is a perfectly Orwellian name! Trying to peacefully reunify Korea by entering targets for missiles? Is this Minitrue talking falsely about Minipeace while making a mini-war? The last person to talk about his Fatherland was a not-so-peaceful guy named Adolf Hitler!

Steve Z on April 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM

by “it wouldn’t surprise me,” i meant to say it wouldn’t surprise me if there was already fighting going on over there. it would surprise me if the person i was talking to was making that up for no reason. sorry if that came off confusingly.

yokumo on April 11, 2013 at 11:40 AM

”War is just a matter of time,” North Koreans were told today, and that “no one [in the South] will live to regret anything”:

So Krazy Kim plans to obliterate a nation of 30 million people, but tells his own people to dance in the streets, without stopping to consider that the attacked nation (South Korea) just might crash their Pyongyang party with a bomb or two?

Steve Z on April 11, 2013 at 11:46 AM

CNN’s Jim Clancy reports

thought that said John Clancy at first…

unseen on April 11, 2013 at 12:03 PM

the CPRF is on par with a Cabinet agency, and it runs propaganda for the Kim regime.

so kind of like the MSM for the Obama regime. sounds about right.

unseen on April 11, 2013 at 12:07 PM

All of this could just be a prelude to a missile test to celebrate the anniversary, but Pyongyang is burning up a lot of political capital for just another missile test.

I think Ed is starting to take this more serious. About time.

unseen on April 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Uh, I thought most of the country didn’t have electricity. So how could they be trying to prepare the population for anything using TV?

I’m pretty confused over this.

platypus on April 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM

maybe what our governmenttell’s us is not the whole truth.

unseen on April 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Not to say that Nork TV isn’t bizarre and surreal most of the time anyway, but over the last few weeks there’s been a noticeable change.

PetecminMd on April 11, 2013 at 8:17 AM

when Kasong factories were still open the South koreans also mentioned that the northerners were increasingly hostile as time went on towards them. PR works if it didn’t the
MSM wouldn’t use it on us.

unseen on April 11, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Give the infrastructure reconstruction contracts to China.
China will kiss off Lil Kim, the Koreas will again be united.
The World will be at ease and no one will mess with us for a long time to come.

jpcpt03 on April 11, 2013 at 9:05 AM

yeah because an enaged China within the entire Korea will not make Japan worry./

unseen on April 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Targeting by something called “The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.” You can’t make this stuff up.

Watch out Austin! You’ve been warned.

Happy Nomad on April 11, 2013 at 10:06 AM

kind of like the affordable health care act.

unseen on April 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

maybe what our governmenttell’s us is not the whole truth.

unseen on April 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM

And maybe it is. Pyongyang has power at night, so I would assume that at least some of the residents have power all the time.

After all, if a pyongyang traffic lady can get pissed at an NK teenager driving a Mini-Cooper (which shouldn’t be in NK either), then the ruling class are not toughing it without the conveniences…

Here’s how everything looks at night up there:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fe/KoreaAtNight20121205_NASA.png

They are lucky — no light polution except near the Chinese border and in Pyongyang.

unclesmrgol on April 11, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Hunger diversion

Schadenfreude on April 11, 2013 at 1:26 PM

The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland also said Thursday it has entered coordinates for targets.

Wait, what?

jnelchef on April 11, 2013 at 1:28 PM

From Stratfor:

North Korea is not crazy. Actually, it is crazy … very, very crazy, but against all conventional wisdom, it acts crazy for a purpose. Pyongyang behaves like it’s looking for a fight, but it doesn’t want to start a war it knows it can’t win. It wants to appear volatile to gain concessions from stronger nations.

Despite what many think, North Korea’s strategy is smart because it enables Pyongyang to call the shots. It has now shifted the region’s attention to prevent South Korea from accidentally or intentionally launching a pre-emptive attack on North Korea. This may encourage the U.S. and China to rethink their strategy of ignoring Pyongyang into submission…..

avagreen on April 12, 2013 at 9:27 AM

All she has to do is read a script and look serious.

She’s going to be the NorK’s very own “Baghdad Bob”…maybe “Pyongyang Pearl”?

“The Americans are not in Pyongyang! Never!”

JetBoy on April 11, 2013 at 8:43 AM

“Their forces committed suicide by the hundreds. … The battle is very fierce and [Kim Jun-Un] made us victorious. The fighting continues.”

I’m half expecting that they will play the war out completely (and only) through their media outlets, while the rest of the world stands around watching.

Sockpuppet Politic on April 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM

The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland also said Thursday it has entered coordinates for targets.

Wait, what?

jnelchef on April 11, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia! The Ministry of Truth tells me so!

Sockpuppet Politic on April 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM