North Korean propaganda is really – really – hard to lampoon.
It’s not like Russian propaganda which, while absurd in its own right, admits of some subtlety, which leaves room for me to make fun of it.
With Chinese propaganda, the story is a bit different. The “editorials” that find their way onto the web portals run by the Party’s various mouthpiece news outlets are almost always over-wrought which means they’re already funny and don’t need any editorializing to make them more funny, but thankfully, they’re also always in Chinese. And that means you can Google translate them. And that, in turn, leads to all kinds of “lost in translation” fun. Like this translated bit from the Global Times who was out on Thursday discussing what I’ve called “Armadagate“:
The truth seems to be that the U.S. military and president jointly created fake news and it is without a doubt a rare scandal in U.S. history, which will be bound to cripple Trump’s and U.S. dignity.
Obviously that’s funny. And not because it isn’t true. But rather because of how it comes across when translated.
So there’s all kinds of fun to be had with Russian and Chinese propaganda. But when it comes to propaganda emanating from Pyongyang, North Korea’s threats are so spectacularly hyperbolic that they completely elude attempts to make them any funnier.
Today’s example comes from The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party. Here’s how the paper explained what a preemptive strike by Kim would look like:
In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists’ invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes.
I challenge you to make that any funnier. Give it a shot.
Just about all I can do in the way of providing additional comedic value is to show you, once again, the following propaganda clip from 2015…